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A cast-iron skillet filled with chorizo and pumpkin baked ziti with a wooden serving spoon.

Chorizo and Pumpkin Baked Ziti

Your ultimate fall pasta is here, and it couldn't be more delicious! Spicy chorizo and a creamy pumpkin sauce with fresh sage bring together some of fall's best flavors. A layer of rich ricotta and melted fontina then top our pasta for the perfect cheesy touch. Not only is this chorizo and pumpkin baked ziti simple to make but everyone always loves this cozy pasta, making it your new go-to fall meal for hosting good company.
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American-Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 832kcal


  • 12-inch cast-iron skillet or 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish


  • 1 pound dried ziti, rigatoni or penne pasta
  • 1 (15-ounce) container of whole milk ricotta
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound fresh chorizo allow to sit in room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin purée
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash or two of ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups shredded fontina


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, mix together the ricotta, egg and Parmesan until well combined in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat on the stove. Add the chorizo and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. As the chorizo cooks, use a wooden spoon to break up the chorizo. Once browned, remove chorizo from pan and leave a tablespoon or two of grease in the skillet.
  • Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook until softened, about four to five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, constantly stirring.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and heavy cream. Add the pumpkin puree and stir until it becomes one cohesive sauce. Stir in the fresh sage, salt and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in the reserved pasta and chorizo. Spread the ricotta mixture on top of the pasta and then top with fontina. Bake in the oven until bubbling, about 20 minutes. If your skillet is not oven safe, first pour the pasta into a baking dish, top with ricotta and proceed with the rest of the directions. See below for make-ahead instructions.
  • Once finished baking, allow the ziti to set for 10 minutes. Top with more fresh sage and serve. Enjoy!


  • If making your own pumpkin puree, use about two cups.
  • Make sure you use freshly grated Parmesan and not the canned stuff. The canned Parmesan will leave you with a gritty texture.
  • To make this chorizo and pumpkin baked ziti ahead of time, make the dish up until baking. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator an hour or two before baking to allow it to come down in temperature and then bake at 350 degrees. You may need to bake it a little longer because it won't be as warm coming straight off the stove so give yourself a little extra time. Bake until bubbly and then let set for 10 minutes before adding more fresh sage on top and serving.
  • Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 832kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 202mg | Sodium: 2126mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1522IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 544mg | Iron: 3mg