This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

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: 370 kcal

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

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes and access them on any device! You can keep track of your favorite recipes and generate a shopping list for recipes in your collections.

Register & Save

Already Registered? Login Now

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!
View Recipe Comments
Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka |

You May Also Like

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    So good! I’ve made it twice already, and despite not being able to find any dried sage or vodka, the flavour was amazing.

    1. Hi Autumn,
      Happy Friday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks to much for giving it a try!! xTieghan

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      Thanks so very much for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. Hi Danielle,
      Thanks so very much for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  2. This was really good, but I have one recommendation. Boil and then simmer the vodka for a few minutes to remove the alcohol taste before adding to the pumpkin purée mixture. If you don’t you’ll get the alcohol taste which makes the dish taste off.

    1. Hey Elisa,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have the best day! xTieghan

    1. Hey Aileen,
      I am thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe, thanks a lot for giving it a try. I hope you have an amazing week! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    This is delicious. My husband and children claim they do not like pumpkin, but they all gobbled this up. I’ll have to make a double batch next time.

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now and just had to comment that this is the best recipe of all time! OMG it’s so good! I can’t stop eating it. It’s addicting!

  5. I’m going to try to make this with a non-filled pasta (maybe shells?) and some ricotta. Is that crazy? Wish me luck!

  6. 5 stars
    This looks phenomenal! I’ve been wanting to make a pumpkin pasta dish this weekend and am deciding between this, and the pumpkin ravioli recipe. Do you think this sauce would go well with those raviolis, or would that be too much pumpkin?

  7. 5 stars
    Wow! This was incredible. One of the top recipes I’ve cooked up. So simple & easy to make, yet so delish. Thank you so much!!

  8. 5 stars
    This was amazing!! It’s so simple to make, yet so sophisticated (at least for an inexperienced cook like myself). It’s sweet and spicy and perfect for a hearty fall dinner. Thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    My husband doesn’t normally like squash/autumn inspired pastas, but this one was a win! We added prosciutto and mushrooms into this dish as well.

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe is just wonderful! Perfect when made exactly as called for in the recipe AND adaptable for everyone to do a little customization. The second time I made this I used bourbon in lieu of the vodka and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg – all to amp up the fall flavors. Also sautéed some prosciutto along with the sage leaves until crispy and scattered over the top. It was wonderful!

  11. 5 stars
    Fantastic sauce! Goes really well with the tortellini! And the sage was delicious too. This took me about 50 minutes start to end. I added the entire cup of saved pasta water and I was worried it would be too watery, but when I added the cream and tortellini, the sauce really thickened to the perfect consistency.