Healthy Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms is a delicious vegan dinner ready in 30-minutes. Everyone will enjoy this flavorful pumpkin pasta sauce tossed with savory vegetables and whole grain noodles.
While Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Nut Bread are traditional autumn recipes everyone loves (and for good reason!), you don’t want to overlook some savory treats like Creamy Pumpkin Puree with Mushrooms and Garlicky Pumpkin Oil or Pumpkin Soup with Millet.
Pumpkin is not only surprisingly flavorful (especially when matched with the right spices and herbs), it’s incredibly nourishing as well. It’s also surprisingly versatile.
I have scads of delicious vegetarian pumpkin recipes for you to try, but this Healthy Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms is one of the best.
Whenever you can combine a variety of flavors in one dish, it’s a treat for your taste buds and it becomes more satisfying for you. This dish takes the sweet and creamy pumpkin, adds savory spinach and mushrooms, rich whole grain fettuccine and tops it off with a little crunch and earthy flavor from the chopped walnuts.
And while this easy vegetarian dinner is nutritious and delicious, it’s also quick! This easy pumpkin pasta recipe is so easy it can become one of your go-to fall dinners, as well!
It takes only 30 minutes to make from start to finish (and 15 minutes if you use ready-made pumpkin puree!).
Health Benefits of Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms
This pumpkin pasta is absolutely vegan and packed with fruits, veggies and whole grains. Fruits, you question? Well, yes! Pumpkins are, technically, a fruit. Let’s take a look at all of the amazing ways your body will enjoy this meal:
Pumpkin Health Benefits
Pumpkin contains tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s exceptionally rich in vitamin C and E, potassium, copper and carotene that is also responsible for the orange color. These nutrients help prevent heart problems, aging, weight gain and vision loss.
Mushroom Health Benefits
This recipe uses crimini mushrooms, although you could use any you prefer. In fact, commonly used white mushrooms and crimini are of the same variety! The difference is that brown mushrooms are older and more flavorful and mature. Fun fact: did you know that portobello mushrooms are just overgrown crimini?
Mushrooms are a great source of protein as well as antioxidant phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. They help protect against cardiovascular disease, support the immune system and have anti-inflammatory benefits. If you struggle to maintain your protein intake while following a vegan or vegetarian diet, mushrooms deserve to become your go-to protein source. You can make so many delicious and healthy dishes with them, like this gorgeous mushroom masala, for starters.
To get the most benefits from them, it’s important to not overcook them. The optimal way would be to sautée them for no longer than 7 minutes. And better store them in the fridge.
Spinach Health Benefits
You probably know that leafy greens are good for you, so spinach is in this pasta not only for a nice crunch but also for its exceptional nutritional profile.
Here is a little pro-cooking trick I use to keep spinach fresh longer in the fridge. If the bag with spinach is already opened, put some paper towels between the leaves. They will soak the moisture released from the leaves and keep your spinach fresh longer!
How To Make Pumpkin Puree From Scratch
This recipe can be made from canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, but straight puree) or you can make it from scratch. While that may sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to!
It’s simple and fun to do, and the flavor is so much more rich. Here’s what you do to make your own DIY pumpkin puree at home:
Chop your fresh pumpkin into small chunks
The smaller you’ll chop them, the less time they will need in the oven to roast.
Spread your pumpkin on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil
I recommend covering your baking tray with parchment paper first and then spreading out your pieces. Drizzle them with with olive oil or cooking spray.
Season your pumpkin
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut a top off a garlic head and place it on the tray.
Roasted garlic adds a caramelized smoky note to the sauce. If you have a few heads of garlic, I recommend you to make my roasted garlic dressing out of it. It’s very delicious and vegan too!
Cook the pumpkin
Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes. It will be fork tender once it’s done.
How To Make Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
This pumpkin puree pasta sauce is so simple! While many people will add cream to their pumpkin pasta sauce recipe, this vegan version is still smooth and silky but remains dairy-free with no cream whatsoever.
Once the pumpkin is roasted, transfer it to a blender together with peeled roasted garlic and pulse until smooth. Slowly add in your vegetable broth, one ladle at a time, until you like the consistency of the pumpkin sauce.
You will also be adding in your herbs and spices at this time. The delicious blend of basil, sage, and nutmeg give this creamy pumpkin puree sauce a tuscan inspired flavor that’s going to have you wanting seconds!
Hint: Your sauce should be thicker than pumpkin soup once it’s done.
Can I Use Canned Puree For My Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe?
I would still add some roasted garlic to it for that rich bite of flavor, but if you need to save some time or effort, you can still make a flavorful, smooth sauce with canned pumpkin puree.
Can I Make The Sauce Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can. In fact, the flavors meld and strengthen over time. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days in an airtight container.
What Else Can I Use Dairy Free Pumpkin Puree Sauce With?
This sauce is delicious in a variety of recipes.
If you have extra after you serve your pumpkin puree pasta dinner, you can enjoy it over quinoa, poured over roasted or grilled vegetables, or even on a Buddha bowl.
Making Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach And Mushroom
While your pumpkin is roasting, you can get your whole wheat pasta cooking.
On your stovetop, heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet. Sautée you chopped mushrooms for about 3 minutes over medium heat.
Next, add the spinach and continue cooking until it’s softened. This usually takes about 4-5 minutes. Set it aside for just a moment.
Now comes the fun part! Combine the pasta with mushrooms, spinach and pumpkin puree.
Serve sprinkled with chopped walnuts and drizzled with pumpkin oil (optional but recommended).
Hope you like this pumpkin pasta! Here is the full recipe:
Healthy Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms
- 1/2 small to medium-sized Hokkaido pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 head garlic
- 350 grams or 12 oz whole wheat pasta (I used fettuccine)
- 200 grams or 7 oz mushrooms sliced (I used crimini)
- 140 grams or 5 oz raw spinach
- 235 ml or 1 cup vegetable broth (see notes below)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts to serve
- 4 teaspoons pumpkin oil to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC or 350 ºF. Chop the pumpkin into small chunks. Lay a baking tray with parchment paper and drizzle it with olive oil or cooking spray. Place the pumpkin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut a top off a garlic head and place it on the tray. Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until they are soft when pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and sautée chopped mushrooms for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the spinach and continue cooking until it is softened, for about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
- When the pumpkin is roasted, transfer it to a blender together with peeled roasted garlic and pulse until smooth, adding vegetable broth. Add spices and herbs, as well as salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the pasta with mushrooms, spinach and pumpkin puree. Serve sprinkled with chopped walnuts and drizzled with pumpkin oil (optional but recommended). Enjoy!