Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sausage, Mushroom and Pumpkin Pasta

I stocked up on canned pumpkin and found myself wondering what I could cook with them besides desserts and breads.   On Saturday I found this sausage and pumpkin recipe in my Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine.  Since I wanted to use 2 cups (a whole can) of canned pumpkin, I decided to modify and double the recipe I discovered with a few changes and additives. 

Here is the tasty end result:

Sausage, Mushroom and Pumpkin Pasta
(Serves 10 to 12)

3 cups of pasta (I used elbow macaroni, whole wheat)
1 lb (14 oz) of pre-cooked turkey sausage, chopped into small pieces
2 cups of chicken broth
2 cans (10 oz) of cream of mushroom soup, fat free
1 can (15 oz) of pumpkin
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 large red onion
1/2 cup of cooking white wine
1/2 cup of reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dashes of salt and pepper, to taste

Cook your pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, generously grease a large skillet with cooking spray.  Cook sausage onion, garlic and mushroom soup for about ten minutes.  Transfer the contents into a large pot that has been greased at the bottom.  (You'll need more room than a skillet for the next several steps).  

In the large pot, add in the chicken broth, white wine, canned pumpkin, Parmesan cheese, oregano, onion powder, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture forms a sauce texture that looks like this:

Isn't this a beautiful color pasta sauce?  The orange from the pumpkin gives it a fun, festive fall feel.  (Say that three times in a row without fail, I dare you!) 

Drain your cooked pasta.  Then add it to the sausage-mushroom-pumpkin saunce once it looks similar to the above photo.   Mix the pasta well and add the 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

Serve in pasta bowls and enjoy. We ate ours with a side of green beans and garlic bread.  Yummy! 

This recipe makes A LOT!  You may want to consider cutting it in half or just freeze 2/3 of it like I did! 

To reheat, defrost in fridge overnight or in microwave.  Add additional chicken broth, water and cheeses if needed.

(Cook's note: This recipe has more of a mushroom and garlic flavor than a pumpkin taste.  I find the pumpkin to very subtle, more as an undertone.  You can however use less or more of any of the above ingredients to make it work for your family.  I bet your kids will try it, simply because it looks like macaroni and cheese.  It has a VERY different flavor though and much less fat!)

(Fun fact:
  Every year I forget whether pumpkin is considered to be a fruit or a vegetable.  I usually think of it as fruit because of it's sweet nature.   However, many other people call it a vegetable because it's a member of the squash family.  Web resources say the following: The pumpkin is a member of the squash family, and, though it is treated like a vegetable, it is technically a fruit. The reason a pumpkin is a fruit is because it grows on a vine and contains seeds.)


  1. This looks good - i may have to try it. Do you think turkey kielbasa would be ok? I got lots of it :)

  2. I think any sausage would work fine in this! Good luck. Let me know how it turns out!