Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Penne by Cara Lyons

Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Penne by Cara Lyons


4 oz penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 75gm)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
about 2T chopped fresh sage
2 links cooked chicken sausage, sliced (see note)
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (1% milk fat)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup nonfat milk
pinch of nutmeg
5oz torn spinach, thick stems removed
grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, optional


Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook gently for about 10-15minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add garlic, sage, and chicken sausage; continue to saute.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

In a blender, combine combine pumpkin, cottage cheese, and milk. Blend until no lumps are present. Add to sausage mixture in skillet and continue to cook over low heat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Add sausage mixture and baby spinach, and toss together. Cover for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Note: People have asked me what kind of chicken sausage to use. I don’t think there’s one right answer! The chicken sausage I most often have on hand is one I buy at Sam’s club – it’ a spinach and asiago flavor. But, I’ve also been told the dish is great with an apple chicken sausage too. Pumpkin is very versatile and pairs will with sweet or savory, so you can’t go wrong!


Cara Lyons

Cara Lyons

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10 Responses to “Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Penne”

  1. Michele says:

    I can’t wait to try your recipe, it sounds wonderful!!

  2. Megan says:

    Yummy! I can’t wait to try this one! Question for ya: would turkey sausage work/taste as good as chicken?

  3. Karen says:

    Wish there was a print button.

  4. Karen says:

    Just highlight what you want to print, and click on file in your toolbar, , then print, then on your print screen select “selection”…the recipe and picture should print.

  5. Cara says:

    Thanks ladies!
    Megan, I think turkey sausage would work just fine :)

  6. Diana says:

    Any idea how many servings this makes?

  7. Cara says:

    This recipe is written for two servings. Full nutritional information is included on my blog as well:

  8. Licia says:

    Delish! I used brown rice penne, next time I will use whole wheat.

  9. Laura says:

    This looks really yummy! I’ll use my ezekial penne, and low sodium, naturally smoked (nitrate free) sausage.
    Does this serve TWO? Just wondering…

  10. Shree says:

    I couldn’t even wait to finish eating this — I had to rush right over to the computer to report that it is ABSOLUTELY DIVINE! Thank you so much for the recipe. I used part skim ricotta, because that was all I had on hand, but I imagine it works similarly to cottage cheese…plus, no lumps with ricotta.

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