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Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

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Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms is a delicious and healthy fall-inspired dinner ready in 30 minutes. Everyone will enjoy this flavorful pumpkin pasta sauce tossed with savory vegetables and whole grain noodles. 

Vegan Pumpkin Pasta on a Plate.

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 vegan pumpkin pasta with spinach and mushrooms is one of the best. 

Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach in a Skillet.

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 fusilli 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.

Pumpkin for the Pasta

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.

Crimini Mushrooms in a Grey Bowl

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!

Fresh Spinach in a Yellow Sieve

Ingredients for Vegan Pumpkin Pasta

  • pumpkin (use regular pumpkin, Hokkaido, sugar pie, Cinderella, Rouge Vif d’Etampes, or butternut squash) or canned pumpkin puree
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • mushrooms
  • raw spinach
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • nutmeg
  • walnuts
  • pumpkin oil (optional)

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pasta.

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:

  1. Chop your fresh pumpkin into small chunks

The smaller you’ll chop them, the less time they will need in the oven to roast. You can also save time on chopping and just slice your pumpkin that will take you longer to roast, but will require less effort.

  1. 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.

  1. Season your pumpkin

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut a top off a garlic head and place it on the tray. Add half of rosemary and thyme sprigs.

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!

  1. Cook the pumpkin

Bake in the preheated oven for around 20-30 minutes. It will be fork tender once it’s done.

Roasting Pumpkin with Garlic.

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 rosemary, thyme 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 regular pumpkin soup once it’s done.

Pumpkin Sauce for Pasta in a Blender.

Can I Use Canned Puree For My Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe?

Yes, absolutely!

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.

Be sure to cook your whole grain pasta according to the instructions on the package until al dente. Don’t make it too soft. You can use fettuccine or fusilli, farfalle, rigattoni, penne, ziti, etc. You can use regular hard-wheat pasta as well.

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.

Mushrooms and Mushrooms with Spinach in a Skillet.

Now comes the fun part! Combine the pasta with mushrooms, spinach and pumpkin puree

Adding Pumpkin Sauce to the Pasta.

Serve sprinkled with chopped walnuts and drizzled with pumpkin oil (optional but recommended). 

Hope you like this pumpkin pasta!

Cook’s Tips

  • This vegan pumpkin pasta is a quick healthy dinner perfect for fall.
  • Use any pumpkin variety available to you: regular pumpkin, Hokkaido, sugar pie, Cinderella, Rouge Vif d’Etampes, or butternut squash) or canned pumpkin puree.
  • Store the pasta in the fridge for up to 3 days separate from the sauce.
  • Freeze the pumpkin sauce for up to 3 months.

A Serving of Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms.

Recipe Variations

  • Use any frying oil of your choice instead of olive oil (canola, avocado, sunflower, etc).
  • If you are using pumpkin puree and you are short in time, don’t roast your garlic but add a few minced cloves to the mushrooms. Alternatively, use about 2 teaspoons of garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
  • You can use any whole wheat pasta like fettuccine or fusilli, farfalle, rigattoni, penne, ziti, etc. You can use regular hard-wheat pasta as well.
  • Use any mushrooms in place of crimini mushrooms.
  • You can use frozen spinach as well, about 1/2 cup.
  • Use dried rosemary and thyme for the pumpkin sauce, about 1 teaspoon each.
 
Print
4.64 from 30 votes

Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms is a delicious and healthy dinner ready in 30-minutes. Everyone will enjoy this flavorful pumpkin pasta sauce tossed with savory vegetables and whole grain noodles. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine European, Italian
Keyword healthy pumpkin pasta, mushroom pasta, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin pasta recipe, vegan pumpkin pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 680kcal
$6

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb pumpkin (about 1/2 small to medium-sized Hokkaido pumpkin or equivalent, see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 500 grams or 12 oz whole wheat pasta (I used fusilli)
  • 200 grams or 7 oz mushrooms sliced (I used crimini)
  • 140 grams or 5 oz raw spinach
  • 235 ml or 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts to serve
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin oil to serve (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180 ºC or 350 ºF. Chop the pumpkin into small chunks. The smaller you’ll chop them, the less time they will need in the oven to roast. You can also save time on chopping and just slice your pumpkin that will take you longer to roast, but will require less effort. Skip this step and the next one if you are using canned pumpkin puree.
  • Spread your pumpkin on a baking sheet and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut a top off a garlic head and place it on the tray. Add half of rosemary and thyme sprigs. Bake in the preheated oven for around 20-30 minutes (depending on how small you chopped them). It will be fork tender once it’s done.
  • Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package until al dente. On your stovetop, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Sautée your 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.
  • Once the pumpkin is roasted, transfer it to a blender together with peeled roasted garlic, the rest of rosemary, thyme and nutmeg and pulse until smooth. Slowly add in your vegetable broth, one ladle at a time, until you like the consistency of the pumpkin sauce. Your sauce should be thicker than regular pumpkin soup once it's done.
  • Combine the pasta with mushrooms, spinach and pumpkin puree. Serve sprinkled with chopped walnuts and drizzled with pumpkin oil (optional but recommended). Enjoy!

Notes

Cook's Tips

  • This vegan pumpkin pasta is a quick healthy dinner perfect for fall.
  • Use any pumpkin variety available to you: regular pumpkin, Hokkaido, sugar pie, Cinderella, Rouge Vif d’Etampes, or butternut squash) or canned pumpkin puree.
  • Store the pasta in the fridge for up to 3 days separate from the sauce.
  • Freeze the pumpkin sauce for up to 3 months.

Recipe Variations

  • Use any frying oil of your choice instead of olive oil (canola, avocado, sunflower, etc).
  • If you are using pumpkin puree and you are short in time, don't roast your garlic but add a few minced cloves to the mushrooms. Alternatively, use about 2 teaspoons of garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
  • You can use any whole wheat pasta like fettuccine or fusilli, farfalle, rigattoni, penne, ziti, etc. You can use regular hard-wheat pasta as well.
  • Use any mushrooms in place of crimini mushrooms.
  • You can use frozen spinach as well, about 1/2 cup.
  • Use dried rosemary and thyme for the pumpkin sauce, about 1 teaspoon each.

Equipment

cast iron skillet
skillet
cutting board
baking sheet
chef's knife
food processor
spatula

Nutrition

Calories: 680kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 1274mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 17935IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 8mg
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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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