This creamy pumpkin ravioli recipe is an easy and indulgent dinner idea that takes only about 20 minutes to make! A great pasta recipe when you want to switch it up from traditional tomato sauce.
Note: this post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021 with new photos and improved instructions.
This creamy pumpkin ravioli is indulgent, cozy, and so satisfying for a cold night. Plus, it's ready in only 20 minutes! Even better, garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds, this ravioli is so beautiful, you can serve it to last minute dinner guests and they will have no idea you whipped this up in a flash.
To make the most creamy and rich pumpkin sauce ever, there is a little secret ingredient - cream cheese! It also provides that little bit of extra savory flavor that really complements the sweetness of the pumpkin.
Trust me, you are going to want to make this ravioli, it's so delicious, and it's the perfect way to use up leftover canned pumpkin from any holiday baking (like this pumpkin cream cheese swirl cake?).
- Pumpkin puree: I used canned pumpkin puree; make sure you don't pick up canned pumpkin pie filling by mistake!
- Heavy cream: since the sauce is simmered, you cannot really substitute a lower fat version as it would be more likely to separate. Sorry, full fat only!
- Stock or broth: any kind will work! I used chicken stock. To make the recipe vegetarian, use vegetable broth (and meat-free ravioli too, of course!).
- Smoked paprika: this helps balance out the inherent sweetness of the pumpkin and adds to the coloring of the sauce; if you don't have smoked paprika, feel free to substitute regular paprika.
Step by step photos
1. Before you do anything else, set a large pot of water on the stove to begin boiling for pasta.
Meanwhile, if you want to make the optional pumpkin seed garnish, simply toast them for a minute or two in a hot sauté pan, stirring them continuously for a minute or two until they look toasty. Remove the seeds and set aside.
2. Next, in the same pan, add the broth, pumpkin puree, and seasonings.
3. Heat the mixture on medium heat, and whisk it for a minute or two until everything is combined and smooth.
4. Next, add the heavy cream, continue to heat the sauce and whisk frequently, for about 6 - 7 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
It should look like this when it's done:
5. Then, add in the cream cheese in chunks. Continue to simmer the sauce, whisking frequently, until the cream cheese has completely melted into the sauce.
6. When the pot of water is boiling, add in a generous pinch of salt and the ravioli. Cook it according to the package directions. When the ravioli is cooked, drain them and add to the sauce.
7. Use a large spoon to toss the ravioli gently so they are completely coated in the sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with the toasted pumpkin seeds if you like!
Tips and Tricks
Timing of When to Cook the Ravioli
This is probably the most helpful and important tip I have for you. The ravioli will taste best if you serve it as soon as you can after boiling. However, when I was testing this recipe, I found it a little challenging to perfectly time the ravioli to be cooked right when the sauce is finished. The water would take more or less time to boil than I expected, or maybe the sauce took an extra minute or two than I thought to thicken.
So, just err on the side of finishing the sauce first. The sauce is fine to hang out on the stove for a few minutes set on the lowest heat while the ravioli finishes cooking, as long as you whisk it occasionally.
And so you don't have to worry about your water coming to a boil long after you finish the sauce (you will want to eat this delicious dinner as soon as possible I am sure!), just start the water boiling at the beginning of the cooking time and let it maintain a gentle boil as you cook the sauce.
Other tips and tricks
- I recommend using a sauté pan to make the sauce. A sauté pan has a wide surface area and sides that are about 3 - 5 inches tall. This makes it easy to whisk the sauce without worry it will run over the sides, and gives enough room to add the ravioli at the end. If you don't have a sauté pan, you can also use a large saucepan.
- Adding the chunks of cream cheese is the last step. To speed up the process of combining the cream cheese into the sauce, make sure to cut the cream cheese up into small chunks. It may look lumpy at first as it starts to melt, but as you continue to whisk it will smooth out.
- Kosher salt is coarse grained; if you want to substitute fine grain salt, add a little less than the ½ teaspoon called for, taste the finished sauce, and add more if desired.
This ravioli recipe will taste the best if you serve it immediately, but you can store any leftovers for 3 - 4 days in the fridge, tightly covered.
If you want to save time, I would recommend only making the sauce ahead of time and storing it in the fridge. Then, when you want to serve the dish, you can make the ravioli fresh and it will taste much better! See the next question for more info on reheating.
You can reheat leftovers in a sauté pan or skillet set over low heat. Cover the pan to keep moisture in, and give it a gentle stir every few minutes to help the pasta heat evenly. I also like to add an extra splash of broth and and extra splash of cream to the pan as well, because the pasta does absorb some of the moisture in the fridge.
Alternatively, you can microwave leftovers on 50% power for 1 minute at a time, stirring in between, until heated through.
If you've made just the sauce ahead of time as I recommended in the previous question, you can easily reheat it in a small saucepan set over low heat. Just don't forget to whisk frequently to avoid burning the bottom!
Since the sauce has both heavy cream and cream cheese, I would avoid freezing it because these dairy products will change texture in the freezer. But, you can store leftovers in the fridge, see the previous questions for more info on that!
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A deliciously creamy, savory and slightly sweet pumpkin sauce coats fresh ravioli. A quick and easy main course that's equal parts elegant and satisfying!
- ⅔ cup (163 g) canned pumpkin puree
- ½ cup (118 ml) stock or broth, any type
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste, plus more to salt water
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- ¾ cup (177 ml) heavy cream
- 2 ounces (57 g) cream cheese
- 24 ounces (680 g) fresh ravioli
- 2 tablespoons (19 g) hulled pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
- For the ravioli: set a large pot of water over high heat to boil. While waiting for water to boil, proceed with the following steps (see notes 1 - 2 re: timing for the ravioli).
- If using the optional pumpkin seeds for garnish: set a medium sauté pan (see note 3) over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds into the hot pan and cook for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin seeds begin to pop and turn brown. Remove seeds from pan and aside.
- In the same sauté pan set to medium heat, add the pumpkin puree, broth or stock, kosher salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cayenne (the cayenne is optional but does add some complexity to the sauce!).
- Whisk to combine and cook for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 6 - 7 minutes or until the sauce thickens, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat if needed to maintain a simmer (do not boil).
- Cut the cream cheese into small chunks and add to the sauce. Continue to whisk until the cream cheese has fully incorporated into the sauce and the sauce is smooth. Taste the sauce and add more salt and/or pepper if needed. The finished sauce can be kept on the stovetop over the lowest heat, whisked occasionally, until ready to serve. (The sauce will thicken further as it begins to cool.)
- Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. This can be done either a few minutes before the sauce is finished or immediately after.
- Drain the ravioli and add it to the sauté pan with the pumpkin cream sauce and gently stir to combine the ravioli with the sauce.
- Plate the ravioli and garnish with the toasted pumpkin seeds (optional), serve immediately.
The ravioli will taste better if you finish the sauce at the same time or before the ravioli is finished cooking, rather than cooking the ravioli too early and having it sit while the sauce is still cooking.
Fresh ravioli usually only takes a few minutes to cook, so if the water in the ravioli pot begins to boil before the sauce is ready, adjust the temperature as needed to maintain a gentle boil. Then add in the ravioli either a few minutes before the sauce is finished or immediately after.
A sauté pan has a wide, flat bottom and straight sides that are about 3 - 5 inches tall. It works well for this recipe because it contains the sauce well and gives enough room to easily mix in the cooked ravioli with the sauce at the end. If you don't have a sauté pan, you can use a large saucepan instead.
Kosher salt is coarse grained; if you want to substitute fine grain salt, add a little less than the ½ teaspoon called for, taste the finished sauce, and add more if desired.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ¼ recipe
- Calories: 531
- Sugar: 8.7 g
- Sodium: 539 mg
- Fat: 25.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 12.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 58.4 g
- Fiber: 10.4 g
- Protein: 23.3 g
- Cholesterol: 97 mg
Keywords: pumpkin cream sauce, creamy pumpkin ravioli