Light Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

There’s an Italian restaurant in my hometown that serves up the most amazingly decadent plate of Fettuccine Alfredo, but I haven’t had it in years… more specifically over 10 years ago when I was in high school and could eat a plateful of white pasta smothered in butter, heavy cream, and cheese and not gain an ounce.

Even if I could still indulge in such a rich dish and not gain an ounce, I bet a plateful of classic Fettuccine Alfredo nowadays would make me feel sluggish and nauseous.

That is precisely why nowadays I make lighter versions of my high calorie/high fat favorites. I feel better after eating healthfully prepared food, not only emotionally but physically as well.

Such is the case with this Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce. I replaced the saturated fat-laden ingredients traditionally found in Alfredo sauce with healthier ones: olive oil for butter and skim milk + neufchatel cream cheese for heavy cream. I kept the Parmesan cheese, but cut down on the amount, and accented the salty cheese with earthy pumpkin puree.

The resulting sauce is velvety smooth, rich without being heavy, and super comforting when served blanketing a plate of whole wheat pasta on a chilly fall evening.


Light Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: saute main vegetarian cream cheese pumpkin cheese fall

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup skim milk, preferably organic
  • 2 oz neufchatel (1/3-less-fat) cream cheese, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • tiny pinch ground nutmeg, optional
  • 4 oz cooked pasta (I used whole wheat linguine)


Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20-30 seconds.

Whisk in the flour for about 20 seconds or so. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, whisking often, until mixture thickens, about 1-2 minutes.

Whisk in the neufchatel, pumpkin puree, and parmesan cheese until smooth and well-mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and nutmeg if using.

Toss with 4 oz cooked & drained pasta of choice. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

285.7 calories, 21.1 grams fat, 10.0 grams saturated fat, 0.3 grams fiber, 4.8 grams sugars, 16.6 grams protein

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10 thoughts on “Light Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

  1. Ummm, the nutritionals are completely misleading- does not include the pasta. I do not think I would consider this a ‘light’ sauce…. especially if it is only meant for two servings. Your nutritionals are misleading because that is for the sauce alone….285 kcal and 20g of fat for sauce is not something I would consider ‘light’.

  2. I saw a pumpkin pasta sauce in the barrage of Trader Joe’s pumpkin offerings this year, and I was intrigued. I definitely need to riff off this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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