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This Pumpkin Alfredo is creamy, rich and delicious, and without all the calories and fat of a regular Alfredo sauce. It’s an easy weeknight dish that just screams fall, with just 6 ingredients and about 15 minutes of cook time.
If you love savory pumpkin recipes and pumpkin season, you are going to LOVE this Pumpkin Alfredo! And if you just can’t get enough of pumpkin recipes, you should try our Pumpkin Mac and Cheese! Pumpkin and pasta are a match made in heaven!
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Why We Love Pumpkin Alfredo
I am a huge fan of Alfredo, but I usually enjoy it sparingly it since it’s definitely an indulgence. The classic sauce calls for 2 cups of heavy cream and a whole stick of butter (yikes!).
This Pumpkin Alfredo recipe uses only two-thirds of a cup of half and half (half milk, half cream) and 6 tablespoons of butter. The addition of the pumpkin gives the same velvety smooth texture of cream, without the fat and calories.
It’s velvety and smooth and rich and with less than a quarter of the cream and less butter than classic Alfredo sauce. So not only does it taste amazing, but you won’t even miss the cream or butter!
Since pumpkin has such a neutral taste it’s the perfect substitution, which is why I’m always on the hunt for new pumpkin recipes! Plus, you can customize the sauce by adding veggies or protein, like mushrooms, baby spinach or chicken.
How to Make Pumpkin Alfredo
The sauce is super simple to make. The sauce is made quickly while the pasta is cooking and then the pasta is tossed with the sauce. The whole thing is done in less than 15 minutes!
- Use the stockpot to cook the fettuccine pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about a cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
- While the fettuccine is cooking, melt butter and stir in some minced garlic (I use jarred for ease and simplicity) in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the garlic begins to smell delicious (it doesn’t take long), pour in the half & half, pumpkin, Parmesan cheese and a pinch of nutmeg. Whisk it all together with the butter and garlic until the cheese is melted.
- I added about half of a cup of the pasta cooking water to thin out the sauce a bit since the pumpkin is a little on the thicker side. Simmer for a few minutes. You can add as much or as little of the pasta water as you like until the sauce is to your desire consistency.
- Finally, toss the pasta with the sauce until well coated.
- This dish makes about 4 servings and it’s perfect for company or just when you need an easy weeknight meal this fall. I like to add fresh minced parsley on top for color and freshness.
Because of its mild, slightly nutty flavor, this dish will pair well with lots of dinnertime favorites, from baked chicken to baked pork chops. It would be delicious tossed with some Parmesan Baked Shrimp, too!
What to Do With Leftovers
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
Reheating: For just the sauce, reheat in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. If you’ve stored the leftovers mixed with pasta, you can reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave for about 60 seconds. If it’s too thick, add a little bit of milk or water to thin it out.
- You definitely want to use fresh Parmesan, grated off the block for this alfredo recipe. The canned grated cheese will not melt properly and will make your sauce lumpy.
- Instead of using butter, feel free to use olive oil for sauteing the garlic.
- Make it vegan – use a non-dairy milk alternative, like cashew milk or oat milk and a non-dairy Parmesan cheese.
- Any kind of pasta will work, from long noodles like spaghetti or linguine, to smaller cuts like rotini or penne.
- Try adding some sage, rosemary or thyme with the garlic. Saute, then remove just before adding the pumpkin and cream.
More Pumpkin Recipes to Try
- Pumpkin, Corn and Potato Chowder
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
- Pumpkin Pie Baked French Toast
- Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe
- Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Fritters
- 1 pound fettuccine cooked to al dente, reserve 1 cup of pasta water
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup pumpkin puree not pie filling
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2/3 cup half & half
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese off the block
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- Bring a stockpot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water, then add fettuccine. Cook until al dente (check package instructions). Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in garlic and cook for about a minute, careful not to burn. Stir in half & half, Parmesan, pumpkin and nutmeg. Stir until sauce is heated through and cheese is melted. Stir in pasta water, about ¼ cup at a time, until sauce is desired consistency (I used about ½ a cup, and it was thick and creamy. For a thinner sauce, use more pasta water).
- Add pasta and cook over medium-high heat until sauce is smooth and pasta is well coated; about 1-2 minutes.
- Divide into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and fresh grated Parmesan, if desired.