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This pumpkin bolognese is a delicious pumpkin meat sauce recipe made with pork, beef, tomato sauce, pumpkin puree and amazing Fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It is the perfect way to combine both pumpkin and bolognese in comfort food form.

Pumpkin bolognese on a plate with herbs sprinkled on top.

If you are searching for the perfect meal on a cool day or for a delicious gourmet meal idea, try this pumpkin bolognese. It is everything beautiful about a classic traditional bolognese but with added pumpkin puree and Fall spices. It is savory, rich and just tastes amazing.

Using pumpkin for a savory recipe is not something I do often, but which I do love. Try my pumpkin spice hummus or my pumpkin sweet potato soup if you like savory pumpkin recipes as well.

What makes this recipe great

  • It is an impressive pasta sauce that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
  • It is a Fall twist on an authentic comfort food.
  • It’s a great way to use up extra pumpkin puree.
  • It is made with simple real food ingredients.

I partnered with US Wellness Meats to make this recipe. I used their ground pork, and grass-fed lean ground beef, all of which has no antibiotics and hormones.

Pumpkin meat sauce in a large plate with a fork in it.

Recipe ingredients

  • Olive oil– any good quality olive oil works for this recipe.
  • Onions– white or yellow onions work best.
  • Carrots– these add a nice sweetness to the recipe, along with texture.
  • Garlic– this seasons the meat.
  • Ground beef– you can use lean ground beef, or regular ground beef. Both work here.
  • Ground pork– this adds a good flavor along side the beef.
  • Dried rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme– these herbs season the sauce.
  • Tomato paste– any good quality tomato without added sugar works here.
  • Pumpkin puree– you can use canned pumpkin puree or make your own.
  • Ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground ginger– these Fall spices season the pumpkin puree and the meat sauce in this recipe.
  • Chopped tomatoes and strained tomatoes– these are used to make the tomato sauce in this recipe.
  • Honey– raw honey is great here.

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

Additions/ Substitutions

  • Instead of onions, you can use shallots.
  • Instead of ground beef, you can use ground bison.
  • Instead of chopped and strained tomatoes, you can use tomato sauce.
  • Instead of honey, you can use maple syrup.

Step by step instructions

Browned meat in a large pot.
Step 1

Step 1– Sautée the onion and carrots in the olive oil. Then add the ground beef and pork to the pan, along with rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme. Cook until the meat is browned, then add the tomato paste.

Step 2– In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.

Step 3– Add the pumpkin puree mixture to the sauce, along with the chopped tomatoes, strained tomatoes, and more seasonings.

A bite of pumpkin ragu on a fork.
Step 4

Step 4: Let the ragu sauce simmer, then mix into the pasta of your choice and serve.

How to serve:

  • On top of spaghetti, pasta or gnocchi.
  • On top of zoodles.
  • On top of a baked potato.

Recipe FAQs

How do you store this sauce?

Pour into an air tight container and keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Can you freeze it?

Yes! Once it has cooked and cooled, pour into a freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge over night and then reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.

Can you add cheese to it?

Yes! I like to sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Pumpkin tomato sauce with ground beef on a plate.

Other beef recipes you’ll love

Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!

5 from 7 votes

Pumpkin Bolognese

Servings: 8
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Paleo Pumpkin Meat Sauce Ragu, a velvety rich authentic Fall sauce with seasoning that is ON POINT. |Perchance To Cook, www.perchancetocook.com
This pumpkin bolognese is a delicious pumpkin meat sauce recipe made with pork, beef, tomato sauce, pumpkin puree and amazing Fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Ingredients 

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions, (1 onion)
  • 1 cup diced carrots, (2 carrots)
  • 2 Tbs diced garlic, (5-6 cloves)
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 ½ tsp dried basil, divided
  • 2 ½ tsp dried oregano, divided
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 Tbs tomato paste
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, (Pomi is my favorite)
  • 3 cups strained tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbs honey
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Instructions 

  • In a large pot, add the olive oil, diced onion and diced carrots and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes. Then, add the diced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Next, add the ground beef and ground pork to the pan and mix. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 2 tsp dried basil, 2 tsp dried oregano, and 1 tsp dried thyme to the meat mixture and mix. Cook until the meat is browned and fragrant, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Add 4 Tbs of tomato paste and mix it into the meat. Cook for about 4 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the seasoned pumpkin mixture to the meat, mix and let cook for 2 minutes.
  • Next, add the chopped tomatoes, strained tomatoes, and water to the pot. Mix and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, 1 Tbs honey, ½ tsp dried oregano, and ½ tsp dried basil to the pot, mix and cook for 30 minutes uncovered.

Notes

  • Instead of onions, you can use shallots.
  • Instead of ground beef, you can use ground bison.
  • Instead of chopped and strained tomatoes, you can use tomato sauce.
  • Instead of honey, you can use maple syrup.

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 23gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 914mgPotassium: 900mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 6640IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
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15 Comments

  1. This looks delicious. I love that you add in the pumpkin….. It looks like a fabulous flavor combination.5 stars

  2. This looks fantastic. I’m dying to know how the buffalo is with the beef and pork. I also love the addition of pureed pumpkin.

  3. This sounds so amazing and I LOVE that you added in the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove! I’ve never made a sauce like this so I’m definately going to be trying this one! I’ve never used bison either!

    What a gem of a recipe!5 stars