Filed Under: Fall | Pasta | Weeknight

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Recipe By Tessa Arias
October 1st, 2012

 Savory with a hint of sweetness. The pumpkin flavor is enhanced by the nutmeg which tastes surprisingly good with lots of cheese!

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Savory with a hint of sweetness. The pumpkin flavor is enhanced by the nutmeg which tastes surprisingly good with lots of cheese!
Texture: Thick, rich, creamy, cheesy, al dente.
Ease: Easy enough to be a weeknight meal.
Appearance: This dish just looks incredibly rich and creamy.
Pros: Fun way to incorporate (healthy) pumpkin into your meals.
Cons: The cream and cheese is not so healthy.
Would I make this again? Yes. Next time I might incorporate some sage into the dish.

I am officially suffering from senioritis. This is my last semester of academic classes before I earn my bachelor’s degree and I’m already sick of reading assignments, essays, and tests. It’s not because I don’t enjoy learning or being challenged, I think it’s because I’m excited to move on to the next chapter of my life. All I’ve ever done is school and with this blog and my upcoming cookbook, I’m eager to dedicate my focus to those things and towards creating a career. I really wonder where life will take me after school…

On to the food. I adore pumpkin in desserts but have never tried it in a savory dish. This dish pleasantly surprised me! The pumpkin taste wasn’t quite what I’m used to without the help of pumpkin pie spices, it seemed a little less intense. This dish would be perfect for a weeknight meal to serve to the whole family (kids included).

How to make
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
 Savory with a hint of sweetness. The pumpkin flavor is enhanced by the nutmeg which tastes surprisingly good with lots of cheese!


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 (9-ounce) packages cheese tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to label directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the cream and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and cook until thick, about 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the tortellini to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Divide among four bowls and top with more cheese and the parsley. Serve.

Recipe Notes

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — October 1, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I love pumpkin in anything! This looks fantastic ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. #
    Brigitt — October 1, 2012 at 7:56 am

    This looks delicious!!

  3. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — October 1, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Cannot wait for the cookbook! And I really want this dish. Need to finish up leftovers and then this is going on my grocery list.

  4. #
    Steve — October 1, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Pumpkin alfredo sauce, what a grand idea.

  5. #
    Tracey — October 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

    This sounds amazing, I love that it’s pumpkin plus alfredo all in one. It’s a perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner for sure!

  6. #
    Cathy @ Noble Pig — October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Nutmeg and cheese are so good together, I always grate some on my grilled cheese sandwich. This looks beautiful, I love the pumpkin Alfredo idea! A perfect before trick-or-treat meal.

  7. #
    Melissa Klotz — October 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Oooh so creamy and delicious looking!

  8. #
    Sarah — October 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I so love being inspired by all the pumpkin recipes this time of year! This would make a stellar contribution to the Shine Supper Club this month. I hope you’ll join us!

  9. #
    Renee — October 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I always feel a bit uncertain about savoury pumpkin dishes. But this one is just so intriguing, I’m willing to take the risk.

  10. #
    Eileen — October 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Oh gosh. This looks dangerous in the most complementary way!

  11. #
    Tabitha — October 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I made this the other day and it was SO easy and tasty! I missed your note that you would add sage next time, and I think I agree. I will probably also add more cheese, or maybe mix in another, stronger cheese? But it was lovely, and my husband enjoyed it too, which is a win in my book. Thanks for sharing!

  12. #
    Tanya — October 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Made this tonight, super delicious and easy. Great way to use up leftover pumpkin. I added some chopped spiral ham and used Romano cheese and 5% cream instead(cause I had it on hand ). Thanks for a great recipe

  13. #
    Caroline — October 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Just made this – was so good!! Perfect for a quick evening meal.

    I had butternut squash ravioli on hand and added chicken/artichoke/smoked mozzerella sausages from the freezer in addition to a handful of ribboned kale and a splash of wine at the end. Seriously one of the best meals I’ve made in a while – thanks so much for posted the recipe!

  14. #
    Tabitha — October 22, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Wondering if it would work to make the sauce ahead of time and store in the fridge? I want to bring this to a potluck this Thursday but I don’t know if I have time to make it all that night; if I could make the sauce Wednesday and then just cook the tortellini and heat up the sauce, I could pull it off! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #
      Tessa — November 16, 2012 at 7:18 am

      Sorry I missed your comment. Did you end up reheating it okay?

  15. #
    Anonymous — November 16, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I’m curious why you didn’t cite your source. It’s taken almost word-for-word from The Food Network.

    • #
      Tessa — November 16, 2012 at 7:19 am

      Anonymous, thanks for pointing out that error! I always include sources but it would appear this time I forgot :/ I’m still getting used to my new recipe formatting with the new site design which has a special section for sources. Anyways, error fixed!

  16. #
    Ashley — August 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I have made this several times now. The sauce is amazing. I add a little bit of sage and I substituted fat free half and half for the cream, since I’m trying to watch my intake. But it is so delicious and creamy I can’t get over it! Fantastic recipe.

  17. #
    Tara — November 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Loved this! Perfect autumn recipe. My son was a huge fan.

  18. #
    Jamieanne — April 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Came across this recipe while searching Foodgawker for pumpkin pasta sauces, so glad I decided to make it! Super easy and really delicious, a new favorite autumn recipe! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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