Healthy Pumpkin Alfredo with Wilted Garlic Kale
This pumpkin alfredo is lusciously creamy, delicious, and healthy, too! We add pumpkin to our popular vegan cauliflower alfredo sauce, toss it with zucchini noodles, and serve it with wilted kale. It's a simple dinner recipe that is ready in just 35 minutes!
If you're a fan of healthy zucchini noodles, also try our zucchini pasta with kale pesto and our 15-minute zucchini spaghetti recipe.
Table of contents
This pumpkin alfredo sauce is everything we love about classic creamy alfredo, but way lighter and healthier. If you're a fan of Trader Joe's pumpkin alfredo sauce, then you'll love our version!
The noodles are zucchini, the alfredo sauce is cauliflower and pumpkin, and we top it with crispy kale and toasted pumpkin seeds.
We start with our easy-to-make cauliflower alfredo sauce, then add some pumpkin and warm spices to make it seasonal. Then we toss it with some spiralized zucchini noodles, sautéed kale, and toasted pumpkin seeds for a complete and satisfying meal.
While we're big fans of zucchini noodles, we also love regular pasta and you can absolutely use that instead.
Either way, it's comfort food you can enjoy without feeling weighed down. We like to make it through the fall and winter months when we want something hearty, but need a break from all the heavier winter foods. It's gluten-free, vegan, and totally delicious!
Healthy pumpkin alfredo ingredients
Here's what you need to make the zucchini noodles:
- Zucchinis – use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make long noodles that resemble spaghetti. You can definitely use regular pasta noodles if you prefer!
- Sea salt – the salt helps the zucchinis release some of their water, giving them a more noodle-like texture.
This is what you'll need for the pumpkin alfredo sauce:
- Dreamy vegan cauliflower alfredo sauce – one recipe of this easy-to-make creamy sauce is where we start. No heavy cream in this vegan version!
- Canned pumpkin – we used canned pumpkin puree, but if you happen to have some fresh pumpkin purée on hand, use that!
- Cayenne pepper – for a little heat and to enhance the flavors. You can also omit it if you prefer.
- Cinnamon powder
Here's what's needed for the garlic kale:
- Butter – regular butter, or a dairy-free alternative works great, too.
- Garlic – to give flavor and liven up the kale.
- Kale – we use curly kale in the pictures, but any kale variety works.
Here's what you'll need to serve (optional):
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
How to make healthy pumpkin alfredo
This creamy pumpkin alfredo sauce starts with our dreamy vegan cauliflower alfredo sauce. It's so rich and delicious, you'll forget it's healthy! Here's how we make it in a couple of simple steps:
- Place your julienne zucchini noodles in a bowl and sprinkle them with salt. Let them sit while you prepare the sauce.
- Prepare the cauliflower alfredo sauce in your blender, then stir in the pumpkin, cayenne powder, and cinnamon.
- Melt some butter in a pan, add the garlic, then sauté the kale until it wilts.
- Rinse the zucchini noodles under hot water and then squeeze them dry. Stir them into the alfredo sauce, mixing well to coat all the noodles.
- To serve, top the noodles with sautéed kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a little parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Definitely! You can make the sauce up to 3 days ahead of time. Store it in a sealed jar or container in your fridge until you're ready to use it.
Yes, this sauce freezes beautifully. Store it in a freezer-safe container or reusable silicone bag (we like these stasher bags) for up to 2 months.
To make this recipe completely vegan, be sure to swap the butter for a vegan butter alternative in the garlic kale part of the recipe, and use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese for serving. Other than that, yes, it's completely vegan!
What to serve with vegan pumpkin alfredo sauce
This healthy pumpkin alfredo recipe has a lot going for it and it's a complete meal on its own. If you have extra pumpkin alfredo sauce, there are so many delicious ways to use it!
Here are some other ways to use pumpkin alfredo sauce:
- As a sauce for pizza
- In a casserole or baked pasta dish
- Drizzled over a grain bowl
- As a creamy dip with vegetables like broccoli or brussels sprouts
More healthy pasta sauce recipes
Healthy Pumpkin Alfredo
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
The Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles)
- 3 large zucchinis, cut with a julienne peeler
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
The Healthy Pumpkin Alfredo
- 1 recipe of Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
The Wilted Garlic Kale
- 1 teaspoon butter, dairy-free if needed
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
- 2 cups kale, torn
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, to serve
- Place the julienned zucchini into a large bowl and sprinkle the sea salt over top. Use your hands to mix the two together well.3 large zucchinis, 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Prepare the Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce. Stir in the pumpkin, cayenne powder, and cinnamon.½ cup canned pumpkin, ½ teaspoon cayenne powder, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the kale and let it cook until the kale is soft, about 2 minutes.1 teaspoon butter, 2 cloves garlic, 2 cups kale
- Rinse the zucchini well under hot running water. Drain off all the water, squeezing the zucchini noodles until they are dry. Add the zucchini to the pan with the pumpkin alfredo sauce and mix together well.
- Serve topped with garlic kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a little parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
Delicious! I used rainbow chard from the garden rather than kale. This is a keeper ‘cause my husband refuses to eat anything with cauliflower! He loved it!
Haha I love it! Great to hear that there’s been a cauliflower convert!
Just made this and it was fantastic and easy! We just did it with fettuccine and was perfect for a hearty and tasty creamy meal with greens! Thanks!
I’m so happy to hear you like the recipe!
This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I had made a pumpkin sage Alfredo sauce a while back, but I want to make more vegan healthy dishes- and the one i had made was loaded with cream, cheese, and butter. In my eyes not worthy of bragging points. So i can not Wait to try this! Thanks so much for the recipe! I am going to try it with sage again as they pair very nicely.
I hope you like it as much as I do! It’s definitely not as heavy as a traditional alfredo, which means you can eat more and still feel great!
So, I’m in full counting calories and macros’s kick. I have to ask, where are the 19 grams of protein coming from in the nutrition info? This looks amazing and wonderful and delicious but when I do the math I get somewhere around 20 grams of protein for the whole recipe, not a single serving. I am a bit confused, am I missing something?
We use MyFitnessPal to calculate the calories on all of the recipes here. When I had a second look, it did seem a bit off. This time when I ran it through it said there is 7grams per serving, which seems more accurate. I’m going to update that and maybe look at a new calorie counting app!
Oh my! This looks so sinfully creamy! I can’t believe it’s healthy! This is the very best of both worlds – I gotta try this.
Thank you so much, lovely! It really is delicious.:)
Oh man, this is just a bowlful of healthy GORGEOUSNESS! I love that you use zucchini noodles and that pumpkin alfredo sauce sounds absolutely dreamy, Kristen!
Thank you! I’m totally in love with zucchini noodles … I sneak them in anytime I can. 🙂
Oh, I remember your awesome-looking cauli alfredo. This one is better you say? Hm… now pumpkin in alfredo is something I’ve yet to try, but adding it to my list pronto!
The pumpkin makes the creamy alfredo even more creamy and the pumpkin seeds add the perfect crunch. I definitely recommend trying it!
Ohhh yum! I love that you veggied-up my favourite pasta dish 🙂 looks so delicious.
Easy delicious comforting and vegan…I’m in ‘)