Pumpkin Vodka Sauce

A fall-inspired take on vodka sauce, made creamy with canned pumpkin and non-dairy milk. It comes together in under 30 minutes, pair it with a side salad and some garlic bread and you have a perfect for dinner.

This sauce comes together relatively quickly and only requires a few ingredients: vodka, canned pumpkin, nondairy milk, garlic, onions, vegan butter, oil, and seasonings. If you can’t find vegan butter you can just use all oil. I also used vegan parmesan in this recipe but if you cannot find that feel free to use nutritional yeast. The sauce will start out a bit thin but thicken up as it cooks so just be patient with it.

I paired it with paccheri, a giant tube pasta, but feel free to use any pasta you like. You can also use gluten free pasta to fit any allergy needs. Make sure to use an unsweetened, unflavored nondairy milk that you like. If you don’t want to add the vodka you can also leave it out. However, don’t be intimidated to cook with alcohol, it is easy! Just keep the flame low and cook it until most of the liquid is absorbed.

This recipe is on the smaller side. I would personally say it serves 2, however depending on your appetite size and the pasta shape you use, you could get 4 smaller serving sizes. Make sure you buy canned pumpkin and nothing like pumpkin pie filling. This recipe has a slight note of sweetness and cinnamon to bring out the flavor of the pumpkin. If you are looking for another pumpkin pasta recipe check out my Cheesy Pumpkin Sage Stuffed Shells. Also, be sure to pre-order a copy of my cookbook Plantiful, for even more delicious recipes!

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6 to 8 ounces pasta of choice (168g-224g)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/6 Vidalia or sweet onion (about 1.5 ounces [40g]), finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1/3 cup (80ml) vodka
1 cup (260g) canned pumpkin puree
1 cup (240ml) nondairy milk
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Pinch of cinnamon, or to preference
1 teaspoon organic sugar
1/4 cup (28g) grated vegan parmesan


  1. Boil pasta until al dente in salted water.
  2. In a large saute pan melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and onion is translucent.
  3. Pour the vodka in and simmer over medium low heat for 3 to 5 minutes until most of the vodka is cooked off.
  4. Then add the pumpkin puree, nondairy milk, salt, cinnamon, sugar and vegan parmesan. Bring to a rolling bubble over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes for sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once pasta is done cooking reserve 1/3 cup pasta water.
  6. The sauce will thicken up, pour in the drained pasta and slowly add pasta water. Start with half and add more if necessary. The pasta water helps the sauce to stick to the pasta and slightly thin it out. Continue to cook for 2 minutes over medium low heat.
  7. When done garnish with fresh basil and top with extra vegan parmesan if desired.

Makes 2 large servings or 4 smaller servings

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