Pumpkin Pasta Bake with Almond Ricotta – A cheesy, creamy, delightful fall dinner, and it’s completely vegan! Gluten free option.

a serving being lifted out of casserole dish

This Pumpkin Pasta Bake is fall comfort food to the max. It features rotini pasta, a creamy pumpkin sauce, almond ricotta and spinach. I also covered it in vegan mozzarella for extra cheesy goodness.

Fancy enough to serve at your holiday table, everyone will love this pasta bake. For another comforting fall recipe, try my Butternut Squash Lasagna.

Ingredients needed

  • Rotini pasta – Or a similar shape, such as penne or even shells would work. Use gluten free if needed.
  • Vegan Ricotta – Almond based vegan ricotta is so good, but if you can find it you can substitute Kite Hill’s vegan ricotta.
  • Olive oil
  • A small onion
  • Garlic
  • Canned pumpkin puree – I haven’t tried it with fresh, but it would probably work as long as you cook and puree it first. Don’t accidentally use pumpkin pie mix! Not the same thing at all.
  • Full fat coconut milk – From the can, not the carton. Use full fat for the creamiest sauce, but if you want to lighten it up you can use light coconut milk or even cashew milk.
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Salt + pepper
  • Baby spinach
  • Vegan Mozzarella – optional for topping, you can use either my Shreddable Mozzarella or Stretchy Mozzarella. Or a store bought cheese, I actually used Violife here.

a spoonful of pumpkin pasta from casserole dish

How to make pumpkin pasta bake

First, cook your pasta, then drain it. Prepare the ricotta. Make the quick pumpkin sauce on the stovetop. (For the full ingredient list and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.) 

  1. In a large casserole dish, add the cooked noodles and the pumpkin sauce. Stir to mix.
  2. Stir in the baby spinach.
  3. Add spoonfuls of the ricotta and stir a little, but not too much, leaving chunks of cheese throughout.
  4. Cover with vegan mozzarella (optional) and bake for 15-20 minutes.

collage showing step by step instructions of pasta bake

Leftovers

This pumpkin pasta makes the best leftovers, and will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days or so. It can be frozen, though the noodles will soften and be a bit mushy.

Looking for more pasta bakes?

whole pumpkin pasta bake not yet cut into, baked

square image of casserole in dish
4.84 stars (6 ratings)

Pumpkin Pasta Bake with Almond Ricotta

Pumpkin Pasta Bake with Almond Ricotta - A cheesy, creamy, delightful fall dinner, and it's completely vegan! Gluten free option.
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta *gluten free if needed
  • 1 Recipe Vegan Ricotta

Pumpkin sauce

The rest

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a large casserole dish with oil.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.
  • Prepare the Vegan Ricotta, and set aside.
  • Make the pumpkin sauce: Warm a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Stir in the pumpkin, coconut milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  • To the prepared casserole dish, add the pasta and pumpkin cream sauce. Stir to mix well, then stir in the spinach.
  • Add spoonfuls of the vegan ricotta to the dish, and mix slightly but leave chunks of cheese intact. Cover with vegan mozzarella, if using, and bake for 15-20 minutes until warm and the cheese has melted. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Use gluten free pasta to make sure the dish is gluten free. I used Tinkyada brand rotini.
  2. Instead of making your own vegan ricotta, you can use store bought vegan ricotta, such as Kite Hill brand.
  3. For a lower fat sauce, you could substitute light coconut milk, or even unsweetened cashew milk.
  4. Feel free to simply use the pumpkin cream sauce over cooked noodles and skip the baking! It's so delicious you will want to pour it over everything.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 8 servings | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 8976IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. A lot of your recipes are winners for me (I’m looking at you, ginger molasses cookies), but unfortunately this one wasn’t. I made both the almond ricotta and cashew cheese sauce for this dish and I found that coupled with the pumpkin cream sauce, it was WAY too much sauce for 12 oz of noodles. I would recommend doing at least 16 oz (I used rotini). I also found the pumpkin cream sauce to be lacking in flavour complexity. All that being said, I can’t wait to try another recipe from you … I’m thinking the shepherd’s pie is up next!

  2. I’ve made this dish several times and it is delicious and easy! Last night I decided to try it with a bag of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi instead of pasta for a lower calorie option and wow – so good! I still followed the directions exactly as instructed, pan frying the gnocchi before mixing it with the pumpkin sauce and ricotta and then baking. Highly recommend this recipe either way! 

  3. I made this, and it was delicious, but my pumpkin sauce was more soupy than thick (like yours pictured) I still made it and it was great, but did I do something wrong? Thanks ? 

  4. I have been cooking/baking my way through Nora’s recipes and they are ALL amazing. I tried this one for the first time today, and will definitely be making it again. It’s a perfect cozy-weather comfort food with lots of flavor. I used chickpea pasta and subbed butternut squash for pumpkin (grocery store didn’t have any) and it was delicious. I made the almond ricotta as well, which added a nice creamy texture. I topped with Follow Your Heart mozzarella which is always my go-to. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

    1. Hi Kate. It is fun to hear you are taking a journey through my recipes! I’m glad you liked the pasta bake! I appreciate you taking the time to share your comments! Thank you for using my recipes!

  5. Hi Nora! I’ve made this twice now, and it’s one of the best cheesy things I’ve had in a long time! I only changed the amounts of a couple things since I like my 13×11-inch casserole dish to be super full:

    I cooked up about 5 cups of brown rice pasta, and also doubled the sauce. I left it in the oven for maybe an extra 10 minutes as well. 

  6. I made this over the weekend. The almond ricotta is delicious. It was a bit dry, especially leftovers, I might add a little extra water next time. Overall delicious comfort food.

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