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5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Kale

The pumpkin helps to thicken this sauce making this alfredo a healthy option with less butter and regular milk rather than cream in the recipe.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Meatless Main Dish
Servings: 4
Author: Good Dinner Mom


  • 3 cups dried whole grain or gluten-free rigatoni macaroni or any pasta with ridges to hold the sauce
  • 4 cups rough-chopped fresh kale more or less to your liking
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons white wine may sub broth, or white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup green onions diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or smashed and rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pesto homemade or store-bought, or fresh chopped basil will also do
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg optional
  • 2 cups milk I use whole milk
  • 1- 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving


  • In a Dutch oven cook pasta according to package directions, adding kale during the last 30 seconds; drain. Return to pan, cover and keep warm.
  • While the pasta is cooking, start your sauce; in a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat, add the white wine and cook just a couple minutes until bubbling. Add the green onion, garlic and pesto. Continue to cook until the wine has reduced out a bit, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, cayenne and fresh nutmeg.
  • Stir in the milk, canned pumpkin and one cup Parmesan cheese. After the cheese has melted, taste the sauce and add more seasoning or Parmesan if desired. The sauce should be nice and thick and will continue to thicken after it's mixed with the pasta. If you want to thin your sauce, add a little more milk and an extra tablespoon of butter. Taste again.
  • Add the sauce to about ¾ of the pasta, to coat. Add more of the pasta until your dish has the desired consistency.
  • Sprinkle individual servings with additional Parmessan cheese and, if desired, addditional green onions.