Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta

$3.34 recipe / $0.84 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.87 from 29 votes
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Today is the most fall day of all fall days. The fall colors are at their peak here in Nashville, the air smells like wet leaves, it’s a little overcast and spooky looking, and it’s HALLOWEEN! So of course I had to go all in and make this Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta. This pasta is a little smoky, a little spicy, a little creamy, and lots of delicious. This easy tomato-free pasta sauce is a great way to shake up your pasta routine!

Smoky, spicy, and creamy Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta in the pan.

Make it a Meal

This recipe makes four small-ish servings, so I’d probably serve this with a big green side salad to make it a meal. If you need a little meat to make your meal feel complete, I think some browned Italian sausage or chorizo would be awesome in this pasta. You can brown the sausage in the skillet with the onion and garlic, then continue with the recipe as usual.

Pasta Optional

As I was making this sauce, I noted how good it was on its own and how I’d totally be open to eating it as a soup instead of a sauce on pasta. So yeah, you can totally skip the pasta if you want! (This would probably make about 2 servings of soup.)

A bowl full of smoky, spicy, and creamy Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta.

You don’t have to wait until fall to make this super delish pasta dish! Stock up on canned pumpkin just after the season when prices are low, and make this Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta year-round. 

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Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta

4.87 from 29 votes
This easy tomato-free Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta is smoky, spicy, creamy, and the perfect way to celebrate fall flavors.
Skillet full of smoky, spicy, and creamy Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta.
Servings 4
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder ($0.05)
  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée ($1.00)
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth* ($0.20)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 8 oz. pasta ($0.75)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream ($0.21)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.44)


  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté both in a skillet with the olive oil over medium heat, until the onion is soft and transparent (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add the chipotle powder to the onion and sauté for about one minute more. Finally, add the pumpkin purée, chicken broth, salt, and pepper to the skillet and stir until the ingredients are combined and smooth. 
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes. During that time, cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain in a colander.
  • Once the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, turn the heat down to low and stir in the heavy cream. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet, stir to combine with the sauce, and let it heat in the sauce over low for 2-3 minutes.
  • Finally, stir in the grated Parmesan, top with a little cracked pepper, and serve.

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I use Better Than Bouillon to make my broth, which is less expensive than boxed or canned broths, and allows me to make exactly the amount needed for a recipe. The broth contributes a lot to the flavor of the sauce, so make sure you’re using a good full-flavored (not watery) broth.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 373.93kcalCarbohydrates: 57.13gProtein: 11.73gFat: 11.7gSodium: 808.7mgFiber: 5.6g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Love savory pumpkin recipes? You should also try our Spicy Coconut and Pumpkin SoupCurried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup, or Easy Pumpkin Soup.

How to Make Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Saute Onion and Garlic in the skillet

Dice on yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Sauté both in a skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil, over medium heat, until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add Chipotle Powder to Onion and Garlic in the skillet

Add 1/2 tsp chipotle powder and sauté for just a minute more…

Add Pumpkin Purée to onions in the skillet

Add one 15oz. can of pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling, which is sweetened and spiced). 

Add Broth Salt and Pepper to the skillet

Add 1.5 cups chicken broth, 1/2 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir until everything is combined and the sauce is smooth. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, cook 1/2 lb. pasta according to the package directions, then drain it in a colander.

Heavy Cream being stirred into the Simmered Sauce with a wooden spoon

Once the sauce has simmered down, turn the heat down to low, add 1/4 cup heavy cream, and stir to combine.

Add Cooked Pasta to Chipotle Pumpkin Sauce

Add the cooked and drained pasta back to the sauce and stir to combine. Let the pasta heat in the sauce for 2-3 minutes.

Add Parmesan to Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta

Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan…

Finished Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta in the skillet with a wooden spoon

Stir the Parmesan into the Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta, top with a little more cracked pepper, and serve!

Bowl of finished Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta viewed from the front, with a black fork and small pumpkin in the background
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  1. I used BTB’s Smoked Chipotle broth, a little less pumpkin, and added chopped walnuts to the onion mix. Family loved it.

  2. I loved this recipe! I added hot sausage and spinach. Do you think this would be good with chipotle peppers in adobo in place of the chipotle powder? I have some leftover from another recipe. Thanks!

    1. Yes, probably! I would mince them and make sure to get some of the sauce from the can in there. :)

  3. This is a family favorite for sure! I use one pound mild ground Italian sausage. Seriously, we love it!

  4. This has been a go-to recipe for my family for years now. I sub ancho chili powder for the chipotle since our kiddo doesn’t like spicy food yet. Sometimes I switch it up by adding ground Italian sausage or greens but it’s also perfect as is.

  5. This was great, it’s a very easy simple base sauce recipe. I added a lil extra Chipotle pepper and some Gardein Meatballs. I can see how adding some veggies would work super well.

  6. I used tofutti sour cream and better than bullion vegetable base to make it vegan. I also added a bag of frozen broccoli for the last 5 minutes of simmer time as well as some garlic powder and smoked paprika. It turned out great!

  7. Tasty and very easy to make. I didn’t have heavy cream so I used half a block of light cream cheese that I had left over from a different recipe and it worked well! Also added some pre-cooked chicken for extra protein. 

  8. Yum yum yum!  I used canned chipotles, it was spicy!  And Italian sausage.  1/2 and 1/2 instead of cream… and about 1/2 bag of spinach in there.  Super good!

  9. This is great! And so easy. Usually a pumpkin recipe means dessert, but this is a creative way to try out savory pumpkin. I used a larger rigatoni noodle and added some Italian sausage and it was amazing.

  10. I used more cream to make the sauce a little less thick, and of course used a huge onion + many many many more cloves of garlic (honestly… probably like 8.) I decided the sauce didn’t feel seasoned enough (for the best with a recipe so we can adjust!) so I added paprika, more chili powder, some rosemary, and of course more salt + pepper. Served with super juicy grilled chicken breast on top (using the same seasonings with an emphasis on the rosemary)

  11. I added vegan sausage and spinach. The vegan sausage was the make-or-break moment and it definitely made this dish. Whether you are vegan or not I highly recommend throwing either vegan sausage or regular sausage in there because without it it just felt like it was missing something. I gave this recipe 4 stars because I think the pumpkin sauce could have used a little bit more flavor, I think next time I make this I would add more chipotle powder and possible a little cayenne or red pepper because we do like it spicy in our house. Overall I enjoyed the recipe. 

  12. Holy crap, this is one of the best recipes I’ve made from this site. I added 1.5 links of hot sausage that I had left over (squeezed out of the tube) and used red lentil rotini. The pasta to sauce ratio was perfect.