Even with all the amazing pumpkin recipes inevitably popping up in your Instagram feed right now, chances are there’s one way to cook up the ubiquitous fall squash you haven’t thought of yet: pumpkin pasta. Certified health coach and recipe developer Neda Varbanova isn’t typically one to gush over creamy pasta dishes—but this recipe is an exception.
“It has a hearty vegan pumpkin sauce that tastes amazing, and you can actually eat this without feeling bloated,” she says. The trick? A couple of key healthy trade-offs. First, the pasta itself: Varbanova uses Banza chickpea pasta, a simple swap with big benefits. One serving has fourteen grams of protein (compared to seven grams in regular white pasta) and eight grams of fiber (compared to six grams in white pasta), all while packing in fewer carbs.
“The pasta has a hearty vegan pumpkin sauce that tastes amazing, and you can actually eat this without feeling bloated.”
For the sauce, Varbanova trades cream for a blend of canned pumpkin purée and coconut milk. The chickpea pasta’s slightly nutty taste pairs perfectly with the semi-sweet sauce, which has a flavorful punch of curry powder, cumin, and garlic. The overall effect is mac and cheese like you’ve never had before.
Keep reading for the Neda Verbanova’s pumpkin pasta recipe.
Pumpkin Chickpea Pasta
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup coconut milk
Sea salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. chickpea pasta
1. Heat olive oil in pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for two minutes, until translucent. Add the curry, cumin, and vegetable broth, and sauté for two to three minutes. Add the pumpkin purée, coconut milk and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a soft boil and reduce heat. Simmer for fifteen minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thickens.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta as per box directions. Drain pasta and toss to the pumpkin sauce. Mix well and garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.