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Jan 13

Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta

Wow. I realize by the skeptical reactions I received when I told people I was making this that this combination of ingredients sounds odd to most people, but again I say wow. This recipe was delicious, super filling (no surprise there, gigantic serving + filling ingredients) and tasted like something you’d get in a fine dining restaurant. The combination of the white wine, chicken broth and pumpkin made a surprisingly creamy & decadent sauce and the Parmesan cheese and spices finish it off perfectly. The original recipe said you could substitute more chicken broth instead of the wine if you so desire, but I think the wine added a lot to the flavor profile, so I wouldn’t. I’ve made three recipes from Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking in the past two weeks and all three were home runs. I think I have found a new favorite recipe source!

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Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta

Yield: 4 (1-¾ cup) servings


  • 2 cups uncooked multigrain bow tie (farfalle) pasta (I used Barilla Plus, I also weighed the 2 cups and it was exactly 5 oz of dry pasta)
  • 1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed (I used Jennie-O Lean Sweet Italian Sausage. Two links were exactly ½ pound)
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Riesling – my favorite!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used a Parmesan-Romano mix)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain & set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook the sausage, onions and mushrooms over medium heat until the sausage is fully browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Drain if necessary. Stir in the broth, pumpkin, wine, sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  3. Add the pasta to the skillet and combine. Heat ingredients together for a couple minutes until heated through.
  4. Before serving, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and parsley flakes over the top.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
8 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
7 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

Adapted from Taste of Home


52 Responses to “Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta”

  1. #
    Megan — January 14, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    that sounds so delicious! i think i’ll have to try it!

  2. #
    Evan — January 19, 2011 @ 12:04 am

    What do you think of me using white cooking wine instead of an actual bottle?

  3. #
    emilybites — January 19, 2011 @ 12:25 am

    Cooking wine is salted so it may change the flavor profile. I’d recommend using a regular white drinking wine, but if you end up using the cooking wine let me know what you think!

  4. #
    Evan — January 19, 2011 @ 1:14 am

    ah, ok…thanks for the heads up. I have trouble opening a bottle of wine for a recipe because then it just goes bad in the fridge (I drink, but not really unless I’m out with friends because of the WW pt value!) I’m definitely making this so I’ll see what I come up with! Thanks again!

  5. #
    emilybites — January 19, 2011 @ 1:31 am

    Let me know how it turns out with the cooking wine! I’m sure it’ll still be tasty. I’m like you, I’m not a huge drinker…that’s why I had leftover wine in my fridge to use! I’m forever opening a bottle, drinking a glass or two and then leaving it in my fridge until I have to throw it out. I was happy I actually got to use some in this recipe!

  6. #
    caitlin — January 20, 2011 @ 1:35 am

    (i posted as evan yesterday–that was my husband’s account) made it with the white cooking wine and it was good! probably a little saltier or less sweet than when you make it with regular wine…but still delicious! good if you are desperate! will definitely make this again and will try to make it with real wine next time.
    oh and i was good with a smaller serving–very tasty and filling!points bargain!

  7. #
    Allison — January 30, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    I just made this for dinner and it was AMAZING! I have tried 5 of your recipes now and they keep getting better! Thanks so much for providing such fantastic and healthy meal ideas!

  8. #
    emilybites — January 31, 2011 @ 12:23 am

    Thanks Allison! I’m glad you’re finding my blog helpful and that you enjoy the recipes. I thought this one was really yummy too! Thanks for your comment :).

  9. #
    Lisa — February 5, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    I was skeptical about this but decided to give it a try. Wow, it is soooo good! My husband and son also loved it. Give it a try people, you’ll be glad you did. Thanks Emily, I can’t believe something so good is only 7 pts!

  10. #
    alaufer87 — February 24, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    Just made it, and then ate it! Let’s just say it was hard to only eat one serving! So good!

  11. #
    Anonymous — October 10, 2011 @ 1:06 am

    Sounds delicious. I’m going to make it tomorrow for dinner. What non-alcoholic can I use instead of the white wine?

  12. #
    Anonymous — October 10, 2011 @ 1:08 am

    should read: *What non-alcoholic substitute can I use instead of the white wine?

  13. #
    emilybites — October 10, 2011 @ 1:09 am

    I loved it with the wine but you could definitely just use more chicken broth in place of the wine if you prefer.

  14. #
    Anonymous — October 12, 2011 @ 1:47 am

    Wow, made this tonight, and it was fantastic!

  15. #
    Anonymous — November 3, 2011 @ 1:12 am

    The de-casing of the sausage confused me! It is SO difficult! [clearly an amateur here…]

    Any suggestions?

  16. #
    emilybites — November 3, 2011 @ 1:15 am

    You just have to slit through the casing lengthwise with a knife and take it off!

  17. #
    Anonymous — November 16, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

    I tried this… I also never have white wine on hand. A good sub is chicken broth with a dash of vinegar (white wine vinegar if you have it). I always do that.

    My boyfriend was REALLY skeptical of this one. Turns out he loved it. Unfortunately….. I didnt have any sausage so I tried it with chicken. The flavors were good, but I kept thinking “This would have gone GREAT with sausage”

  18. #
    emilybites — November 20, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    I’m glad this was a hit, you’ll have to make it again with the sausage!

  19. #
    Anonymous — January 9, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

    I just ran this through for the calories and now I’m even MORE excited to try it for dinner tonight!

  20. #
    emilybites — January 9, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    Yay! I’m trying to do that for all my recipes too now, but I’m working my way backwards so I probably won’t get to this one for a bit. Hope you like it!

  21. #
    wendyg — January 20, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    Emily, I LOVE that you give the detail about what quantity of an item equals how many ounces (ie 2C = 5 oz). You make it impossible to goof up on your recipes and I really appreciate that. It’s like going to cooking school! Thank you for everything.

    • emilybites replied: — January 21st, 2012 @ 3:50 am

      Aw, thanks Wendy. That means a lot to me. I try to be clear! I hate when I’m trying to follow a recipe and I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do.

  22. #
    wendyg — January 20, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

    Do you think you could use butternut squash instead of pumpkin? I happen to have a can of that. Think I might give it a try.

    • emilybites replied: — January 21st, 2012 @ 3:50 am

      Sure, let me know how it works out! Sounds yummy to me.

  23. #
    wendyg — February 9, 2012 @ 1:48 am

    We just made this and it was incredible! I was skeptical about the canned pumpkin but this is so flavorful (the wine balances so nicely with the pumpkin) I can’t recommend it enough.


    • emilybites replied: — February 9th, 2012 @ 3:03 am

      So happy it was such a big hit!

  24. #
    dl.jenk — April 11, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

    Made this again tonight, it is one of my favorite dishes now. Thanks for the recipe Miss Emily!

    • emilybites replied: — April 17th, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you love it! 🙂

  25. #
    CC — July 17, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    Have you tried it with Butternut Squash instead of Pumpkin?

    • emilybites replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

      Nope! If you do, let me know how it turns out!

  26. #
    Anonymous — September 5, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    I made this last night and it was AWESOME. I didn’t have sage, so I used rosemary and it still came out great. I also used spicy chicken sausage and it added a good kick. I had to stop myself for going back for seconds! -Kris

    • emilybites replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

      I’m so happy you loved it, Kris!

  27. #
    Lizzie — September 18, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    Very yummy, thank you! I will make this again sometime.

    • emilybites replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

      Glad it was a hit!

  28. #
    Anonymous — October 8, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

    Any ideas on what to sub for the mushrooms?

    • emilybites replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

      You could use any other vegetable you like I suppose. Maybe zucchini or asparagus?

  29. #
    Kristen Thomas — October 9, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

    Hi Emily – you have a typo in step 2 of your directions. “While” should replace “White”.

    • emilybites replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

      Oops! Thanks 🙂

  30. #
    Anonymous — October 15, 2012 @ 12:05 am

    I made sausage pumpkin pasta tonight. It was outstanding! My husband loved it. I also made your buffalo chicken chili…really really good! I am so glad I found your website. I love all your ideas with the muffins.. going to make your zucchini tots this week.


    • emilybites replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

      Thanks! I’m happy to hear this was a hit! 🙂

  31. #
    Anonymous — October 16, 2012 @ 5:18 am

    I was so disappointed when my husband said he didn’t want it for dinner. He thought the ingredient combination would be gross. I ignored him and made it anyways. But I sauteed up extra sausage, mushrooms, onions and garlic and set it aside for him. Can I say PERFECT 10 Emily? It was divine. I served my husband just the pasta with sausage and a small bowl of sauce on the side. He was very wary of it. Took a bit… then another…. and finally dumped it all on top. He raved about it all night! I now need to stock up on pumpkin so I can make it all year!

    • emilybites replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

      Yay!!! I’m glad you won him over and that it was a hit 🙂

  32. #
    Anonymous — October 17, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    We made this tonight and my family raved! i’m 9 years old and my mom made this for me. my mom made it a little bit spicy, but i still liked it a lot. my favorite part about the dinner is the parmesan cheese. I helped my mom make the dinner and it was easy. My mom is on weight watchers and she says it’s really filling. thank you, Ella

    • emilybites replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

      Thank you so much for writing, Ella! I am so happy that you and your family loved this. It was so nice of you to help make dinner, I’m sure you had fun cooking with your mom! 🙂

  33. #
    Lisa — December 2, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

    This was amazing. I made it tonight and can’t believe that this is a ww recipe. I used multi grain penne as I couldn’t find multi grain bowtie, but still incredible recipe. Also added tarragon as I didn’t have sage. my husband and 4 year old loved it too. thanks so much.

  34. #
    Nicole G — January 21, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

    I subbed green beans instead of mushrooms and a little basil instead of sage. I am still happy with the results. OH and I added a big spoonful of fat free sour cream to whiten it up a bit. Yummy. 🙂 So glad I finally got to use my pumpkin puree for something savory.

    • Nicole G replied: — January 24th, 2013 @ 2:24 am

      Oh man… even better reheated! With a little more fat free sour cream to keep a good texture. SO GOOD! I will be making it again this weekend since my husband asked for it to be added to the rotation. Nice one, Em!

  35. #
    Anonymous — January 24, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

    I’m confused on the sausage. Do you cut the two links into bite sized pieces?

    • emilybites replied: — January 24th, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

      No, you peel off the casings and then cook it as you would ground meat.

    • Anonymous replied: — January 26th, 2013 @ 6:35 am

      Great—thanks for clarifying.

  36. #
    Anonymous — September 30, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

    This was my first time cooking with pumpkin if you can believe it. MAN! Adds such a nice creaminess to the dish! Loved the recipe. Had leftovers for days. Think next time I’ll try it with the spicy Italian sausage instead of sweet (because that’s just the way I roll). Thanks Emily!!

  37. #
    SusanR — January 4, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

    Great recipe! FYI- I look for the small “airline size” (single serving) bottles of red and white wines at Kroger. Perfect for cooking when you aren’t planning to serve wine with dinner. I have also found wine packed in small “juice box” packages at Target. Also works, but the the little bottles reseal so you can save the extra to use in a day or two for another dish.
    Much better taste and healthier than using the products labeled cooking wine sold by the vinegars.

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