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This silky smooth and extra creamy Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka is that cozy bowl of pasta we’re all craving most. Cheese Tortellini tossed in a nutty brown butter pumpkin vodka sauce that’s creamy and so delicious! The pumpkin adds a vibrant layer of flavor and richness to this silky smooth and creamy tortellini. Serve this quick cooking dinner up any night of the week. It’s delicious and looks pretty on any table…and everyone LOVES a GOOD creamy vodka pasta. Such a fun fall twist!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka |

It’s mid-October, and in my book, the more creamy pasta and pumpkin recipes the better. I’m trying my best to keep a balance. But with the temperature drop and all the snow this week, I’m really just embracing the cozy.

And this cheesy, creamy tortellini is a true reflection of that.

It’s the perfect dinner to cook up when you’re in need of something simple, but totally delicious and comforting too.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka |

Here are the quick details

I based this recipe off of my traditional vodka sauce, but added in pumpkin and cheesy tortellini.

It’s all really quick to throw together!

Since we’re using pumpkin, I wanted to include a little sage. I just love the flavor blend of sage and pumpkin…with brown butter. So start out by crisping the sage in butter. The butter will brown on the sage leaves and create a really delicious base for your pumpkin vodka sauce.

Next, add the shallots, garlic, oregano, and chili flakes – for a little extra heat. Then stir in the pumpkin and tomato paste and cook until the mix thickens up a bit.

Now stir in the vodka and let everything simmer for a few minutes. Then add the cream and parmesan and let the sauce hang out for a bit.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka |

What does the vodka actually do?

In a traditional vodka sauce, the vodka adds a sharp bite that helps to balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes. And the same is true with pumpkin. When used in small amounts, the vodka will boost and intensify the aroma of the sauce. The key is to slowly simmer vodka into the sauce. This will release its flavors and cook out the alcohol.

If you prefer to not cook with alcohol, swap the vodka for chicken broth, vegetable broth, or even just water. That will be totally fine and your sauce will still be great.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka |

While the sauce is slowly cooking, bring some water to a boil for the tortellini. Boil off the tortellini, it should only take a few minutes. I love to use the cheese tortellini from Whole Foods, but Trader Joe’s has really nice options too!

Now toss that tortellini in the sauce. Then serve up bowls of creamy pasta topped with those crispy sage leaves and an extra dusting of parmesan.

An extra special, but super easy, fall dinner. Oh, and I like to serve this up with a big salad on the side – yum!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka |

Looking for other simple winter pasta dishes? Here are my favorites: 

Sage Butter Pumpkin Cheese Ravioli

One Pot Spicy Pesto Cheese Baked Rigatoni

One-Pan Cheesy Spaghetti Pie

Creamy Bacon Tortellini with Charred Broccoli

Lastly, if you make this Brown Butter Pumpkin Alla Vodka Tortellini, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

watch the how-to video:

Brown Butter Pumpkin Alla Vodka Tortellini

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 477 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Watch the How-To Reel



  • 1. In a large skillet, melt together 2 tablespoons butter and the sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is browning and the sage is crisp, 4 minutes. Remove the sage leaves from the butter and set aside.
    2. To the skillet, add the olive oil, shallot, garlic, and oregano. Cook until the shallots begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomato paste, pumpkin, and red pepper flakes, cook 4-5 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the vodka, cook another 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, 1 tablespoon butter, and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
    3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
    4. Add the tortellini to the vodka sauce, tossing to coat. If needed, thin the sauce with pasta cooking water.
    5. Divide the tortellini among plates and top with crispy sage and parmesan. Enjoy!
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Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka |

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  1. 5 stars
    🤯 This dish was so easy to make and legit restaurant quality. I didn’t have tortellini but had a really interesting pasta shape from Whole Foods that substituted really well. This makes me want to have a dinner party and share with loved ones!

    1. Hi Katie,
      Wonderful!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it! Happy Thanksgiving! xT

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Great heat and creamy! I did add a touch of ricotta just to try it. I thought it was delicious either way! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. Hi Valerie,
      That’s fantastic to hear! Thanks for trying this dish and your comment, love that it was enjoyed! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Love this every time I make it. I used this recipe as an inspiration for my own tonight – subbed pumpkin puree for roasted and smashed up butternut squash, and used half regular butter and half brown sugar cinnamon butter (came with my chopped squash!), and then used gnocchi in place of the tortellini. The brown sugar and cinnamon add such a warm fall-ness to an already spectacular fall comfort bowl.

    1. Hey Colleen,
      Happy Monday!! Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for trying and your feedback! xT

  4. Someone sang praises for this recipe on social media so I decided to give it a try (albeit with a few replacements – with dry rubbed sage, bear garlic, thyme, instead of fresh sage, dry cheese powders, and various crushed mexican chiles instead of flakes, wine instead of vodka, onion instead of shallot) It’s a great recipe, sauce is really rich.

  5. 5 stars
    This was excellent! Only change I made was using a small onion instead of a shallot, since the store was out. Teens loved it, too.

  6. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe for my hubby and myself for date night, and it was the bomb! As good as any 5 star Italian restaurant! You’ve knocked it out of the park yet again, Tieghan. Your recipes are different enough to intrigue without scaring me off. Haven’t found one yet that we didn’t enjoy, but this one was perfect to celebrate the first day of fall!🍂🍁❤️

  7. 5 stars
    Omg this is TO DIE FOR. I’m on my third bowl. I can’t stop. SO GOOD.

    (Also i thought I had vodka but my husband drank it (insert eye roll here) so I used chicken broth and white wine in place of the vodka because that’s what I had). Still so good. The crispy sage leaves are so good, add a nice little crunch, next time I might make more than 8 leaves. Mmmmm just so good.