Baked Pasta with Pumpkin, Caramelized Onions & Chèvre

Baked Pumpkin Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Sage, and Chevre

Who does that?!  Who writes a recipe that calls for half of a can of pumpkin?  That’s just asking for trouble; asking for a scary forgotten container of fuzzy pumpkin in the back of the refrigerator.

I would have felt a bit guilty, posting that recipe for pumpkin gingerbread that called for only half of a can of pumpkin, but I had this gem of a quick and comforting baked pasta dish that uses the remainder up my sleeve.  

This is what we’re looking at today: pumpkin-coated pasta with pockets of sage caramelized onions and chevré with a crispy bread crumb and parmesan crust  It takes mere minutes to assemble, it’s warm and comforting, and just feels right for a late fall dinner.  And if that’s not good enough, how about this–most of its rich creaminess comes from pureed pumpkin not cream, so eating a big scoop won’t require digging out your fat pants after dinner.

Ready?  Let’s make dinner.  Grab that half can of pumpkin out of the fridge, a few onions, fresh sage, chèvre, parmesan, and breadcrumbs.  As for the pasta?  I used “pipe rigate” which are adorable, kind of chubby, bent pipes.  Shells or your favorite bite-sized noodle will work just as well.

Pumpkin Puree, Pasta, Chevre, Sage, ParmesanPut a pot of water on to boil, preheat your oven, and start caramelizing onions.  We’re going to make this a quick caramelization job.  Keep the heat almost to medium and don’t wander too far while they’re doing their thing.  Add a bit of fresh sage to really bring home the fall flavors. 

Sage Caramelized Onions

When the pasta is almost al dente, add the pumpkin to the onions.  Splash in a ladleful of the pasta water to loosen the mixture into a saucy consistency. 

Pumpkin and Caramelize OnionsCheck the pasta.  Ready?  Perfect!  Pull it out of the pot with a slotted spoon and add it to the pumpkin sauce.  Stir and coat.

Stirring Pasta into the Pumpkin SauceNow for the cheese.  Scatter in pieces of goat cheese and a handful of grated parmesan.  Looking good.  You could stop right here…

Cheesin' it up…but we’re going to bake it with breadcrumbs and more parmesan so it gets a crispy, crunchy top.  Yum.

Ready to Bake PastaThe pasta will emerge from the oven with a crunchy, toasted top, warm and creamy interior: perfect fall comfort food.  Thank goodness for those pesky recipes that leave you with a half of a can of pumpkin.

Baked Pasta with Pumpkin, Caramelized Onions, and Chevre

Baked Pasta with Pumpkin, Caramelized Onions & Chèvre
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Paired with a simple salad or sautéed greens, this baked pasta is a perfect dinner for chilly fall evenings.
Recipe type: Dinner, Entree, Main, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian, American, Fall, Winter
Serves: 4
  • 3 Onions, thinly sliced
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. thinly sliced Sage Leaves (rosemary would be good, too!)
  • ½ # Small Pasta, such as pipe rigate, penne, orecchiette, or shells
  • ¾ c. (1/2 can) Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 oz. Chèvre Cheese
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. Bread Crumbs
  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  2. While you wait for the water to boil, start caramelizing the onions. Heat about 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with salt. Stir often. After the onions have started to shrink down and take on a little color (about 10 minutes), add the sage and lower the heat slightly.
  3. At this point, your water should be boiling. Cook the pasta, according to package instructions, until al dente.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a small baking dish.
  5. Back to the onions--as your pasta nears finishing, the onions should be golden and sweet. Add the pumpkin puree to the onions. Add a ¼-1/2 c. of the pasta cooking water to loosen the pumpkin and help it form a sauce. Taste, season.
  6. When the pasta is al dente, pull it from the water with a slotted spoon and add it to the pumpkin and onion mixture. Stir until the pasta is well coated. Sprinkle in ¼ c. parmesan. Break the chèvre into a few clumps and stir it into the pasta until melted. Taste again. Season with lots of coarse black pepper and salt, if needed.
  7. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan. Bake until the top is golden and crispy, about 25 minutes.



  1. pam says

    Ahhh, PASTA! This one really speaks to me! I think I’ll make it when Shirlee Jo and Dave come to stay (are you reading this, Shirlee??) And I’ll make the gingerbread with the other half can of pumpkin – perfect!

  2. says

    Heavenly – The flavors are over the top and it gives me a reason to use the Sage Infused Olive Oil I just bought! I actually embrace the 1/2 can of pumpkin – it ‘forces’ me to stir in a couple tablespoons into my oatmeal in the morning! 🙂 I look forward to sharing this recipe with my wellness clients as a comfort food option that has more nutrients & better flavor than traditional mac & cheese. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: