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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.
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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
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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 this today and it was delicious!!!! I substituted Sherry because I had no white wine. I also added a touch of nutmeg to bring out the wonderful pumpkin flavor. Thank you for this delicious recipe, it makes alot too!

    1. Yay!! So glad you enjoyed it, Suzen! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. I’ll def have to add nutmeg next time I make this 😉

  2. Made this tonight – I have to say it’s so delicious! Had never thought about including pumpkin in a pasta dish but it provides the perfect, unique flavour. Yum!

  3. This was delish! I made it with ingredients we had on hand, which meant frozen spinach instead of kale, no mushrooms (though I’m sure they would be good), dried basil (fresh would have been delightful I’m sure), and whole wheat penne. Yum. Thanks for publishing this!

    1. Yay!! Thank you so much, Sarah, for taking the time to let me know! It’s one of my go-to comfort food, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it as well ;).