Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Dig into this vegan Pumpkin Pasta Bake on Halloween gatherings with friends and family. Pasta bakes are a great entertaining option because they can be left to cook whilst you chat and relax with your guests.

In this recipe, the creamy pumpkin sauce makes a wonderful change from the more typical tomato-based vegan pasta sauce. The crushed cashews finish it off o-so-perfectly, and best of all … there’s just the one oven dish to clear up!

This recipe is included in our top 5 Uses for Pumpkin.

About the Ingredients

When it comes to choosing ingredients for Pumpkin Pasta Bake, we like to choose the items with the lowest carbon footprint and the least packaging waste.

Vegan Meal with The Natural Essex Girl

Zero Waste Pumpkins

Pumpkins are grown every year in abundance for decorating and carving. Many of these pumpkins are eaten which creates a huge amount of unnecessary food waste in local landfills. We love adding pumpkin to wintery and Autumnal recipes and this one is a firm favourite.

It’s a common misconception that the pumpkins grown for carving won’t taste good, or aren’t edible. But that’s not true. We always eat the pumpkins we use for Halloween carvings … and anyone else’s if they are otherwise going in the bin. This simple act helps to make Halloween a little more zero waste.

Growing Pumpkins

Pumpkins can can be grown at home, on an allotment or picked from a local pumpkin patch. These are our favourite ways to acquire the pumpkins we use in our recipes. Why? Locally grown, as fresh as possible pumpkins that are also completely packaging free seem like the best option to us.

What Parts of the Pumpkin Can I eat?

Using and storing your pumpkin flesh is easy. Simply carve out the pumpkin, separating what you pull out into two bowls; one for seeds and one for the fleshy, soft, stringy stuff.

Afterwards, go through the stringy flesh and remove any outer skin (the hard, outer shell) using a knife. What you are left with is all pumpkin flesh, whether its stringy or chunky in texture.

Can I Freeze Pumpkin?

Yes! Simply separate your pumpkin into portions, chopping the chunks and stringy flesh into cubes or smaller pieces that are more suitable for use in cooking. Re-usable, re-sealable bags are great for this, as are re-usable storage containers.

Then, leave a couple of portions of pumpkin in your fridge for using within the next few days and place the remaining portions in the freezer.

Throughout the winter, when you want to make a pumpkin recipe like this one, just defrost one portion by leaving it out in the morning. It will be ready for use by dinner time.

Nutritional Yeast

This Pumpkin Pasta Bake sauce uses Nutritional Yeast. This helps create a ‘cheesy’ and ‘nutty’ kind of taste in vegan sauces. We love Nutritional Yeast and it’s one of our key dairy replacements for following a predominantly plant-based diet.

It can be found online and in some health stores, and is often cheapest when purchased in bulk. Our favourite place to buy Nutritional Yeast from is The Vegan Kind Supermarket.

Marigold Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Find more dairy swaps online at The Vegan Kind Supermarket.

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Pasta Bake
Easy, creamy and nutritious, this Pumpkin Pasta Bake recipe is one of our favourites to enjoy around Halloween.
5 Uses for Pumpkin with The Natural Essex Girl
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pumpkin Sauce
Pasta Bake Topping
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pumpkin Sauce
Pasta Bake Topping
5 Uses for Pumpkin with The Natural Essex Girl
Instructions
  1. In an oven proof dish, start by layering your main ingredients. We like to add the pasta first, then the vegetables on top, or you can mix them up together. Just leave the sauce til last.
  2. Whiz the pumpkin sauce ingredients listed above in a blender or smoothie maker.
  3. Pour the pumpkin sauce over the main ingredients in your oven proof dish, giving the dish a little shake as you go to ensure the liquid seeps in between the pasta. Make sure all ingredients are covered to ensure they will cook thoroughly.
  4. Bake this dish for around 30 minutes, then remove the dish temporarily to scatter the Pasta Bake Topping ingredients over the top.
  5. Bake for a further 15 minutes. At this point your yummy Pumpkin Pasta Bake should be bubbling away and your topping should be crispy but not yet burnt.
  6. Lastly, dig in!
    5 Uses for Pumpkin with The Natural Essex Girl
Recipe Notes

When it comes to a pasta bake, it's definitely better to have too much sauce than too little. Depending on the depth and shape of your oven proof dish, you may find you need more or less sauce in order to cover your ingredients.

If it's more sauce that you need, simply make a little more or for less hassle, you can add swirls of extra coconut cream to the top of your dish.

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