This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

This pumpkin pasta bake is a lighter vegetarian comfort dish perfect for the fall season! Pumpkin and kale are mixed with pasta and cheese then baked to golden perfection.

Baked pumpkin pasta in a casserole dish with fresh basil.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

It is pumpkin season and while you might be thinking about all the sweet recipes, like pumpkin bread, pumpkin banana muffins, and healthy pumpkin cookies, this savory fall comfort dish may be just the thing you need to cozy up with.

I’ve made this baked pumpkin pasta many.many times now, and it’s become my go-to meal for when I’m short on time but still want to get a balanced meal on the table for my family.

It’s also a great dish for feeding an army of people or to make for new moms or friends in need.

Loaded with pumpkin, kale, cheese, mushroom, and basil, this cheesy pumpkin pasta bake makes for a well-rounded, satisfying meal that is sure to nourish your whole family.

Now if you don’t want to turn on the oven, here’s an easy creamy pumpkin pasta to the rescue :).

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white bacckground.
  • Pumpkin puree – you can make your own pumpkin puree or use store-bought canned pumpkin. Make sure it’s not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Pasta – I’ve tried this with various pasta shapes, and rigatoni is my personal favorite. Once baked, the hollow centers fill up with sauce creating little pockets of tasty goodness! Other great options are shells, fusili, and ziti.
  • Kale – It’s a struggle to get my kids to eat this nutrient powerhouse, so I add it to foods they do enjoy like creamy pasta and spaghetti squash lasagna. Feel free to use any green leafy vegetable, like baby spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, etc.
  • Tomato sauce – This is a great place to use your favorite jarred sauce, like marinara sauce. If you’re sharing this meal with your baby and watching their sodium intake, you can use no-salt-added tomato sauce or this homemade veggie pasta sauce!

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage of step by step cooking process.
A two image collage showing assembled pasta bake covered and uncovered.
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of water until almost al dente – 1-2 minutes less than package instructions. Prepare the vegetables. While pasta is cooking, Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onion and garlic.
  2. Add cremini mushrooms and kale and cook.
  3. In a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish, add the cooked pasta.
  4. Add the kale mixture, pumpkin, egg, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and basil. Stir everything together until well-combined.
  5. Top with mozzarella.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil or baking mat and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Storage Suggestions

A close up shot of the baked pumpkin pasta.

This recipe makes a lot and the good news is it reheats beautifully!

Transfer leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

To freeze, be sure to cool completely and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. It will be good for up to 3 months.

To reheat – transfer to a with a splash of water

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good substitute for dairy?

You can use any dairy-free shredded cheese and vegan ricotta cheese or silken tofu, a great substitute for ricotta cheese.

Can I make this egg-free?

I always like to add 1-2 eggs into the ricotta mixture as it helps bind and hold everything together. But for this dish, you can leave it out if needed.

More Pasta Dishes

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

4.85 from 26 votes

Pumpkin Pasta Bake

This pumpkin pasta bake is a lighter vegetarian comfort dish perfect for the fall season! Pumpkin and kale are mixed with pasta and cheese then baked to golden perfection.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 16 oz. package of rigatoni
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, about 3 cups, roughly chopped (See note)
  • 2 cups favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 15 oz. container of whole fat ricotta
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or less. See note)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until almost al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In the meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add mushroom and kale and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly cooked down.
  • In a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish, add the cooked pasta. Add the kale mixture, pumpkin, egg, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and basil. Stir everything together until well-combined. Top with mozzarella.
  • Cover with aluminum foil or baking mat and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Notes

  • Can use any leafy vegetables. Frozen spinach is a great convenient option too!
  • If serving to baby, feel free to add less cheese. You can always add more to your plate at the end. But you don’t absolutely have to do this. It’s important to pay attention to their sodium intake but remember, your baby is going to eat just a small portion. 
  • Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 17g
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

4.85 from 26 votes (26 ratings without comment)

42 Comments

  1. Made 2 pans of this tonight one for us and one for a sick friend…everyone LOVED it! Must admit, I subbed in bacon for mushrooms. (: Divine! Thanks for the great idea!

    1. Yay!! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it so much!! Totally made my day ;). Thank you for taking the time to let me know, Serena. Ooh totally loving the substitution 😉

  2. oh my gawd, Min. . this pasta bake looks soooo good!! I love seeing savory pumpkin recipes and especially vegetarian ones! love this one and pinned!!

  3. Wow, this dish looks absolutely amazing Min!! I have never tried a savory pumpkin dish before, I think this is the one to try first. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Lisa! It’s definitely a nice change of pace, isn’t it? Can’t wait for you to try!

  4. These looks like a total winner in my house! The kids will devour anything with sauce (including all the healthy veggies)! Thanks so much for sharing at SNF. Pinned. 🙂

  5. Another great recipe from my friend, Min. All of my favorite fall veggies in one comforting dish! Pinning now 🙂

  6. I’ve got to make this! My husband and I have been trying to eat more kale recently, but he doesn’t usually like cooked vegetables (weird, right?). I bet he’d eat this, though! Visiting from Project Pin It. =)

  7. How yummmy this looks!!!!! and you know what your problem is? You’re Korean! There. We Koreans are the most boring group of people when it comes to celebrating official holidays. 😛 Other than that, you’re one of the best humans on this earth, unnie!

  8. My friend! First of all, I love love love this recipe. All those veggies are making this an absolute must-try for me. Second of all, I’m pretty sure we were telepathically communicating this weekend because I made a skinny baked pumpkin mac & cheese (only it didn’t have all these incredible veggies in it!). You always read my mind with what I want to eat next and now I’m pinning this to make a big batch to eat all by myself while Lucas is in China (again).

    1. Thank you so much, my sweet dear friend. Yes,I truly believe in the power of telepathy ;). If we lived close, we’d never have to worry about cravings left unsatisfied haha. Oh no..Lucas has been traveling a lot lately, huh? Tim just got back from a trip as well and it’s amazing how HUGE and empty the house can feel…Hope you guys will be reunited soon!!

  9. Oooh I’m just digging this version of baked ziti loaded with veggie goodness! And I’m just as “un-festive” as you are – I just can’t get into fall/October decorations until it really starts to cool down and closer to Halloween (bah humbug – lol)

    1. Haha glad to know we’re in this together ;). What’s worse is we usually don’t have our Christmas tree up until 2 weeks before the day (if we are lucky) but it sure stays out for a LONG time eeks..so terrible.