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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!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Alla Vodka Tortellini

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 370 kcal

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

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  • 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!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka |

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  1. 4 stars
    Thank you Tieghan. This recipe was delicious and yet also not what I expected. I was hoping for a more dominant pumpkin flavor – for me, the tomato paste was the dominant flavor (perhaps it was the brand I used?), and the pumpkin was quite subtle; next time I make this I will experiment and reduce the amount of tomato paste and use up the can of pumpkin (an additional 1/2 cup). Like others, I doubled the sage! Still quite good – thank you! Love your recipes!

    1. p.s. did some research on cooking with tomato paste and to reduce the ‘raw tomato taste’, its recommended to cook the paste until its darkened and a bit ‘carmelized’ as well. Noting this for next time!

  2. 5 stars
    All I can say is you will definitely want more of the sage leaves so make extra! This was quite simple for a weeknight meal and was absolutely delicious. Added a small splash of apple cider vinegar for a touch of acid but this dish is a knockout. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it came out amazing. My whole family enjoyed and I will definitely make again. I agree with another reviewer that I will make more sage for it. They were bites of heaven. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

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