pumpkin bolognese spaghetti

Pumpkin Bolognese Spaghetti for the Fall

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FamilyPastaTime #CollectiveBias

I cook and bake pretty often, which means I have to stock up for ingredients just as frequently. I tend to buy my fresh produce from the farmer’s market, then head to nearby stores like Target (which I affectionately refer to as Tar-jay with a French pronunciation) for my pantry staples.

In my opinion, no pantry is fully stocked without some kind of pasta. In my pantry, you’ll find a variety of pastas, all of which are made by Barilla®.

My mom always used Barilla’s Pasta when I was growing up, so naturally it’s the brand I turn to when I’m looking for quality pasta at home. To keep things exciting and seasonal, I’ll often use the pasta to make recipes like this pumpkin bolognese spaghetti.

pumpkin bolognese spaghetti

One of the recipes Mom always made when I was growing up was spaghetti with classic bolognese sauce. It’s her favorite kind of sauce, preferring its depth of flavor over simpler red sauces made with big meatballs.

Bolognese is also a surprisingly easy sauce to whip up and can be made fairly quickly. Making this pumpkin bolognese spaghetti vs. traditional bolognese spaghetti is as easy as adding pumpkin purée to the sauce.

This slight addition adds a subtle pumpkin flavor that pairs really well with the other veggies in the bolognese sauce.

pumpkin bolognese spaghetti

pumpkin bolognese spaghetti

For this pumpkin bolognese spaghetti, I used Barilla Spaghetti from Barilla’s Classic Blue Box collection. You can also use their Classic Blue Box penne, or one of their gluten-free varieties. 

I cooked the spaghetti in boiling water, then reserved some of the pasta water and used it for the bolognese sauce. The pasta water has great flavor because of the tasty Barilla Spaghetti, and using the water makes for a healthier alternative to the cream or milk used in other bolognese sauces.

The sauce for this pumpkin bolognese spaghetti ends up tasting rich with the flavors of beef and tomato, and has the slightest hint of sweetness from the delicate pumpkin purée. You will be surprised at how flavorful the sauce is, considering how quickly this meal comes together.

This pumpkin bolognese spaghetti can be made in 30 minutes, making it a quick and wholesome meal to enjoy with the family this fall.

pumpkin bolognese spaghetti

Pumpkin Spaghetti Bolognese

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Spaghetti with a quick, pumpkin-flavored bolognese sauce.


  • 1 box of Barilla Spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves large garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lb . ground beef
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • reserved pasta water


  1. Cook the Barilla Spaghetti according to the package directions, adding 1 tablespoon of salt to the pot of water. Drain the spaghetti, making sure to reserve the pasta water; set aside.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent; about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, and dried oregano. Sauté for 5 minutes, until vegetables become tender and aromatic.
  3. Add the ground beef and break up the beef into smaller pieces. Cook the beef until it's browned, then add the tomato paste and pumpkin purée. Add a generous pinch of salt, then a small pinch of pepper. Stir everything together and let the paste and purée cook with the beef for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add some of the reserved pasta water, one ladle at a time (about 1/4 cup), until the sauce is as thick or loose as you like it. (see note) Allow the sauce to simmer on low heat for a minute.
  5. If your pan is big enough, toss the spaghetti with the sauce in the pan. If not, simply pour the sauce over the spaghetti.


I usually add about 1 cup of reserved pasta water.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 466
Pumpkin Bolognese Spaghetti: a 30-minute fall meal. Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

Similar Posts


  1. I made this last night and it was great. I added a few mushrooms as I had them kicking around the fridge. I think next time I might add another onion half, one more 1/2 cup of tomato paste, and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese but really it was just excellent as is. I grow pumpkins in the garden and typically end up with a lot of puree so it is nice to have something new to do with it! Thanks for this great recipe.

    1. Awesome, Laura! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment! 🙂

  2. We love this recipe!! I love it myself, but my daughter… She is 2 and on a limited diet so we use gluten free noodles, and we usually use lamb or bison instead of beef for more nutrients, but this is her FAVORITE food EVER. I end up having to make a batch and freeze it at least once a month. And at least twice a week she asks for it… sometimes even for breakfast! This is the ONE meal that this picky toddler will eat with no problems, always! And it is a lifesaver when she’s sick.

    We all just love it, but it’s seriously incredible how much my daughter does!

    1. Hi Rebecca! Thanks so much for the sweet comment!! That is so awesome that your family loves this recipe, especially your daughter! I love when kids enjoy the same foods as us. Thank you for sharing your experience – give your little one a big squeeze! <3

  3. So yummy!! I used Mushrooms instead of Carrots and Celery simply because it was in my fridge. Perfect amount of pumpkin flavor. It wasn’t overpowering, but you could taste it. Thank you for the recipe:)

    1. So happy you enjoyed this, Jenny! 🙂 Substituting mushroom is a wonderful idea. I’ve done that with traditional pasta meat sauce when I’ve needed to use up a handful of mushrooms sitting in the fridge. Thanks so much for the kind comment! <3

    1. Thank you, Kathleen! How cool that this was a childhood staple too in your house 😀 Also, Barilla is awesome, right?? 🙂

  4. Adding pumpkin to bolognese sauce … what a fantastic idea!! Our children are not the best eaters of vegetables, so I am always looking for ways to sneak veges into their meal. And this sounds perfect 🙂 Can’t wait to try your recipe!!

    1. Thank you, Thanh! I know, kids can be picky with vegetables. They won’t even realize they’re eating one with this spaghetti recipe! 🙂

Leave a Reply

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