Tortellini with Guiltless Pumpkin Alfredo

by Erin

Even though I am super pumped that the holidays are upon us, I cannot believe how fast they crept up. Like Kita of Pass the Sushi, I had a bunch of other fall-ish/Thanksgiving recipes I wanted to make and share with you before Thursday next week, but guess I’ll have to stow them away until next year. Although I definitely have covered sweet potatoes this season, I haven’t posted any butternut squash recipes and only a few pumpkin.

To make up for the imbalance I have a yummy pumpkin alfredo for you. It’s even good for you! The best thing about making alfredo guiltless is actually the lack of leftover heavy cream in my fridge. Every time a recipe calls for heavy cream I end up with half a carton that ends up going bad before I find reason to use it again. I always say I am going to whip up homemade butter and freeze it, but it never happens. Luckily I always have milk and cream cheese, and those are two ingredients I cannot keep enough of stocked.

One year ago: Butternut Squash Lasagna

Two years ago: Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Serves 4


Kosher salt

20 oz. package of cheese tortellini

1-1/4 cups 2% milk

2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) (I used homemade pumpkin puree)

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to label directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  2. While the pasta cooks, in a food processor or blender, combine milk, cream cheese, and flour. Process until smooth and set aside.
  3. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the milk mixture and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and cook until thick, about 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the tortellini to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Divide among four bowls and top with more cheese and the parsley. Serve.

Source: Adapted from Handle the Heat.

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Tracey November 18, 2012 - 4:53 pm

I made a version of this recipe a few weeks ago (it’s sitting in my drafts folder :) ) and I just loved it!! I was skeptical of the pumpkin in a savory dish, but it totally worked.

spiffycookie November 19, 2012 - 10:05 am

I have a few recipes still in my to-post list… from AUGUST. I’m terrible. But I got so into fall cooking and baking I keep putting them off.

Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking November 17, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Pumpkin alfredo is such a great idea! I can’t wait to try this.

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers November 16, 2012 - 5:20 pm

Yum! I love pumpkin sauce on my pasta!! Yours looks delish!!

sally @ sallys baking addiction November 16, 2012 - 9:34 am

pumpkin alfredo! this is so clever Erin – I’ve never seen or heard of that before. just when i thought i’ve added pumpkin to everything, you throw me for a loop! saving this recipe – everyone needs a lightened up alfredo!

spiffycookie November 16, 2012 - 9:37 am

I’ve done all kinds of guiltless alfredo – regular, cajun, goat cheese, and now pumpkin!


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