Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta

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!

Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta

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.)

Skillet full of smoky, spicy, and creamy Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta.
5 from 7 votes
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Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta

This easy tomato-free Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta is smoky, spicy, creamy, and the perfect way to celebrate fall flavors.

Keyword Dinner, easy
Total Cost $3.34 recipe / $0.84 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Beth M

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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).

  2. 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. 

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Finally, stir in the grated Parmesan, top with a little cracked pepper, and serve.

Recipe Notes

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.

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

Step by Step Photos

Saute Onion and Garlic for Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta

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

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

Add Pumpkin Purée

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

Add Broth Salt and Pepper

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.

Add Heavy Cream to Simmered Sauce

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

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

Bowl of finished Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta