Cheesey Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
This recipe is dedicated to my son BJ and his annoying food intolerances. One of them being TOMATO, cue my sadness. So what do you do when you want pasta and can’t add tomato? Make this cheesey vegan pumpkin pasta sauce of course.
Your limitations are where your creativity comes alive.
Of course having all the ingredients and the produce and the meat is a wonderful thing. Having all the recipes seems like a great idea too, until you have SO MANY recipes you can’t think or pick or choose one and get overloaded, overwhelmed and are frozen in action. Sound familiar?
When I was running my catering business I loved the tough requests. The vegan retreats, the gluten free meetings or any instance where I had to use my brain and heart to make delicious food from seemingly less.
I believe the less becomes more. You look at your ingredients differently, you think about work arounds and rise to the occasion of NEW. This is a big reason why I love my weekly vegetable delivery box so much. I have no choice, I use what’s there and I learn.
Pumpkin pasta sauce I’m sure isn’t anything new but it is to me because, I love tomatoes and it’s easily my go-to pasta sauce. If I had to choose, I would have discounted the blended pumpkin sauce because it felt like more effort than throwing chopped tomatoes in a pot, letting them simmer and allowing me to walk away.
This sauce was going to be a sauce I made and frozen in ice cube portions specifically for BJ when I wanted to cook a tomato pasta sauce for Pete and I. So I could easily serve him a portion sans tomato, without having to make a whole other meal. But the sauce tastes that good it’s become a staple here.
This Cheesey Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce recipe is simple
Do you have 2 cups of roasted pumpkin? If so, you’re pretty much there.
To our roasted pumpkin we’re adding onion, garlic, cashews and bone broth with herbs. Then blitzing until smooth. The cheesey-ness comes from a big spoonful of nutritional yeast. Plus the creaminess from the cashews adds to it too.
How I’ve served this meal in the past
The first time I made this I served with slow braised beef cheeks (slow cooked like this, but without the spices) and homemade goat ricotta and linguine. I used the broth from the beef cheeks to thin out the pumpkin sauce and it was magnificent.
I’ve also served it with chickpeas and sauteed greens as pictured.
Another time I made the homemade goat milk ricotta into paneer and made this sauce into a curry and had a Saag Paneer kind of meal but with pumpkin.
Why I love this vegan pumpkin pasta sauce recipe
Easy to make
I usually make in stages. I’ll roast the pumpkin on Sunday as part of my meal prep vibe. Then blend the sauce during the week. I find this easier and less time intensive.
Dairy free. I add nutritional yeast, very optional but very delicious which gives it a cheesey vibe.
Versatile – this is the base of my roast and blend soups, similar to this pumpkin soup. It could easily be a dip too, made a little thicker by adding less liquid.
Freezable – as I said this was going to be a special sauce for BJ that I was going to freeze into ice cubes. I’d planned to heat a few ice cubes for his quick pasta sauce, or to even have on a pizza on our homemade pizza nights.
Mix it up with these substitutions
Mix up the veggies. This could be carrot, sweet potato, fennel and spinach. I haven’t tried the yet but I know they’d work just as they do with soup.
Add spices. When I roasted the pumpkin I added 1 tsp each of cumin and smokey paprika. Other spices like turmeric and coriander would add nice depth too.
- 2 cups roasted @oooobysyd pumpkin but just roast the whole thing. You’ll use it.
- Roast your pumpkin seeds too! Use them as the topping. I added 1 tsp each of cumin and smoked paprika
- 1 small onion roasted or cooked in a pan
- Garlic! Roast it up. Up to a bulb is wonderful. If raw use about 1/2.
- 1 handful cashews about 1/4 cup, soak them for 20 mins or more of you can.
- 1 tsp dried herbs
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast optional but awesome especially if you can’t handle dairy
- 1 tsp bone broth concentrate I used @bestofthebone (this makes it no longer vegan) and up to 1/2 cup water OR
- Half cup vegetable broth OR
- Half cup water it will still be yum
- A good splash 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper as you need
- Throw everything in the blender and blend til smooth. You could also mash this up with a fork for a textured sauce, your onions would stay a little chunky but that’s OK (or finely dice them).
- Heat sauce in
- Pasta of your choice or veggie zoodles
- A big bundle of greens, I used cabbage and fennel sautéed in a pan
- Goat cheese or Parmesan
- Crispy bacon Leftovers?
- Freeze in small portions, I’d recommend up to 1 cup. So you can use as you like without needing to thaw a whole batch. I like to freeze in ice cubes.
- Use as a base for homemade pizza.
- Schmear on toast with a fried egg on top.
- Add to curries, even if it’s a tablespoon or so. Pumpkin is flavour love.