This extra creamy Brown Butter Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta is one for the books, friends. An alfredo sauce that’s abundant with flavor from nutty brown butter, garlic, fresh sage, pure pumpkin, warm spices, and parmesan cheese. It’s expertly paired with a crumbled bacon topping to make this one indulgent, must-make pasta dish!

close up of brown butter pumpkin Alfredo pasta on white scalloped plate with gold fork on the side

The autumnal vibes have slowly been loading, y’all. As I’m writing this very blog post, I’m currently eating some pumpkin cinnamon rolls (from Trader Joe’s!) and sippin’ on a chai latte. I know, the scene is very much giving that quintessential Fall basic bish. Ha! Anyway, I developed this pumpkin-inspired pasta recipe a while back and realized that I never shared it on the site, let’s correct that.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta 😍

Short cut pasta tossed in a luxurious, creamy pumpkin sauce that’s flavored with rich pumpkin, nutty brown butter, garlic, fresh sage, warm spices, and lots of freshly grated parmesan. Made even better (and unapologetically rich!) with crumbled bacon over top…gahhh! This entire pasta recipe comes together quickly, and it beams with big, bold flavors plus ample seasonal flair!

⇢ More recipes: sausage kale pasta, fan-favorite 1-pot creamy beef pasta, succulent braised short ribs, saucy chicken piccata meatballs, super creamy spinach artichoke chicken, and this extra hearty red beans and rice.

black hands with gold fork taking forkful of pumpkin pasta on white scalloped plate

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Bacon: Yasss, bacon forever and ever, amen. Listen, bacon adds a little smokiness and imparts a nice bite and added texture that you’ll love.
  • Pasta: This pumpkin alfredo pasta works beautifully with any short cut pasta. I often use rigatoni-shaped pasta here. However, feel free to use any short cut pasta you’d like: penne, rotini, fusilli, ziti, paccheri, etc.
  • Butter: That rich pumpkin sauce begins with brown butter, chef’s kiss.
  • Garlic: No explanation needed…garlic and pasta just go together.
  • Fresh sage: I adore sage, adds a fragrant pop that you’ll swoon over.
  • Canned pumpkin: The star ingredient in this pumpkin alfredo sauce! You’ll need canned pumpkin purée, not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling/mix.
  • Spices: We’re using ground nutmeg, cardamom, and salt/pepper. The warming notes of nutmeg and cardamom add a lovely depth of flavor.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Heavy cream ups the creaminess factor and adds a level of richness here that is honestly unmatched.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated parmesan is non-negotiable.
ingredients for pumpkin pasta laid out on beige surface

How To Make This Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to your package directions, al dente.
  2. Brown the butter. Meanwhile, on a separate burner: In a large, heavy bottomed pot/dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter melts, it will get foamy, and you will hear it bubbling as it cooks. Then the butter will turn deep brown and have a nutty aroma with brown bits on the bottom, about 5-7 minutes.

*BBR Note: The process is fast, and it can quickly go from a perfect brown butter to burned butter situation, so be careful. After cooking, it develops into a lovely amber-ish, golden color with a delightful nutty aroma- it’s amazing! That brown butter flavor is all up and through this pumpkin alfredo pasta recipe.

Pro tip: Use a pot that is light on the inside whenever making brown butter. This helps you to see the cooking process for brown butter perfection! 👌🏾🧈

pumpkin alfredo pasta with sage leaves in large orange pumpkin pot

How To Make This Pumpkin Pasta Recipe: II

  1. Add the flavors. Add in the garlic and chopped sage, stirring with the butter until nice and fragrant. Stir in the pumpkin purée and season the mixture with salt/pepper- to taste, nutmeg, and cardamom, stirring to combine. Then stir in the heavy cream and let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Assemble the pasta. Back to the pasta pot, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta completely. Add the cooked pasta into the the same pot as the pumpkin mixture along with the parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir the pasta together, bringing everything together until well combined- using more pasta water as needed.
  3. Serve this brown butter pumpkin alfredo pasta immediately, top with chopped bacon, and a sprinkling of parmesan, if desired. Enjoy! 😛
brown butter pumpkin Alfredo pasta on white scalloped plates with beige linen

Notes & FAQs About This Recipe

You may have additional questions about this brown butter pumpkin alfredo pasta. Like other BBR recipes, I always advise sticking to the recipe as it is written in the recipe card directly below. However, here’s some extra info:

  • Heavy cream alternative? The use of heavy cream is highly unmatched to anything else- just keeping it real. Coconut cream might work here. Please know that this recipe has only been tested using heavy cream, experiment at your own risk. Let us know if you do try something else! ♡
  • Bacon substitute? Diced and cooked pancetta will be a delish garnish, too!
  • A note on sage. The fresh sage in this pumpkin alfredo pasta is so dreamy. If you’re not a fan of sage, swap for fresh rosemary or tarragon maybe.
  • How can I make this vegan? This pumpkin pasta recipe can easily be made vegan by using coconut cream, dairy-free butter, vegan parmesan (I love Violife!), and either omitting the bacon or using a vegan bacon substitute.

Leftover Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

This dish is best served same-day but can still be stored to enjoy days later. Transfer any leftover pumpkin pasta into an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. ⇢ To reheat: place leftover pasta into a microwave safe container with a little water and reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds (or until pasta is warmed through). Pasta leftovers are the best!

pumpkin pasta with gold fork on white scalloped plate

Save this Brown Butter Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta and make it asap! It’s such a luxurious pasta filled with seasonal flair. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

Don’t miss these other cozy recipes:

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pumpkin pasta with gold fork on white scalloped plate

Brown Butter Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

This extra creamy Brown Butter Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta is one for the books, friends. An alfredo sauce that’s abundant with flavor from nutty brown butter, garlic, fresh sage, pure pumpkin, warm spices, and parmesan cheese. It’s expertly paired with a crumbled bacon topping to make this one indulgent, must-make pasta dish!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 46 strips of bacon, cooked & then chopped into pieces
  • 1 lb dried rigatoni (or any short cut pasta of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced, or pressed
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped sage leaves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix!)
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to your package directions, al dente.
  2. Brown the butter. Meanwhile, on a separate burner: In a large, heavy bottomed pot/dutch oven that is lightly colored on the inside (so you can see the butter transformation), melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter melts, it will get foamy, and you will hear it bubbling as it cooks. Then it will take on a clear, light golden color. Note: Do not leave the pot unattended during the browning process as it can burn very quickly. Then the butter will turn deep brown and have a nutty aroma with brown bits on the bottom, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the flavor agents. Add in the garlic and chopped sage, stirring with the butter until nice and fragrant. Use a wooden utensil to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin purée and season the mixture with salt/pepper- to taste, nutmeg, and cardamom, stirring to combine. Then stir in the heavy cream and let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Assemble the pasta. Back to the pasta pot, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta completely- do not rinse. Add the cooked pasta into the the same pot as the pumpkin mixture along with the parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir the pasta together, bringing everything together until well combined. If you’d like to thin out the pasta sauce even more, add in the remaining pasta water until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Serve this brown butter pumpkin alfredo pasta immediately, top with chopped bacon, and a sprinkling of parmesan, if desired. Enjoy! 

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
closeup of brown butter pumpkin Alfredo pasta on white scalloped plate