A delicious and nutritious weeknight meal, this One Pot Pumpkin Tomato Pasta is smothered in a creamy tomato sauce made with pumpkin puree.
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, but hey, that’s easy enough to get, right? And if you bought too much of that during pumpkin spice season, then you’re in luck.
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.
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!
The other amazing aspect of this recipe is that it can be made in ONE POT. In other words, you boil the pasta in a pot, drain it, make the sauce in that same pot, and dump back in the pasta. The whole thing will likely take you less than 30 minutes. So it sounds like you should probably try this…like yesterday…right?
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 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!
One Pot Tomato Pumpkin Pasta
- 1 pound whole grain penne pasta - can sub brown rice pasta to make this gluten free
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion - chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - minced or crushed
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp 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!
Always looking for quick weeknight meals? Make sure you pin this recipe so you have it for later!