This Vegan Pumpkin Vodka Pasta is so creamy & delicious! Plus, it's topped with crispy breadcrumbs and fresh thyme for the best plant-based dinner recipe.
While pumpkin tastes great in desserts like my Pumpkin Sugar Cookies or Vegan Pumpkin Bread, it's equally as good in savory recipes. Just take my Vegan Pumpkin Risotto as one example of how delicious it can be!
This pumpkin vodka pasta is another delicious way to use pumpkin in a plant-based dinner recipe and it is so easy too!
- Chili Flakes: Can be omitted if you want a less spicy dish or increased to make this pumpkin pasta spicier!
- Vegan Butter: Can be substituted for olive oil or avocado oil.
- Cashew Cream: While I think cashew cream makes this vegan pumpkin pasta the creamiest and most flavorful, it can also be substituted for 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk.
- Shallots: Can be substituted for ½ onion.
- Thyme: You can use dried thyme vs. fresh, but if doing this I recommend adding it to the sauce and heating it for the best flavor.
How to make pumpkin vodka pasta
Make the cashew cream and cook the pasta
First, add the cashews to a large cup of boiling hot water and let them soak for about 30 minutes. This helps to soften the cashews and makes them easier to blend into a sauce.
While the cashews are soaking, cook the pasta. Once cooked, strain and set aside.
Add the soaked cashews and blend them with 1 cup of fresh water to make the cashew cream!
Make the pumpkin vodka sauce
Melt the vegan butter in a pan. Then, add in the chopped shallots and minced garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent.
Next, add the tomato paste, chili flakes, salt, & pepper. Mix and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
After that, add the vodka. It will bubble pretty aggressively and, once mixed, will make the sauce super smooth.
P.S- Adding vodka helps the sauce maintain a smooth texture and helps to balance out the sweetness from the pumpkin.
Next, add the pumpkin puree and blended cashew cream. Mix everything together until you have a smooth pumpkin pasta sauce.
It's a good idea to test the sauce now and see if you need to add any additional salt & pepper.
Finally, add in the cooked pasta and stir together until the vodka sauce completely coats the noodles. Then, top this vegan pumpkin pasta with crispy breadcrumbs and fresh thyme to serve!
FAQ & Tips:
How do I make crispy breadcrumbs?
To make crispy breadcrumbs, melt 1 ½ Tablespoons of vegan butter or olive oil in a pan. Once melted, add ½ cup of Italian breadcrumbs to the pan. Season with a little salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Then, cook on low heat until the breadcrumbs are toasted and begin to crisp and turn a light brown color.
Can I make this pumpkin pasta gluten-free?
Definitely! The sauce is already gluten-free, so all you need to do is use gluten-free pasta.
How do I store leftover pumpkin vodka pasta?
Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. The breadcrumbs will lose some of their crispiness once stored, but still taste delicious!
You're going to love this Vegan Pumpkin Vodka Pasta with crispy breadcrumbs! It's so flavorful and the best easy & comforting weeknight dinner. Enjoy!
More plant-based pasta recipes you will love:
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Vegan Pumpkin Vodka Pasta
Pumpkin Vodka Pasta:
- 10 ounces dried pasta
- ½ cup cashews soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 medium shallots finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes more or less to adjust spice
- 2 ounces vodka
- ½-1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper more or less to taste
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup crispy breadcrumbs
- fresh thyme add to your liking
- Add the cashews to a cup of boiling hot water and allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes to soften.
- While the cashews are soaking, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, prep the veggies by finely copping the shallot and mincing the garlic cloves.
- Once the pasta is cooked, strain and set aside. Then, strain the soaked cashews and add them to a blender with 1 cup of fresh water. Blend together until you have a completely smooth cashew cream and set aside.
- Melt the vegan butter in a pan. Once bubbling, add in the chopped shallots and minced garlic. Stir and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste, chili flakes, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir until they evenly coat the veggies.
- Next, add the vodka to the pan and stir. It will bubble aggressively at first but calm down once stirred. Then add in the pumpkin puree and blended cashew cream. Stir everything together until you have a thick sauce.
- Pour the cooked pasta into the pan and stir until evenly coated with the sauce. Once mixed, remove from the heat.
- Serve the pasta warm and top with crispy breadcrumbs and fresh thyme. Enjoy!
- To make crispy breadcrumbs, melt 1 ½ Tablespoons of vegan butter or olive oil in a pan. Once melted, add ½ cup of Italian breadcrumbs to the pan. Season with a little salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Then, cook on low heat until the breadcrumbs are toasted and begin to crisp and turn a light brown color.
- Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. The breadcrumbs will lose some of their crispiness once stored, but still taste delicious!