One-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

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Say goodbye to a sink full of dishes and hello to this one-pot pumpkin pasta! This is the creamiest pumpkin Alfredo pasta ever—you would never even know it’s vegan! This one-pot pumpkin pasta is like a fall hug in a bowl, with warming flavors of pumpkin and nutmeg and woodsy herbs like rosemary and sage.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins

I am so excited to share my latest fall comfort food obsession with you: One-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo! This recipe is super easy to make and comes together in just one-pot, so you get to save on everyone’s least favorite chore: washing dishes!

I recently shared a recipe for a Pumpkin Lasagna Soup that you guys seem to be really loving, but it is an Instant Pot recipe, and I know a lot of you don’t have an Instant Pot. So I developed this pasta because I wanted to share a recipe with a similar flavor profile and feel that everybody can make and enjoy on the stovetop.

And by everybody, I mean everybody—vegans, omnivores, meat-lovers, gluten-free eaters. This pasta is SO SO creamy and indulgent that your non-vegan family members would never even guess that it’s vegan. And I’ve even tried this recipe with gluten-free pasta and it worked out just as good, so gluten-avoiders can still enjoy it!

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta (Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo)

Why you’ll love this recipe

One pot dinner! Who doesn’t love a one=pot meal? One pot = fewer dishes to wash!

Fall comfort food: Imagine a creamy alfredo pasta, and then add in the warmth of woodsy herbs, pumpkin, and nutmeg. It’s such a comfy and indulgent recipe for cold weather and pumpkin season!

Weeknight-friendly. From start to finish, including all the prep time, this dinner is ready in 45 minutes or less.

Easy to customize. Feel free to make this your own meal. Toss in frozen peas at the end, pair with a side of roasted broccoli, or. bulk it up with some beans or tofu or your favorite protein source.

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta (Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo)

How to Make One-Pot Pumpkin Alfredo

This recipe starts with a fancier version of a roux, a mixture of flour and fat cooked together to thicken sauces. Traditionally, a roux starts by heating a fat source (e.g., olive oil, butter) and then adding an equal amount of flour, and stirring to combine until it forms a paste. Then, you pour in the liquid to create the sauce (usually cream or milk).

In this recipe, I use olive oil as my source of fat, though you could use vegan butter if you wanted something really rich (or half butter, half olive oil). But instead of just adding the flour right away, I add some aromatics to infuse some depth of flavor into this roux.

First, heat a heavy nonstick frying pan with the olive oil. Sauté the diced onion until it’s starting to brown and softened. Then add the garlic and trio of herbs: thyme, sage, and rosemary. These herbs pair incredibly well with pumpkin and bring so much aroma and fall goodness to this pasta.

Once the aromatics fragrant, add in the flour and stir to incorporate. Then, pour in the “lite” coconut milk. Make sure you stream in the milk slowly and gradually, in stages, and use your other hand to whisk the mixture the entire time. If you just dump all the milk in at once, you risk your flour and milk clumping together.

Add in the pumpkin puree, along with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Since you are cooking the pasta directly in the sauce, you want to make the sauce is as smooth and uniform in texture as possible (a chunky sauce will make it harder for the pasta to cook evenly). That’s why you’ll use an immersion blender to blend the sauce up and crush those pieces of onions and garlic.

Next, add in the pasta, vegetable broth, and two other ingredients for extra flavor: nutritional yeast and miso. Both ingredients bring a lot of umami to this dish, which is always welcome in savory vegan food.

Bring to a simmer and stir the pasta frequently until it’s al dente, about 20 minutes.

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta (Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo)

Watch! How to Make One-Pot Pumpkin Alfredo

Tips for making this recipe

First things first, I highly recommend using a deep NONSTICK frying pan, not a ceramic or steel pan. I tried making this recipe in my ceramic Le Creuset Dutch oven, and it required a lot more oil and some of the pasta was still stuck to the bottom of the pot.

So, if you don’t have a nonstick soup pot or a deep, large nonstick frying pan like this, I would either (a) be comfortable using more oil than called for in this recipe and reallllly stir the pasta while it’s cooking or (b) cook the pasta and sauce separately (sadly, this won’t be a “one-pot” recipe anymore).

Second, and very importantly, you MUST stir the pasta fairly frequently while it cooks (it takes 20 minutes to cook). If you don’t, THE PASTA WILL STICK TOGETHER AND NOT GET FULLY COOKED. I apologize in advance for yelling, but this is very important.

I recommend using a pasta claw/spaghetti server or a pair of tongs to toss the pasta around in the sauce every few minutes. Sure, it’s a little extra work, but you’re washing fewer dishes at the end of the day, so that is a definite win in my book!

This pasta dish is best served immediately, but the leftovers are pretty good too. I actually like eating leftovers cold (weird, maybe. but also delicious), but you can heat them up on the stove, adding a bit of nondairy milk as needed to thin out the sauce.

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta (Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo)

Substitutes for this One-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

Pasta. I used fettuccine noodles because, hey, I’m making Alfredo sauce. And while this is admittedly the least traditional Alfredo pasta, I still wanted to try it out with traditional fettuccine noodles!

If you use a long pasta like fettuccine or linguine, you’ll need to break the noodles in half (or smaller if you prefer) with your hands. Otherwise, the noodles won’t be able to fully cook in the sauce.

In short, this recipe is easier to make with a shorter pasta variety because you don’t have to break up the pasta, and it’s easier to stir shorter pasta pieces during the cooking.

For a gluten-free version of this recipe, you’ll need to (1) use a gluten-free all-purpose flour or rice flour in the roux, and (2) gluten-free pasta (I used this gluten-free spaghetti made of rice and corn).

For the liquid, I used low-sodium vegetable broth, but you could also use water. You might want to add a pinch more of salt if you do use water.

The reason I use “lite” coconut milk is that it’s the best texture for Alfredo-type sauces, but unsweetened oat milk is also equally great. If all you have is full-fat coconut milk, I recommend diluting it with some water (kind of like homemade lite coconut milk). Since we’re cooking the pasta directly in the sauce, the full-fat variety is too thick. On the other end, something like almond milk would be a bit too thin and the end result won’t be as creamy.

To make your own “lite” coconut milk, mix together 1 part full-fat canned coconut milk with 2 parts water, stir together until well combined. Then measure out 13.5 ounces (400 mL).

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can either (1) transfer the sauce to a stand blender before adding the pasta, or (2) not blend the sauce and cook the pasta in a separate pot (obviously, this will no longer be a “one pot recipe”).

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta (Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo)

That’s about all you need to know about this One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta! If you make the recipe, be sure to drop a comment below and tag me with you recreations on Instagram!

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta (Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo)

5 from 15 votes
Say goodbye to a sink full of dishes and hello to this one-pot pumpkin pasta! This is the creamiest pumpkin Alfredo pasta ever—you would never even know it’s vegan! This one-pot pumpkin pasta is like a fall hug in a bowl, with warming flavors of pumpkin and nutmeg and woodsy herbs like rosemary and sage.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: alfredo, gluten-free, nut-free, one-pot, pumpkin
Serving size: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 large sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large sprig, or 2 small sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped (about 1/2 tablespoon of leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes for gluten-free option*)
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can “lite” or reduced-fat coconut milk** (or oat milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (1 15-ounce can has slightly more than 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 1/4 cups vegetable broth (I use low-sodium)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 8 ounces pasta of choice (I used fettuccine, but see the notes below for other pasta options***)
  • Garnishes: 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, vegan parmesan cheese (I love this brand), or Cashew Parmesan (recipe can be found in this blog post)

Instructions

  • Heat a nonstick soup pot or large, deep nonstick skillet**** over medium heat. Add the olive oil and once it’s hot, add the diced onion. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the onion is softened and lightly browned.
  • Add the garlic, and chopped sage/rosemary/thyme leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Then add the flour, whisking constantly with a wooden spoon for 1 minute until well incorporated and the mixture forms somewhat of a paste. Stream in the lite coconut milk in stages, whisking after each addition to prevent clumps. Then cook for 2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the pumpkin purée, kosher salt, black pepper to taste, and the nutmeg, and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Using an immersion blender, blend until the sauce is mostly smooth and creamy.
  • Add the vegetable broth, miso paste, and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Finally, add the pasta (broken in half if using a long pasta variety), and move the pasta around to submerge it in the liquid.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Once it’s simmering, cook for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened onto the pasta and the pasta is al dente.
  • Remove from the heat, and taste the pasta for seasonings, adding more salt as needed. Garnish with parsley and vegan parmesan cheese or cashew parmesan.

Notes

* For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour or rice flour in the roux. And use the gluten-free pasta of your choice. I tested this recipe with this gluten-free spaghetti made of rice and corn. You do need to make sure you stir the pasta well and frequently during cooking to prevent the pasta from sticking.
** To make your own “lite” coconut milk, mix together 1 part full-fat canned coconut milk with 2 parts water, stir together until well combined. Then measure out 13.5 ounces (400 mL).
*** If you use a long pasta like fettuccine, you need to break the noodles in half (or smaller if you prefer) with your hands. Otherwise, they won’t be able to fully cook in the liquid. Also, this recipe is easier to make with a shorter pasta - you don’t have to break it up and it’s also easier to stir while cooking.
**** I really recommend using a nonstick pan, not a ceramic or steel pan. I made this recipe in my ceramic Le Creuset Dutch oven, and it required a lot more oil and some of the pasta was still stuck to the bottom of the pot.

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27 comments on One-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

  1. This is my new fall favorite! What a brilliant recipe!

  2. Liz

    This is a great recipe. My husband LOVED it. I’m making it for the second time in a week. We’re trying to introduce more vegan meals into our diet and your recipes make it so easy, so thank you!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Liz! That’s awesome to hear! So happy your husband loved it and amazing that you’re making it twice in one week. And best of all, yay for introducing more vegan meals into your life!

  3. Laurnie

    This is SO delicious! I was looking for a quick meal that used pantry staples and this was perfect. I used spaghetti and was able to slowly soften the noodles in the sauce on a low heat–so I could keep them long–before turning the sauce up to a boil and continuing the recipe as directed. It worked great! ;) So filling, warming, and perfect for a cozy night in. Thank you!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Laurnie, thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! Thanks for sharing your tip on keeping the noodles whole – I’ll have to try that next time. So glad you enjoyed this cozy and warming meal :)

  4. Sitara

    I made this today and it’s amazing!!! Sooo hearty, flavoursome, creamy and rich. My family loved it and this will definitely be a staple for us now :)

  5. Sindhoora Kadya

    Hi Nisha ! I was wondering if I can substitute the pumpkin puree for a butternut squash puree. Do you think it would make a whole lot of difference?Thanks !

  6. Cathy

    Would love this but cannot use miso (soy) or nutritional yeast. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    1. Jessica Marini

      There is a soy free chickpea miso, perhaps that would work?

      1. Nisha Vora

        Yes, you can use that!

  7. Lozza

    Made as written and it was wonderful!

  8. danielle

    This was delicious! And this is coming from a non-vegan meat lover. Worth a try!

  9. Shivany

    Hi, this sounds delicious, I was wondering if there is a substitute for nutritional yeast?:)

  10. Zora

    I made this for my family tonight and it was so good! Next I’m am going to try the instant pot pumpkin lasagna soup.

  11. Justine

    Just made this – very delicious. I did find I had to double the amount of pasta to reach my perfect sauce:pasta ratio but besides that I went by the book and it’s exactly what I wanted! Rich, satisfying, a bowl of pumpkiny, cheesy comfort. A new TG weekend dish I think.

  12. Cindi

    Wow this was so good! I made a few substitutions to avoid going to the grocery store… I used dry herbs instead of fresh, I used cashew milk instead of coconut, I added in kale at the very beginning with the onions to add some greens. I don’t have an immersion blender so I just skipped that step. I also used whole grain rotini because it’s all I had. 10/10. So so so good. Such deep flavour! Will definitely add to my dinner rotation. Perfect for fall!

  13. Sissi

    Béchamel is a sauce made from a roux with milk or cream. Hence your talking about a bechamel here, just saying…

  14. Sitara

    I’m making this tomorrow and I’m so excited! :) thank you! I recently found your channel on YouTube and your recipes are amazing!

  15. Tracey

    Made this and it was delicious! I too made a couple substitutions. Acorn squash instead of pumpkin and almond milk instead of coconut milk. It’s what I had on hand. Turned out great. Your directions to stir frequently need to be followed! Thanks for making the point to do this. Like another commenter stated, I will add more pasta next time. Lots of leftover sauce, that was delicious for bread dipping!

  16. MacKenzie

    5 stars
    This pasta is EVERYTHING!! So rich and comforting. Perfect for winter nights! Made it for my dad and I (he is NOT vegan) and we both just LOVED it! And so easy! Will definitely be making again!

    1. MacKenzie

      5 stars
      I used cavatappi and doubled the amount of pasta. Was perfect. Going to try it with rigatoni next!👌🏼

  17. Divya

    5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight, and it’s the PERFECT fall/winter comfort recipe! It tastes so good, and clean-up was such a breeze :-)
    Thank you, Nisha, for all your wonderful recipes. The content you put out is so amazing. I can’t wait to buy your cookbook and try out many more of your delicious recipes.

  18. Nathan Hooper

    5 stars
    This is an amazing dish! I’ve never made a roux from oil, just butter but it worked out well. the miso really deepened the taste. YUMMY!!

  19. DianaW

    5 stars
    HI Nisha, I just made this dish and it tastes pretty yummy. But I think next time I would like to keep the noodles out of the sauce. What recommendations would you have in doing this? Mostly, I’m thinking keep all the ingredients in there for taste, but how much you think of reducing the water since I wouldn’t be adding them to the sauce?

    1. Hi Diana, if you want to make the pasta and pumpkin alfredo sauce separately, I would omit the vegetable broth from the recipe and cook the pasta separately until al dente. Then add the pasta to the sauce in the pan and toss to coat for a minute or so. Hope that will help!

  20. Jackalyn

    5 stars
    Wow! This dish is truly perfect. I don’t like pumpkin very much, but we had a can left over from the holidays, and this seemed like an interesting recipe to try. I may be a pumpkin believer now! This will now be on my short list of “showstopper” meals for hosting and special occasions.

  21. Reynaldo

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious, even though I was out of nooch. As indicated in the recipe, it did take longer for the pasta to cook than the box said indicated (Farfalle box said 12 minutes, more like 20 minutes). For leftovers, add a splash of milk to regain that creaminess. I will definitely be making this one again.

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