Is there anything more comforting than pasta? When it's coated with a cheesy pumpkin sauce, I highly doubt it!
This pasta bake recipe is creamy, loaded with tender chunks of pumpkin, chewy kale, and comes with a garlicky pumpkin sauce!
🥣 How to Make a Pumpkin Pasta Bake
First, pasta is cooked until al dente, pumpkin is diced into cubes, and kale roughly chopped.
For the pasta, we went with fusilli. Its shape is ideal to hold the sauce! If you don't have fusilli on hand, Conchiglie or Farfalle will make great substitute.
Next, comes the sauce. Pumpkin purée is combined with unsweetened almond milk for creaminess, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and garlic, onion, and ground black pepper for extra flavor. Personally I also like to add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg!
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan, add a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch, and heat over medium heat to thicken.
Once the sauce has slightly thickened, pour it over the cooked pasta, diced pumpkin, and chopped kale. Stir to coat and transfer to a baking dish.
Tip: cut the pumpkin into small cubes (of about ½-inch) if you want it to cook thoroughly. Larger cubes would take too long to cook and would still be raw on the inside after 45 minutes in the oven.
Finally, bake covered with foil to prevent it from drying too much.
We found 45 minutes to be the perfect baking time for tender, yet not completely melty pumpkin cubes. Depending on how big your chunks of pumpkin are, you might have to adjust the cooking time.
This easy pumpkin pasta bake is warming, super easy to prepare, and family-friendly! The earthy kale balances perfectly with the cheesy pumpkin sauce!
More Plant-Based Pumpkin Recipes
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Caramelized Mushrooms
- Easy Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Croutons
- Smoky Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Wedges
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Cheesy Pumpkin & Kale Pasta Bake
- 2 cups dry pasta I used Fusilli
- 1 cup diced pumpkin (diced into ½-inch cubes)
- 2 cups loosely packed kale roughly chopped
- ¾ cup pumpkin purée
- 1 and ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk or other plant-based milk
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- optional, for topping: shredded vegan cheese
For Serving (optional)
- fresh basil
- Cook the pasta according to the package instruction. Drain, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and slightly grease a 10x6-inch baking dish with vegan butter or oil.
- Prepare the sauce: add the pumpkin purée, almond milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, garlic, onion powder, salt, and ground black pepper to a saucepan. Whisk to dissolve the cornstarch.
- Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil and starts to slightly thicken. Remove from heat and taste the sauce to adjust the saltiness to your liking (I ended up adding an extra ¼ teaspoon of salt).
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta. Add the kale, diced pumpkin, and stir to combine with the sauce. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. If using, sprinkle with vegan cheese.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pumpkin cubes are tender. Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes before serving. Top with chopped basil and serve hot!
- This pumpkin pasta bake will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat covered with foil for 10-15 minutes in a 350°F(175°C) preheated oven.
This looks so good. Can squash be substituted for pumpkin?
The flavor might not be as strong, but squash should work as well!
Thanks for the recipe! This looks finger-licking good. I tried to make it yesterday. And to my surprise, even the pickiest family member couldn’t resist it.
Thanks for your feedback Isabella!