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pumpkin pasta with gold fork on white scalloped plate

Brown Butter Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 45m
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


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!


  • 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


  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! 


  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: pumpkin, pumpkin pasta, brown butter, Alfredo pasta, fall recipes, bacon, Alfredo sauce