A delicious and nutritious weeknight meal, this vegetarian One Pot Pumpkin Tomato Pasta is smothered in a creamy tomato sauce made with pumpkin puree, and finished with white beans and spinach. It makes enough for the whole family and tastes great as leftovers for lunch the next day.
Pumpkin tomato sauce?! Oh yes, it’s a thing. And a damn good thing at that! I first discovered this sauce when I was living with my mom in between college and grad school. She picked some up at the store, served it over ravioli, and in an instant, I was hooked.
I never thought about trying to make my own version until I was brainstorming quick, one pot meals for all of you to enjoy in 2019. Pasta happens to be an incredibly versatile ingredient for one pot meals. But to make a complete meal with it, I wanted to add a little extra veggie oomph.
So I thought, let’s do veggies in the sauce. Ah, yes, I got it – a pumpkin tomato sauce!
I added in some spinach for extra veggies and white beans for protein. Voila, a balanced dinner!
There are so many things I love about this One Pot Pumpkin Tomato Pasta, but let’s start with sauce. It’s so easy to whip up, especially on a weeknight, and mostly includes kitchen staples.
The only thing you might not have in your pantry at the moment is a can of pumpkin puree (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling), but hey, that’s easy enough to get, right?
If you don’t want to use canned pumpkin for the sauce, you can use a cup or two of roasted pumpkin instead. After all, pumpkin is still in season throughout the winter, not just in October and November!
In my humble opinion, the flavor of pumpkin tomato sauce is INCREDIBLE. It has a perfect balance of the two headliner veggies, and tastes both sweet and salty.
The sauce also includes cinnamon, honey, and oregano. It took a little experimentation to get the right combo of spices, but those three are a winning team, let me tell you.
How to Make Pumpkin Tomato Pasta
The steps involved in this recipe are just as simple as the ingredients. You only need to:
- Cook pasta then drain it in a colander (reserve the same pot to make your sauce…hence the name, “one pot”)
- Chop an onion and sautee it with garlic and olive oil in the pot
- Add the spices: cinnamon, oregano, salt
- Then add the cans of tomato sauce and pumpkin puree, along with the honey
Stir the sauce, then add the pasta and mix until it’s well coated. Pour the spinach and white beans into the pot. The spinach will wilt from the heat from the sauce.
BTW – you can just make the sauce and nix the pasta if you’re interested. It would freeze really well, and then you could have it on hand for future pasta nights!
Scale this Recipe Up or Down
If you are making this for one or two people, make just the amount of pasta you want to have. The recipe calls for a pound of pasta, which makes enough for four or more people, so you may want to adjust as needed.
You can keep the ingredients for the sauce the same, and just freeze or refrigerate some of it. Thaw and reheat the sauce before you dump the cooked pasta back in to mix everything together.
If you are someone who likes a higher sauce to pasta ratio, you may want to make less pasta as well!
If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and let me know how you like it in the comments!
One Pot Tomato Pumpkin Pasta
- 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta - can sub brown rice pasta to make this gluten free
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion - chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - minced or crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt - use more if you get a low sodium or no salt added tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree - not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 15.5 oz can white beans - drained and rinsed
- 2 cups spinach - loosely packed
- Bring approximately 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Carefully remove pot from heat and drain pasta through a colander. Leave the pasta there until you return it to the pot later.
- Return pot to stove and decrease heat to medium-high. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, and cinnamon. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are tender.
- Add the honey, pumpkin puree, and tomato sauce to the pot. Stir and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta, white beans, and spinach to the pot. Use a large spoon to coat everything with the sauce, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve with a dusting of parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy!
- This recipe makes 4-6 servings and tastes great reheated for lunch the next day. However, if you do not want to make that many servings, make only the amount of pasta you would like, and take some of the sauce out of the pot to freeze or store in the fridge before you mix everything together. Also, if you like a higher sauce to pasta ratio, you may want to make less pasta.
- Leftovers can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for 3-5 days.