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Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

  • Author: Straight Up Food
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 (makes about 5.5 cups sauce) 1x



For the sauce:

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cups sliced cremini or white mushrooms (6 to 8 mushrooms)
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated/dried garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (these are spicy)
  • 1½ cups water or salt-free vegetable stock
  • 1 14.5-oz. can salt-free diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • ¾ cup canned “pure pumpkin” purée
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste (about 2/3 cup)
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil

For the pasta:

  • 1 package gluten-free pasta (16 ounces), spaghetti style or any shape
  • Ground or finely chopped walnuts, cashews, or pine nuts (for optional garnish)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a large frying pan or soup pot over medium-high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the onion and mushrooms, and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, adding a little water as needed to prevent sticking. Toward the end, stir in the paprika, garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes.
  2. Add the water or stock, diced tomatoes, pumpkin, and tomato paste, and stir. Reduce the heat to low, and place the lid slightly askew, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with water, and set aside.
  4. After the sauce is done simmering, turn off the heat, and stir in the spinach and basil.
  5. To serve, combine the noodles and sauce, or ladling the sauce over each plateful of noodles. Serve as is or topped with finely grated nuts (I like cashews, walnuts or almonds; use a rotary cheese grater to create a parmesan cheese-like topping).


Pumpkin: Be sure to use canned “pure pumpkin” and not a “pumpkin pie mix.” You can also make home-cooked pumpkin purée; just search online “how to make pumpkin puree.”

Greens: I like spinach in this dish, but you can use any type of greens, just give it a bit longer to cook at the end (Swiss chard will only need a couple minutes but kale or collard greens may need longer).

Pasta: I usually buy brown rice pasta (I like the Tinkyada brand), but any kind and style will work.

If you don’t eat mushrooms: I love mushrooms but know that not everyone does. So, you can leave them out, and just substitute with 3 cups of one or two types of other veggies that you enjoy (like zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, celery).

Garlic: I went with dried garlic in this recipe, but if you want to use fresh, use 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic (4 to 5 cloves).

  • Prep Time: 15 mins.
  • Cook Time: 35 mins.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 sauce recipe (almost 1 cup)
  • Calories: 63
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 44mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 0g