Fall is arguably the best time of the year for food (and clothes, and organizing, and redecorating). The oh-so-beautiful produce is brimming with autumnal hues and comfort is a key flavor alongside dishes that are equal parts mouth-watering and sumptuous. And whether it’s the ease of preparation or its endless versatility (or a bit of the two), pasta is always a wonderful way to invite in the colder temps. For a little inspiration and to get your culinary wheels turning, we’ve rounded up our favorite fall pasta recipes to keep you warm, cozy, and satisfied all season long.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
20 Fall Pasta Recipes That Define Autumnal Comfort
In addition to fall soups and comfort baking, fall pasta recipes give shape to the season we spend all year looking forward to celebrating. Among the apple picking and cozying up our homes, the ritual of weeknight fall pasta recipes that double as dinner party staples is one we’d gladly give up the sunny days of summer for.
Ready for the deliciousness? Prepare for the silky, soothing pleasure of pasta. With the dishes below, we’re ready to celebrate cold weather eating at its most undeniably delicious. Now, let’s dive into the best fall pasta recipes, fork-first.
Ratatouille-Style Roasted Vegetable Pasta
Why We Love It: This take on the classic French dish is the perfect recipe for when you’re craving fall coziness, but the summer temps haven’t yet tipped. (Hello, all of September.) It makes the most of late-summer veggies like eggplant and zucchini while also leaning into the coziness of parmesan-spiked pasta. Plus, it’s a sheet pan meal, streamlining the kitchen-to-table transition.
Hero Ingredient: Rigatoni holds up to the chunky cuts of veggies perfectly.
Winter Vegetable Lasagna
Why We Love It: If you’ve been too intimidated to make your own pasta, this is the recipe to help build your confidence. Turns out, making your own lasagna is wayyy easier than it seems. And of course, it’s the perfect vehicle for a buttery sauce and a hearty vegetable filling.
Hero Ingredient: Nutmeg warms up the rich, creamy béchamel.
Pappardelle with Shiitakes, Kale, & Jammy Leeks
Why We Love It: This veggie-packed pasta is loaded with an irresistibly smoky flavor and complemented by umami-rich mushrooms. Finish things off with a pungent bite of garlic for good measure. Seconds? Thirds? Yes, please.
Hero Ingredient: I have two words: jammy leeks.
Gemelli with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli
Why We Love It: Turkey sausage, broccoli, and tomatoes’ richness make this simpler-than-it-seems dinner an always-impressive choice. Drizzling olive oil over top just before serving only improves the final fruity result.
Hero Ingredient: Chopped broccoli provides visual interest while balancing out the turkey’s hearty bite.
Miso Tomato Pasta
Why We Love It: I know, I know: while baby tomatoes are at their best in July, I still crave the juicy bursts of flavor they offer any dish, year-round. To handle tomatoes post-summer, I opt for recipes that cook them down until they’re caramelized and sweet. In this hearty, but simple pasta, slow-roasting the tomatoes with olive oil and garlic is key to making them taste their best.
Hero Ingredient: While I just waxed poetic on tomatoes, the prize goes to miso. It’s a secret-weapon ingredient that gives this five-ingredient pasta tons of flavor.
Creamy Vegan Pasta with Tomatoes and Basil
Why We Love It: Creamy and vegan? Don’t worry, I was skeptical, too. That is until I spun my fork around and lifted the silky spool of bucatini into my mouth. Plant-based perfection. The key is making a creamy walnut sauce that combines soaked nuts with a few key players that fill it with tons of flavor. It all comes together in 20 minutes—and tastes like you’ve been cooking all day.
Hero Ingredient: Hollow strands of bucatini soak up the creamy sauce perfectly. The result is a burst of flavor in every bite.
Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts & Kale Pesto
Why We Love It: We’re quick to share our love of Brussels sprouts with the masses, and we’d be remiss not to include the veg in our roundup of fall pasta recipes. Sautéed with a splash of EVOO and elevated by red chili flakes and rosemary, the sprouts shine in this deceptively easy dish.
Hero Ingredient: A tablespoon of nutritional yeast fills your pesto with plant-based cheesiness. It’s hard not to dive in before it gets stirred into your pasta.
Butternut Squash, Spinach, & Goat Cheese Pasta
Why We Love It: When the temperatures drop and all your cravings point to a hearty, mind-blowing meatless main dish, this butternut squash pasta is your answer. A mix of fresh and colorful veggies blends beautifully with a brown butter sauce that’s divine. Plus, the mix of easy-to-prep ingredients (if you buy your butternut squash peeled and chopped) aligns with anyone wanting to build their confidence in the kitchen.
Hero Ingredient: The goat cheese crumbles bring a tangy-salty bite that’s pronounced while still letting the other ingredients shine.
Vegetarian Pasta Bolognese
Why We Love It: Convinced that bolognese should be reserved only for open-ended weekend culinary pursuits? This recipe is swooping in to say otherwise. A vegetarian twist on the classic meat sauce, this version leans on small-diced onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to mimic the traditional texture.
Hero Ingredient: Mushrooms = MVP. They give bite and body to the sauce, and when simmered with tomatoes and just a few seasonings, the result is an impressively filling, plant-based alternative.
Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon & Crispy Sage
Why We Love It: Bold statement, but I’ll be craving this dish every night from now until spring. Using just a handful of ingredients, this pasta perfectly encapsulates fall flavors. (And it’s ready in under an hour!) Oh, and if you can think of something better than sinking your fork into a spiralized plate of butternut squash pasta deliciousness, let us know.
Hero Ingredient: Roasting the butternut squash creates a complex, nutty flavor—sealing the deal on this autumn-inspired dish.
Brown Butter Pumpkin Pasta with Fried Sage & Manchego
Why We Love It: Loaded with honey-sweetened cubes of roasted pumpkin, this comforting pasta makes the most of the fall staple. It’s satiating while still feeling light, bringing all the flavors of fall together in one delightful dish.
Hero Ingredient: Manchego’s sweet, caramelized flavor is a cheese-lover’s dream.
Green Sauce Pasta
Why We Love It: If you haven’t tried serving long locks of linguine with a verdant and fresh sauce, now’s the time to get started. While this recipe might not immediately scream fall, I find that a few weeks into the season, I’m ready to mix things up with a light and bright recipe. This pasta packs in all the vitamins and nutrients I need.
Hero Ingredient: We’re calling it now: green pasta is the new green smoothie. A little grated parmesan keeps it from tasting too virtuous.
One Pot Garlicky Mushroom Pasta with Sausage & Arugula
Why We Love It: The simplicity-to-wow-factor ratio of this recipe is unmatched. Bonus: This dish works just as well given a vegetarian spin. Simply swap out the sausage for any hearty veg. Camille suggests strips of roasted red pepper, green olives, or drained and chopped artichoke hearts. You’re welcome to experiment with any ingredient your heart (and appetite) desires.
Hero Ingredient: While arugula’s strong, spicy flavor may turn otherwise adventurous diners off, here, the leafy green is tossed in all of this pasta’s cheesy, garlicky goodness. It’s a show-stopper that everyone will enjoy.
Tikka Masala Pasta
Why We Love It: This recipe is representative of our food editor, Suruchi’s quest to establish a universal Pasta Sunday. I don’t know about you, but I’m fully on board—and this recipe was the perfect pasta to convince me. I’m here for Indian fusion dishes, and as Suruchi says, “It’s magic when two culinary worlds come together to create something entirely new and wonderful.” One bite, and you’ll know exactly what she’s talking about.
Hero Ingredient: The list of fragrant and flavorful spices is lengthy, but it’s their complexity that gives this pasta a wonderful, mesmerizing depth.
Spicy Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka
Why We Love It: Like clockwork, the first fall chill sends signals to the body that it’s time to swap our summer salads for creamy, soul-satisfying dishes, and this recipe does a beautiful job of filling in the gaps. A crowd favorite, this is a must-make if you’re cooking for family or inviting friends over for an impromptu mid-week meal. Creamy and comforting, it all comes together in only 35 minutes.
Hero Ingredient: The sauce requires a heavy pour of cream, and with vodka and parm added to the mix, this comes dangerously close to being a nap-inducing dish. But the basil pesto cuts the richness of the cream, and the final result is beautifully balanced while still feeling incredibly indulgent.
Pumpkin Cheese Stuffed Pasta Bolognese Bake from Half Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: This recipe had us at “pumpkin-stuffed.” While the total alone could have you thinking this will be a labor-intensive dish, it requires only 20 minutes of prep time. And because it’s a bake, most of the hard work gets done in the oven.
Hero Ingredient: Be warned: this recipe is not for the faint of heart. It combines chicken, fontina, blue cheese, and provolone for an unbelievably rich sauce. But the two tablespoons of chopped sage lend an earthy, eucalyptus-spiked freshness that ties it all together. Consider this recipe the equivalent of sliding into your softest, coziest fall sweater.
Vegan Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: As far as fall pasta recipes are concerned, mac and cheese plus pumpkin is a match made in heaven. While some versions can lean too sweet, this one is perfectly savory with just a hint of fall flavor. 100% plant-based, it’s the ideal indulgence for anyone who doesn’t handle dairy.
Hero Ingredient: I lean conservative when it comes to my pumpkin pie spice usage. The quarter-teaspoon sprinkled into this sauce is a study of perfectly balanced restraint.
Pumpkin Cauliflower Gnocchi with Nutty Browned Butter and Whipped Ricotta from Half Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: Classic gnocchi > cauliflower gnocchi. I’ll stand by my hot take for every recipe—with the exception of this one. The cauliflower version of everyone’s favorite dumpling-like pasta provides a lighter base for this incredibly indulgent sauce. Browned butter, whipped ricotta, and pumpkin to tie it all together? Trust, you’ll want some respite in the form of this cauliflower sub.
Hero Ingredient: Butter in any form is a beautiful thing. But left in the pan on low long enough for it to develop a complex, caramelized sweetness? Elite.
Miso Carbonara from The Kitchn
Why We Love It: A dish that can impress any dinner date with minimal effort? This recipe checks both boxes. Carbonara is a weeknight staple at many a dinner table, but this take on the dish adds an impressive burst of flavor with the unexpected additions of miso and sriracha. It’s a must-make whenever you’re trying to impress your fellow diners. (Or, of course, if you’re piling up a heaping bowl of pasta to enjoy all to yourself.)
Hero Ingredient: The miso’s earthy, salty savoriness beautifully balances the egg yolks’ rich flavor, making this recipe hearty without feeling heavy.
Turkey Tetrazzini from Adventures in Cooking
Why We Love It: This is not the mysterious turkey tetrazzini served in many an early-aughts school cafeteria. With a stunning medley of fresh and vibrant veg (shallots, mushrooms, and a handful of peppery parsley), this dish imparts both brightness and heat.
Hero Ingredient: While surprisingly polarizing in terms of taste, the health benefits of mushrooms can’t be denied. And when they’ve taken a spin in a sauté pan with a good glug of olive oil, you might even be able to make the most mushroom-averse diner change their tune.
This post was originally published on October 22, 2021, and has since been updated.