Healthy One Pot Pumpkin Alfredo
This Healthy One Pot Pumpkin Alfredo with chicken, roasted red peppers & crispy sage is a lighter, more nutritious fall spin on your favourite pasta sauce!
I think we have approached a little milestone here on the blog. A little milestone that includes a delish, savoury pumpkin recipe. Yes, I don't think we've ever really approached this territory.
I'm one of *THOSE* people now.
I think pumpkin is such a polarizing fall flavour. Sure, we all head to the pumpkin patch every year and spend time decorating jack-o-lanterns, and we even devour pumpkin shaped chocolates and indulge in the pumpkin theme the whole month of October pretty liberally.
But when it comes to actually eating pumpkin? Well, let's just say I've had more than one person turn their nose up at me at the very mention of Pumpkin Spice Lattes or anything remotely close in flavour (what, no Pumpkin Spice Protein Bars anyone?)
Honestly, besides the fact that pumpkin is a very trendy flavour right now, I don't get where all the hate is for it.
Like, did you know that pumpkin puree that comes in the can is actually mostly a mix of other squash varieties? For the most part, we don't actually really consume that much pumpkin. Squash has that sweeter taste we associate more with pumpkin, and it's actually a very nutritious way to add more veggies to a meal. Or even add a bit more natural sweetness to something.
So let's take this healthier pumpkin alfredo for example. I seriously love this stuff.
The first alfredo sauce I ever made was by a cookbook author who was my mom's go-to all through my childhood: Anne Lindsay. I basically grew up eating ALL of this lady's recipes, and my mom felt good about learning to feed us kids some more nutritious, healthy options for dinner each night. I'm certainly not complaining here.
As I grew older and expressed more of an interest in cooking, my mom pointed me to her cookbooks to try my hand at some recipes and start learning more myself. Anne Lindsay's lighter fettuccine alfredo recipe was one of the very first recipes I cooked for a family dinner one night, and even though many years have passed since then, I have experimented with all kinds of alfredo sauces (from super creamy, indulgent ones to even a red pepper alfredo) and let's just say that her method remains one of my go-tos.
Evaporated milk! I know, it doesn't sound so hot. But Anne Lindsay knows what she's talking about, let me tell you! This canned milk can be found in the baking aisle of your local grocery store. It cooks up a bit creamier than regular 2% milk and it's a far better alternative to whipping cream.
I still include 1 tbsp of cream in this recipe just to add a bit more richness and flavour, but I know how expensive cream is and you don't usually use up the whole carton unless you drink it with your coffee so go ahead and feel free to leave it out if you don't wanna spend the extra cash. The evaporated milk and flour combo will do just fine.
However, I do recommend that you use high-quality, fresh-grated parmesan cheese. Like, just go ahead and buy an entire block and then grate it fresh right before you need it for this Pumpkin Alfredo because that will yield the best results possible. From there, it's just a matter of adding in jarred roasted red peppers and some fresh sage for a delicious, rich-tasting pasta that's still light enough to enjoy on a weeknight and tasty enough for leftovers the whole week long.
And yes, I'm seriously talking leftovers with this pasta, and I'll let you in on a little secret to reviving it for lunch.
You wanna make sure to add in a good couple tablespoons of milk, cream or water whenever you're reheating pasta. If it's a dairy-based pasta I make sure to use whatever dairy I was using for the recipe before microwaving because you totally gain back that creamy flavour while ensuring the pasta stays moist when reheating, but water totally works in a pinch.
There's seriously nothing worse than dried out leftover pasta but I'm telling you, you don't have to keep doing that to yourself. My reheat method works wonders.
Top your pumpkin alfredo with a little bit of fresh grated cheese, freshly chopped parsley (or extra crispy sage if you have it!!!) and you're ready to go to town on the most delicious fall dinner. And it's healthy! So curl up on the couch with an extra blanket or two and devour this!
By the way, is anyone else super pumped for fall TV? Between Curb Your Enthusiasm returning to HBO after 9 years, and This Is Us, American Horror Story and Grey's Anatomy all starting back up, I'm SUPER pumped for cozy fall evenings in. One of my fave times of the year!
Will you be making this Healthy One Pot Pumpkin Alfredo?
I think this is seriously fall eating at its finest!
Healthy One Pot Pumpkin Alfredo
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
- 1 tbsp cream
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for serving)
- 1 lb bowtie pasta
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
- 8 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Add pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside, then dry out pot with paper towel.
- Add olive oil and chicken to pot, sauteing for 5-6 minutes until chicken is browned. Remove chicken from heat and set aside, bringing pot back to heat and adding a little bit more olive oil. Add sage leaves and fry until crispy, about 20-30 seconds. Remove and keep with chicken.
- Add a little bit more olive oil and garlic and saute for a couple seconds, then add flour. Add evaporated milk, cream and pumpkin puree, whisking as it thickens up. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg, then parmesan cheese, whisking well to combine.
- Add cooked pasta, chicken, sage and roasted red peppers to sauce, tossing to coat and cooking over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and everything is heated through. If pasta sticks together when adding to the pot just run a little bit of cold water overtop when pasta is still in strainer.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper (all optional toppings) before serving. Enjoy!