Vegan Pumpkin Vodka Sauce

pumpkin vodka sauce with pasta in large pan with wooden spoon

This Vegan Pumpkin Vodka Sauce is a cozy fall twist on the classic tomato & cream sauce. Pumpkin puree and autumn spices in a creamy pink sauce! Gluten-Free Option.


  • 1 pound (450 g) pasta of choice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 35 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vodka
  • 1 16 ounce (450 g) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (63 g) raw cashews, soaked*
  • 1/2 cup (25 g) vegan parmesan, finely grated


  1. Cook the Pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Aromatics: in the meantime, warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 3 minutes, then add the garlic, sage, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, then use a spatula to “mash” the tomato paste into the mixture. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste has darkened in color.
  3. Deglaze: deglaze the aromatics with vodka, using a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits off of the bottom of the pan. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add in the pumpkin puree, salt, and water. Mix well, until a uniform sauce forms.
  4. Simmer: bring the sauce to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent anything from sticking. You may need to gradually reduce the heat to medium low while simmering to prevent the sauce from splattering.
  5. Blend: carefully transfer the vodka sauce to a high-speed blender with a loose-fitting lid and add in the cashews. Blend on high for 30 to 45 seconds, until a smooth sauce forms.
  6. Combine: Return the sauce to the large sauté pan over low heat and add in the al dente pasta and parmesan. Stir until the dairy-free cheese has melted and the pasta is evenly coated in sauce. Season with additional salt or pepper to taste – if the sauce is too thick, you can loosen it up with some water as well.
  7. Serve & Store: serve warm, topped as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and are best reheated on the stovetop with a splash of water.


  • Gluten-Free: use gluten-free pasta instead of wheat pasta

Keywords: vegan pumpkin pasta, pumpkin vodka sauce