Creamy cauliflower pumpkin fettuccine alfredo recipe! A healthier, savory pumpkin alfredo pasta that tastes rich and delicious.
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Hi, Rhubarbarians! It's here.. pumpkin season! We are going savory with pumpkin today and whipping up a healthy-ish pumpkin fettuccine alfredo. Oh yes.
We are OBVS fans of pasta over here. We are currently still loving the caprese pesto pasta salad, and are looking forward to cooler, cozy nights with caramelized onion sauce cheese tortellini. Mmmm....
But for now, we are right in that sweet spot where pumpkin everything is the most exciting thing ever.
Thinking about Halloween? You'll love this quick and easy spooky spaghetti recipe!
A healthier fall version of fettuccine alfredo
Yep. You read that right! We took fettuccine alfredo and gave it a healthy, fall pumpkin make over. WOOT!
Before you get into this deliciousness, just know that this is NOT pumpkin spice pasta. There isn't any cinnamon or nutmeg or any of that awesome fall spice happening. But there IS herby, squashy, cheesy, healthy goodness happening. Add toasted pecans and you've got mega mega fall goodness.
We use a creamy, cauliflower alfredo sauce as the base and add pumpkin and savory herbs. The cauliflower gets super creamy when it's pureed, so we can swap out the heavy cream for milk and use a lot less cheese. The pumpkin just makes it oh so creamy and luscious.
You'd never guess that this sauce is made creamy with pureed cauliflower! It has that same rich and indulgent taste of alfredo sauce, but with a savory pumpkin twist.
First, we cook the cauliflower with onion and garlic. Then we simmer it in veggie stock with fresh sage and thyme for an earthy, fall flavor.
We puree that until it's nice and creamy. Then we mix it with pumpkin and cheese. So good! (See full ingredients and instructions in the recipe card below).
Have you tried our cheesy pumpkin quesadillas with smoky sour cream?
We love classic, fresh fettuccine noodles for this pumpkin alfredo pasta! They are perfect for the rich and creamy sauce. The flat noodles really hold up well to the thick cream sauce.
Other great pasta options include:
We like to top this pumpkin pasta with bright and herby fresh parsley, chopped toasted pecans, and extra parmesan cheese.
Other great topping options include:
- toasted walnuts or pepitas
- a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
- red pepper flakes
- mozzarella cheese
- fresh rosemary leaves
Make ahead, storing, and freezing tips
Make ahead: The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store it covered in the refrigerator and reheat before adding fresh noodles.
Storing: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It might help to toss the pasta with a bit of olive oil before reserving.
Freezing: The sauce by itself can be frozen for up to 4 months if kept in an air-tight freezer safe container! We don't recommend freezing after tossing with pasta. Freezing creamy sauces can sometimes cause your sauce to break, but I haven't found that to be true with this pumpkin sauce.
- How do I veganize this? Switch out the butter for vegan butter or olive oil. Switch out the milk for a neutral dairy free milk like coconut milk. Use nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor rather than parmesan.
- Can I use a different kind of pasta? YEP! See the section above for pasta options.
- Can I use pumpkin pie filling? NOPE! Pumpkin pie filling is loaded with sugar and spices. It won't work for this recipe. Look for 100% pumpkin puree.
- Can I use butternut squash? SURE! The flavors will be a bit different, but similar enough to still be tasty.
- No pumpkin pie spice? NOPE! This is a savory pumpkin recipe that doesn't include pumpkin spice.
Have you tried our super chunky pumpkin granola?
Cauliflower pumpkin fettuccine alfredo
- 18 ounces fresh fettuccine noodles
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (about ½ of a medium)
- 2-3 cups cauliflower florets (about ½ of a medium head)
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic (about 1-2 cloves)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 2 whole fresh sage leaves
- 2 whole fresh thyme stalks
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving *vegetarian parmesan for vegetarian
- salt and pepper
- fresh parsley and chopped toasted pecans for topping
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Strain and set aside, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onion. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and saute until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and deglaze the skillet. Stir in the sage and the thyme leaves. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the sage leaves and thyme stalks.
- Puree using a blender or immersion blender. If blended in a blender, return the sauce to the pan to reheat. Stir in the pumpkin, milk, water, and cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You will need a LOT of salt and pepper. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water as needed to make it as creamy as you'd like.
- To serve, top with fresh parsley, chopped toasted pecans and more parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
If you make this recipe, please let us know on social media or in the comments below! Leave a star rating in your comment or tag us on Instagram with #Rhubarbarians
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