Pumpkin pasta sauce is the kind of sauce that once you taste the velvety, rich, decadent ingredient enveloping your favorite noodles, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it.
A couple weeks ago I made some pumpkin marinara on my Instagram stories and I got tons of messages asking for the recipe. I feel ya. It was delicious and if I were you, I’d want it too.
As I made this recipe I realized I have about a million roasted spaghetti squash recipes on the blog already. And, that is because they are uber delicious and easy to prep and roast and eat. Plus, the strands are so satisfying and make for the perfect spaghetti substitute that’s low carb and gluten free. Check out this shredded BBQ chicken spaghetti squash boat or this sun-dried tomato crab boat!
Learning to make spaghetti squash was kinda revolutionary for my dinner game. It makes for an awesome sub for traditional pasta or rice and literally goes with any sauce or protein. Personally I love it with an easy bolognese, this magic green sauce, or these Asain turkey meatballs!
I love showing you guys step by steps as to how exactly I roast up spaghetti squash, because seeing a step by step to visualize the process helped me soo much back in the day.
Why You’ll Love this Roasted Squash with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Healthy! This dish offers a nutritious and low-carb option by using roasted spaghetti squash as a substitute for traditional pasta. The spaghetti squash provides a satisfying texture while being lower in calories and carbohydrates. The pumpkin marinara sauce incorporates pumpkin puree, which is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Delicious and healthy? Sign me up!
Fusion of Flavors! The combination of roasted spaghetti squash and pumpkin marinara sauce offers a delicious fusion of flavors. The sweetness of the roasted spaghetti squash complements the creamy and slightly sweet pumpkin puree in the sauce. The fire-roasted crushed tomatoes bring a smoky depth to the sauce, while the cheeses add a comforting gooiness.
Effortless! The appeal of an easy meal cannot be understated. Roasting spaghetti squash is straightforward, and the pumpkin marinara sauce comes together quickly with a few simple ingredients. This dish offers a hassle-free way to enjoy a homemade comfort food without sacrificing taste or quality.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make this Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Spaghetti squash serves as the base for this dish. When roasted, the flesh of the spaghetti squash turns into noodle-like strands, providing a healthy and low-carb alternative to traditional pasta.
Olive oil is used to coat the spaghetti squash before roasting. It adds a rich flavor, helps the squash caramelize and brown during roasting, and prevents it from sticking to the pan.
Salt and Pepper
These seasonings enhance the flavor of the spaghetti squash, bringing out its natural sweetness and adding depth to the dish.
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses add a creamy and cheesy element to the dish. Mozzarella melts beautifully, while Parmesan contributes a nutty and savory flavor.
Basil is used as a garnish to provide a fresh touch to the dish. Its green color will look gorgeous against the bright pumpkin pasta sauce.
Onion serves as the flavor base for the marinara sauce. It adds depth and sweetness to the sauce as it cooks.
Fire-roasted tomatoes have a smoky flavor that adds complexity to the marinara sauce. Crushed tomatoes create a thick and textured sauce.
Pumpkin puree is the star ingredient of the sauce. It provides a creamy and slightly sweet flavor, complementing the tomato and onion flavors. It also contributes to the beautiful orange tint of the sauce.
Broth adds liquid to the sauce, thinning it to the desired consistency and enhancing the overall flavor. Feel free to use chicken, vegetable or bone broth.
Garlic brings a strong and savory flavor to the sauce, enhancing its overall taste profile.
Salt is a key seasoning that balances the flavors of the sauce, enhancing the sweetness of the pumpkin and the acidity of the tomatoes.
How to Make this Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Roast the Spaghetti Squash
Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash. Stand it up, and cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard or save for later to roast. Drizzle the inside of the spaghetti squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash over and place the flat/cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, then flip them over and roast for another 15 minutes.
Make the Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
While the squash is roasting, place the onions in a saucepan with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for about 25 – 20, stirring frequently, until the onions are caramelized and golden brown.
Add the tomatoes, pumpkin puree, broth, water, garlic, and salt. Bring the sauce to a bubble, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.
Assemble & Broil
Once the squash is done roasting, set the broiler to high. Use a fork to pull the spaghetti strands from the sides of the squash shell. Scoop some of the marinara into the center of the squash and use your fork to mix it in.
Sprinkle each squash with some mozzarella and Parmesan. Broil for 2 – 5 minutes until the cheese melts and gets toasty brown. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Variations on this Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Spiced Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Add warmth with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to enhance the pumpkin’s natural sweetness.
Incorporate fresh or dried herbs like sage, thyme, or rosemary for a savory and aromatic twist.
For a hint of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Make the sauce even creamier by stirring in a splash of heavy cream, coconut milk, or Greek yogurt.
Try blending in some soft goat cheese or cream cheese for a tangy and silky texture.
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with a Protein Boost
Mix in cooked and diced chicken, turkey, or sausage for added protein and flavor.
Incorporate cooked shrimp, crab, or even tofu cubes for a seafood or vegetarian option.
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce + More Veggies!
Enhance the nutritional value by adding finely chopped or sautéed vegetables such as spinach, kale, bell peppers, or zucchini.
Roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes can provide a burst of tangy sweetness.
How to Store Leftovers
Cool Down: Allow the roasted spaghetti squash to cool down at room temperature for about 1 hour. This prevents condensation inside the storage container, which can lead to moisture and spoilage.
Storage Containers: Place the cooled roasted spaghetti squash in an airtight container. These containers will help keep air out and maintain the squash’s texture and flavor.
Label and Date: Label the container with the date when the spaghetti squash was roasted. This helps you keep track of how long it has been stored and prioritize using the older portions first.
Short Term Storage
Refrigeration: If you plan to eat the roasted spaghetti squash within a few days, store it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Long Term Storage
Freezing: If you want to store the roasted spaghetti squash for a longer period, freezing is a great option. However, note that freezing might slightly change the texture of the squash.
Thawing and Reheating: To use frozen roasted spaghetti squash, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw slowly. Once thawed, you can reheat it in a microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven until heated through. You might want to add a little moisture (such as a splash of water or sauce) to prevent dryness.
Squash + Toppings:
- 2 medium spaghetti squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- basil for garnish
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 14 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (or bone broth)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash. Stand it up, and cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard or save for later to roast. Drizzle the inside of the spaghetti squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Turn the squash over and place the flat/cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, then flip them over and roast for another 15 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, place the onions in a saucepan with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for about 25 – 20, stirring frequently, until the onions are caramelized and golden brown.
- Add the tomatoes, pumpkin puree, broth, water, garlic, and salt.
- Bring the sauce to a bubble, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.
- Once the squash is done roasting, set the broiler to high.
- Use a fork to pull the spaghetti strands from the sides of the squash shell.
- Scoop some of the marinara into the center of the squash and use your fork to mix it in. Sprinkle each squash with some mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Broil for 2 – 5 minutes until the cheese melts and gets toasty brown.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Food photography by Dalya Rubin.
- Serving Size: 1 squash boat
- Calories: 253
- Sugar: 7.6g
- Sodium: 942mg
- Fat: 18.1g
- Saturated Fat: 4.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 18.5g
- Fiber: 4.6g
- Protein: 7.3g
- Cholesterol: 9mg