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Pumpkin Sage 'Alfredo' Sauce with Kale Pesto

A healthy version of your favorite pasta sauce
Pumpkin Alfredo
Kripalu Center

If you're a big comfort food lover, it's often hard to find ways to enjoy those creamy dishes without the added calories. This recipe, courtesy of Chef Jeremy “Rock” Smith of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health made a seriously delicious version of alfredo sauce using either pumpkin or butternut squash.


For the pumpkin sage 'alfredo' sauce:

  • 4 Cups pumpkin or Butternut Squash, peeled and medium diced
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup onions, small diced
  • 3 Teaspoons garlic
  • 1/8 Teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine or lemon juice
  • 2 Cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon black pepper

For the kale pesto:

  • 3 Cups chopped lacinata or curly kale
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/4 Cup walnuts, toasted
  • Zest of 1 lemon & 1 tablespoon of its juice
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon water


For the pumpkin sage 'alfredo' sauce:

Toss pumpkin & cinnamon in 2 tsp of olive oil. Roast at 350°F for 20 minutes or until tender.

Sweat onions and chili flakes in remaining olive oil using a small sauce pan. Once onions are translucent add garlic and cook for 10 seconds. Add squash and cook for 5 minutes on a low flame.

Deglaze with white wine and add stock and sage. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Puree using stick blender or food processor. Reheat and season with salt and pepper.

Yields 2 cups.

For the kale pesto:

Place kale in a medium sauce pan. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Place a lid on the pan and bring to a boil cook kale for 3 minutes while stirring. Remove kale and run under cold water until cooled. Drain through a fine mesh strainer and press out any excess liquid.

Place walnuts in a small sauté pan and toast for 3 -5 minutes over low to medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic.

Place all ingredients into a small food processor or blender. Mix until almost a puree but still chunky stopping and scraping down sides periodically.