This 21 Day Fix Pumpkin Pasta with Spicy Sausage is the perfect Fall family dinner! And if you haven’t had a savory pumpkin dish, this creamy and delicious pasta is a great one to try! Now with Weight Watchers points too! This post contains affiliate links for products I am obsessed with.
Confession #102- Halloween is over and I feel like everyone has moved onto Christmas.
And I’m over here like what happened to October? Or hell, September?
I love the Holiday season, but I just need time to slow down a little bit.
I hope you are like me, and still enjoying the beauty of Fall. And I really hope you aren’t over pumpkin yet.
If you are, can you make just one exception?
Because this creamy and savory pasta dish just can’t wait until next year.
I’m seriously so in love.
We used our favorite gluten free pasta and kept it dairy free until the end, with the Parmesan topping. You could easily leave it out, though, if you are sensitive like my son and use nutritional yeast instead. The full fat coconut milk gives it such a smooth and velvety texture without the dairy.
How to Count Pumpkin on the 21 Day Fix
There is some debate in the 21 Day Fix community about how to count Pumpkin Puree, purple or green. And Autumn counts the canned as purple, but fresh cubes as green.
I will tell you that I count it as a green.
I don’t claim to be right or to know more than anyone else. Especially Autumn.
It’s just what makes sense to me. And I trust the results I’ve had for these kinds of things.
The good news is, I added spinach and onions to this dish, as well, so it’s a FULL green. And I gave up two yellows for this, but it was totally worth it. A serving size is nearly two cups and it’s oh so filling.
What kind of Spicy Poultry Sausage do you buy?
I always look for a low sodium, lean poultry sausage for recipes like this and you also want it to be raw, not precooked. If you have a Wegmans nearby, I love their chicken sausage! If you can’t find something that fits the bill, you can make my homemade poultry sausage and it will still taste delicious!
The Spicy Chicken or Turkey Sausage is the perfect protein paring with the sauce, but I also made the sauce without it (and I left out the spinach, too) and stored it in my fridge.
You could even leave it meatless on a Monday if that’s your thing. Either way, I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
And I’ve recently updated this with Instant Pot directions, and it’s even easier as the pasta cooks with the sauce! LOVE my Instant Pot!
Pumpkin Pasta with Spicy Sausage
- 2 teaspoons vegan or clarified butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb spicy Italian turkey or chicken sausage or use this recipe to make your own
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk I love So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach
- 1/3 cup good quality parmesan or pecorino romano
- 3 cups cooked gluten free or whole grain pasta 2 cups raw for IP
- Remove turkey sausage from casing and brown in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Melt butter with oil over medium-low heat, then add onions. Cook until onions are translucent and soft. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add pumpkin, chicken broth and salt to the onion mixture and stir until well combined. Add in coconut milk and reduce heat to low. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Stir in the spinach and sausage and cook over low heat until spinach wilts. Finally, add in pasta and top with cheese
- Set IP to saute and when it turns to hot, melt butter with oil then add onions, cooking until onions are translucent and soft. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Remove sausage from casing and add to the IP, browning until cooked through.
- Add pumpkin, chicken broth and salt to the meat and veggie mixture and stir until well combined.
- Add 2 cups of uncooked pasta. Lock lid and set to manual and cook for 2 minutes. Quick release when finished.
- After the steam releases and it's safe to open the lid, stir in coconut milk and spinach, stirring until spinach wilts. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Top with cheese and enjoy!
can I use regular can pumpkin…not puree?
Yes! As long as the can is 100% pumpkin you are good to go!
I have to confess that I am not following the 21 day fix program right now, so I used whole milk and pork Italian sausage. But I LOVE Nancylynn’s recipes and this one did not disappoint. I was expecting it to be saucier, but it was such a perfect ratio of all the other ingredients, I wouldn’t change it. Oh, and I also added sage. I will be making this again and sharing it with whoever I can!
That’s ok! Thanks for the info for other readers who are not following the FIX right now. Glad you enjoyed it, and alllllways grateful when you share recipes with friends!
My daughter served this to me and it was wonderful! She made in her instant pot. I am going to make for my Book Club (15 Ladies) and would like to make in advance. Would I be able to make this the day before and then put in a casserole dish and bake?
Yes, I think that would be perfect! Just heat it (covered) until warmed on the day of. What a yummy idea!
We absolutely LOVED this recipe! I also added some pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and just a touch of ground cloves. It was divine. Next time we’re making a double batch for sure! Also made a triple batch of the sausage from scratch recipe. It was just perfect for this recipe and have extras in the freezer for more recipes!
I could not love this comment more!! So many yummy tips – Thank you!
My only complaint is that I didn’t double or triple the batch when I made it. Our family of 4 loved it (even my husband who hates cooked veggies :). I used Italian ground turkey and added some extra spice when I seasoned it. After I wilted the spinach, I served it and totally forgot the parmesan it was so tasty we didn’t miss it but looking forward to making it again and adding the cheese. Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes. Everything I have tried we love. Also made the pumpkin oat cookies since I had extra pumpkin leftover what a delish treat! Thank you thank you!!
This is the best comment! Thank you so much! Can’t wait for you to try it again with cheese. And you can always freeze your leftover pumpkin, too!
Carrie Dunning says
Uh oh. Mine turned out super soupy, as well. I used Trader Joe’s brand canned pumpkin and my coconut milk looked very thick and wonderful when i was measuring it out. Like another reader, I also ended up having to add 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour to think it up. Great taste, but I’m not thrilled that I had to add more grains (and therefore upped my yellow to another container.) Ant thoughts as to what may have gone wrong?
So I think I need to put a note in this about Trader Joe’s pumpkin which I recently learned is SUPER watery. That has to be it – so sorry, Carrie!
Ok, no prob!! I have a regular can of pumpkin from the normal grocery store, so I’ll try it again soon!! 🙂
Have you ever tried it with ground turkey or another meat? I don’t eat sausage but want a red !
YES! SO good!!
This is one of my favourite recipes! So creamy and flavourful. This is a recipe that can be made year round, because it’s just so delicious. The first time I ever tried making it I was a little sceptical about using pumpkin, but after the first bite I instantly fell in love! Thank you Nancylnn!!
Oh my word! I am not a fan of pumpkin but I AM a fan of pasta and I happened to have half a can of pumpkin I needed to use up, plus everything else this calls for. I did make 2 changes, I halved the pasta because I didn’t want to give up 2 yellow and I had just sautéed a batch of mushrooms that were on their way out, so I added them at the end with the Spinach. Even with the pasta cut in half this was still like 1.5 cups of food – and the flavor is SPOT ON! I cannot believe how much I love it! Thank you!!
Allison! Thank you so much for taking the time to rate and review this recipe – I am SO PUMPED that you enjoyed it! Thank you for trusting me and trying it out! Means so much!
I just made this and was blown away at how good it tasted! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!
Erica Schmit says
I made this Christmas week while I’m hosting my parents and my brother for the Holidays. My dad is typically not too open to things like pumpkin or coconut milk in his food and my brother is on the picky side as well. EVERYONE loved it! My dad loved it (I refused to tell him what was in it until after the first few bites) and even my brother loved it! He was unsure at first when I told him what I was making but after dinner told me his much he liked it and that he’d like to make it some day too when cooking for a lady friend! I did use Italian pork sausage and I added some sage and thyme and oregano.
I’m considering subbing Greek yogurt for coconut milk next time, has anyone tried it? I figure it would up the protein and lower the fat while proving the creaminess. I’ll report back when I try.
I was skeptical about the pumpkin/ sausage combo, but love it!!!! Boyfriend and I haven’t gotten sick of eating every day this week (:
Ahhh!! This makes me SOOOO happy!!! Thank you for the review and rating!!
Having this for the second time in as many weeks… in January! #pumpkinisntjustforfall
Yay! Fellow year round pumpkin lover here!
Would this be okay with Sweet Italian Sausage instead of Spicy? Also, how much nutritional yeast would you use? P.S. I’m loving your Instant Pot recipes!
Yes!!! I would start with 1-2 Tablespoons and see how you like the flavor!
Are you able to leave the parmesan/peccorino out if trying to be super dairy-free? I try to limit my direct sources (i.e., no milk, cheese, yogurts, etc.) but not extremely strict when it comes to what’s in ingredients. 1/3 of a cup over 4 servings wouldn’t be the end of me (or my acne struggles) but it would be nice to know if we can leave it out. 🙂
You can see how you like it without! Another idea would be to sub nutritional yeast!
I made this for lunches all week and had a little bit left in the pan to try- OMG! This was so delicious! How can you add so much pumpkin and not have it taste pumpkin-y? I only wish I could find the sage I thought was in my cabinet (I love sage with pumpkin). I cannot wait to eat this the rest of the week.
Right? I know – pumpkin is so versatile! And yes – sage would be delish with it for sure!
This was great but was very soupy. I had to add 1/2 a cup of flour to thicken it up.
What kind of coconut milk did you use? Sorry about that – it’s usually very thick when we make it!
Doris Giedt says
I had anticipated being able to taste the pumpkin but didn’t notice it. Any ideas?
It really isn’t pumpkin-y…it’s more savory and creamy!
Wow!! Currently eating this and am at a loss for words! This is so delicious!! I added some ricotta, sage and thyme as well to give it a little more cozy for the extra cold days! Thank you
LOVE those additions, Grace!!! Thanks for sharing!! <3
Pumpkin puree when measured as the puree is a purple due to more pumpkin being in the container. If it is measured as cubes, then there is space in there in between the cubes and that is why it’s a green. That was Autumn’s explanation for why salsa is a purple.
Yes – I have heard this. I am happy to still call this a green for me, but totally ok for everyone to make their own decision!
This looks delicious! I’m adding it to our meal plan for next week. Thank you for sharing your recipe. It’s never the wrong time for pumpkin, especially not in the Fall.
Thank you, Andrea!! I could make this all year long!! <3 <3 Hope you enjoy it!!
Jen Kroll says
Ive never commented on one of your recipes before (even doll I make them frequently) but this time I had to. I had to change things up a bit due to my family’s pickiness but this was still fantastic!! My six-year-old had seconds (a HUGE deal), said he loved it, gave it five stars and told me I had to make it again LOL. I was even able to sneak in Veggie pasta. I did use sliced chicken Italian sausage but it still worked. I, like many others, was surprised at not being able to taste the pumpkin but it definitely made it super creamy. Another one for the rotation! 🙂
This is the best!! Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe- and tell your 6 year old thank you, too!