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Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage

Looking for an easy fall dinner idea? Look no further than this pumpkin pasta with Italian sausage & spinach. Makes 6 servings.

A bowl of pumpkin pasta with Italian sausage and spinach.

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Why I love this pumpkin pasta recipe

What better way to further you pumpkin addiction that a savory pasta dish. If you’ve never tried pumpkin in a savory way, this is definitely the way to do it.

It pairs really well with the fennel flavors in the Italian sausage, and it makes a great sauce because it creates a creamy, flavorful sauce.

Overhead shot of a large skillet full of pumpkin pasta with italian sausage and spinach.

This pumpkin pasta recipe only takes 30 minutes.

This pumpkin pasta is actually a new spin on a super old recipe I published a few years back. That one used butternut squash that had been roasted and pureed rather than pumpkin, but times have changed and I just don’t have the time to prep meals like I used to.

Personally, I think a can of pumpkin works even better anyway. By making this one simple swap, I’ve managed to take a recipe that should take almost an hour and cut the time in half.

Close up of pumpkin pasta with italian sausage and spinach on a spoon with the large saucepan full of the pasta in the background.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Close up of a bowl of pumpkin pasta with Italian sausage and spinach.

How to make pumpkin pasta with Italian sausage

To make the sauce, you’ll need to use a decent amount of pasta water. That means you need to take some out before draining the cooked pasta. I do this by sinking a liquid measuring cup into the pot – and hoping I don’t get any pasta.

A mug would work really well, too, but you can also ladle some into a bowl or measuring cup. Always, always reserve more water than you need, maybe even double if you can. It’s better to have extra than not enough. I added about 1 1/4 cup of pasta water to my sauce for the pumpkin rigatoni.

Overhead shot of a bowl of pumpkin pasta with Italian sausage and spinach.

FAQs and tips on making this pumpkin pasta recipe

Can you substitute an onion for shallots?

I used a shallot in this recipe because they have a really unique flavor that you can’t replicate. You can easily swap an onion. I would suggest using a sweet onion because it’s going to be the closest match to the shallots. If you haven’t tried using shallots before, definitely give it a try though if you can.

What is the taste of pumpkin?

A pumpkin is a squash and as such it will taste similar to other fall/winter squashes or some even would say it tastes similar to a sweet potato.

More fall pasta recipes you will love

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Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage

  • Author: simplywhisked
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


Looking for an easy fall dinner idea? Look no further than this pumpkin pasta with Italian sausage & spinach. Makes 6 servings.


  • 1 16-ounce package rigatoni
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 8-ounce bag fresh spinach
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/23/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions for al dente – reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta water for sauce before draining.
  2. In a large skillet, brown Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it into pieces as it cooks, about 8 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to pan and sauté shallot, garlic and crushed red pepper, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly golden, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add spinach to pan and wilt, stirring occasionally. If needed, reduce heat to low until pasta is ready.
  5. Return heat to medium-high. Add pumpkin puree, sage and salt & pepper. Slowly stir in pasta water, about 1/2 cup at a time, until sauce has reached desired consistency. Return sausage to pan and toss with pasta, adding extra pasta water if needed.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 317
  • Sugar: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 277.5 mg
  • Fat: 9.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.6 g
  • Fiber: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 10.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 10.7 mg

Keywords: Pumpkin pasta with italian sausage, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin recipe, fall pasta

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