25 of the Best Pumpkin Recipes for Autumn Flavor

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Pumpkin is ubiquitous at this time of year – but so many of our favorite seasonal recipes that bear the moniker are actually made with blends of “pumpkin spice” (PSL, I’m looking at you!) and no actual squash whatsoever.

A collage of images showing different sweet and savory pumpkin recipes.

Chances are, you’ll be making your annual pilgrimage (if you haven’t already) to the grocery store any day now to purchase a few cans of puree, and nine times out of ten, that sweet orange ingredient will be mixed into a pie filling.

But there’s so much more out there! This round up takes us beyond the traditional pie, bringing you the best pumpkin recipes from Foodal’s archive of delicious dishes.

If you take a look at The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, there are so many delicious ways to pair this seasonal squash with other ingredients. Allspice, apples, bay leaf, brandy, caramel, carrots, cayenne… the list goes on and on, from A to Z (well, from A to Y actually, ending with yogurt).

The Flavor Bible via Amazon

For a little extra inspiration, if you’re ever stumped for a way to use that produce that you receive in your weekly CSA box or the bag of mystery grains in the back of your pantry, this book is an excellent resource, and it’s available on Amazon.

Both sweet and savory, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between, there are so very many ways to enjoy this humble winter squash. It’s time to get cooking!

The Basics

1. Puree

Vertical top-down image of an orange mixture in a white bowl next to fall foliage.

Pumpkin puree is a required ingredient in many recipes that feature your favorite winter squash. While it’s easy enough to throw a few cans in your cart during your next shopping trip, making your own is quick, easy, and quite fun, with truly delicious results.

Since the fruit does not have to undergo extreme pressure, heat, and time, it will likely retain more nutrients. And you’ll be able to brag about making an entire dish completely from scratch!

Get the detailed instructions now.

Breakfast, Brunch, and Afternoon Tea

2. Spiced Scones

Pumpkin Spice Scones | Foodal.com

Perfect at just about any time of day when you’re craving carbs with just a touch of sweetness, these pumpkin spice scones scream “autumn.”

Serve them with tea, smeared with pumpkin butter, or drizzled with honey.

Check out the recipe now.

3. Vegan Chocolate Swirl Muffins

Side view of a stack of vegan chocolate pumpkin muffins.

These moist and delicious muffins have an enticing swirl of pumpkin and chocolate, a tasty combo that’s achieved with rich cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and squash puree.

Plus, they’re vegan!

Get the recipe on Foodal now.

4. Cinnamon Rolls

Vertical image of half-iced spiced breakfast buns on a white platter.

You’re going to want to make these every weekend between Halloween and Thanksgiving, and beyond.

If you haven’t made cinnamon rolls from scratch before, don’t be intimidated – the simple step-by-step instructions provide plenty of direction to help you out.

Plan ahead, since the dough will need time to rise twice before baking. And don’t forget the cream cheese frosting! Trust us, the extra effort of making a yeasted bread for breakfast is so worth it!

Learn how to make it here.

5. Vegan Waffles

A human hand pours maple syrup over the top of two vegan sweet potato waffles.

Vegans and non-vegans alike will adore these fluffy, crisp, and flavorful breakfast treats.

Made with a flax egg, squash puree, spices, and a from-scratch mix of dry ingredients, these are also delicious with sweet potato swapped in for the big ol’ orange squash.

You’ll find instructions to make these here.

6. Spice and Nut Bread

The Best Homemade Pumpkin Spice Nut Bread with Dried Fruit | Foodal.com

Moist and flavored with our favorite fall spices, you’ll want to make an extra loaf to keep in the fridge, or to share with the neighbors.

Oh, and don’t forget one for the holiday breakfast table, and Sunday brunch, too!

Learn how to bake up a loaf of your very own here on Foodal.

7. Vegan Whole Grain Maple Muffins

Vertical top-down image of muffins with pecans on a white surface.

A no-brainer when it comes to healthy, dairy- and egg-free breakfasts, muffins are where it’s at in the fall.

This version is made with nutrient-packed whole grain flour, pecans, and a sweet touch of maple.

Get the recipe now.

8. Chocolate Swirl Spiced Bread

Vertical image of upright slices of pumpkin bread with chocolate swirls next to two mini pumpkins.

Another delectable pairing of chocolate and pumpkin, this tasty swirled quick bread is moist, dense, flavorful, and rich.

Plus, the recipe makes two loaves – one to enjoy now, and one to share or freeze for later!

Get the instructions here.

9. Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

An orange muffin in the foreground with the paper wrapper peeled down, with more in the background on a table and white cake stand.

Okay, we know – there are several muffin recipes competing for your attention in this round up. But they’re all so good!

This version is made with eggs, but it’s dairy-free for those who can’t tolerate milk products.

With a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top, these sparkling delights are perfect in a mixed basket of breakfast pastries with a steaming mug of coffee and the Sunday paper, or grabbed on your way out the door before work.

We’ll teach you how to make them here.

10. Pancakes

Perfect Pumpkin Spice Pancakes | Foodal.com

Nothing beats a stack of flapjacks for breakfast, lovingly made from scratch, and drowned in Grade A maple syrup.

This pumpkin version is moist and delicious, so much better than the boxed and artificially flavored stuff.

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

Simply Savory Snacks and Sweet Appetizers

11. Hummus

Bowl of Pumpkin Hummus | Foodal.com

This special seasonal hummus is everything you could ask for, pure pumpkin flavor without any warming spices to get in the way (just a touch of cumin, with nothing added that’s overly sweet).

If you’re a pumpkin purist in search of a tasty protein-rich dip that’s quick to make, this recipe’s a winner. It’s great on roasted vegetable sandwiches, too!

Get the instructions now.

12. Cream Cheese

Overhead vertical shot of a bowl of pumpkin cream cheese with two cinnamon sticks for garnish, on a platter of cookies and strawberries, on a golden yellow cloth with two pumpkin decorations.

Though this one doubles as a sweet breakfast spread that’s perfect on bagels, we love serving it as a dip with sliced fruit, crackers, and cookies.

Pairing it with homemade bagel chips and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds on top is another delicious option that will help to tide over your guests until the big holiday meal is served.


13. Margaritas

Vertical oblique shot of two pumpkin spice margaritas in short glasses filled with ice and rimmed with spiced sugar, on a dark brown wood surface with a juiced lime that has been cut in half, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks, decorative gold pumpkins, and a shallow white creamic saucer of spiced sugar.

Made with all of the classic margarita ingredients that you know and love (like tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice), our version is fall-ified with homemade spiced simple syrup, a spiced sugar rim, and real pumpkin puree.

This cocktail is perfect for parties, and leftover simple syrup doubles as a homemade flavoring for your favorite coffee drinks.

Get the recipe now.

Lunch and Dinner Entrees and Sides

14. Asian-Style Curry

Asian-Style Pumpkin Curry | Foodal.com

Spicy, rich, and big on flavor, you’ll love this curry that features our favorite fall ingredient served over a bowlful of white rice, with lightly toasted naan on the side.

Get the instructions now on Foodal.

15. Pasta with Cream Sauce

Vertical shot of two white bowls of penne and cream sauce, garnished with fried sage, on a blue and white checkered cloth with decorative white and orange miniature pumpkins, and a block of Parmesan cheese.

Looking for autumn weeknight fare that can be made in only 30 minutes? This is it! Serve the sauce with your choice of pasta, or get creative and try it over meat or seafood.

This is a hearty meal, flavored with winter squash and fresh sage, that pairs well with most anything. It’s the perfect choice for those busy fall evenings when football season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas prep are in full swing.

Get the details now.

16. Curried Soup

Oblique shot of two white bowls of orange soup garnished with pumpkin seeds and chopped fresh sage, on a blue and white patterned cloth with a sprig of fresh herbs, a spoon, and scattered seeds, with one light and one dark orange decorative plastic pumpkins in the background.

This simple soup sticks to the basics with pumpkin, a little onion and garlic, and a variety of flavorful spices. These ingredients come together with a little broth and cream, plus a tasty pumpkin seed and sage garnish.

A lovely starter for your holiday meal, this also makes a delicious lunch alongside a few slices of crusty bread.

You’ll find the step-by-step instructions here.

Desserts, Cakes and Cookies

17. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vertical image of a stack of cookies with pumpkins in the background.

Take your classic chocolate chips to the next level this fall, with pumpkin puree and warming spices. This tasty twist on the traditional version is moist, rich, and so satisfying with a big glass of milk.

Find the details here.

18. White Chocolate Pie Truffles

Vertical image of a plate of truffles with white chocolate chips on the surface.

If you’re a white chocolate lover, it’s time to indulge in one of the most delicious treats of the season, made from scratch.

These tiny treats have a fudge-like texture, and they’re rolled in graham cracker crumbs to top off the pie-but-not-really-pie, chocolate-but-not-really-chocolate experience.

Check out the recipe here.

19. Cheesecake Bars

Vertical image of scattered dessert squares on a towel surrounded by pumpkins of assorted sizes.

Like a classic New York style cheesecake had a baby with a pie, in bar form so they’re easy to transport to your next holiday party or potluck. And you can cut them as big or small as you like, for sharing, snacking, or truly indulging.

This dessert is creamy and rich, with a thick and buttery graham cracker crust, and all of those delicious warming spices to round out the fall flavor that you’re craving.

Try this recipe now.

20. Madeleines

Vertical image of orange shell cakes on a white towel with pumpkins.

The ideal teatime accompaniment for fall, these delicious little cookies have a cake-like texture, studded with crunchy candied pecans. The flavor of delicious browned butter melds so well with your favorite winter squash.

Skip the Halloween candy, and bake up a batch (or two) of these instead!

Get the step-by-step instructions now.

21. Cake

Slices of pumpkin cake with white icing are on three plates, with a forkful on the side of the plate in the foreground, and the remainder of the dessert in the background beside one gold and one orange decorative pumpkin, on a patterned gold and white cloth, on a beige surface.

Whether you’re planning an autumn birthday or you need a big dessert to share at a party that’s easy to transport, this sheet cake is just the thing.

Squash lovers in your crew will rejoice when they taste the moist made-from-scratch cake, topped with homemade vanilla spice buttercream frosting. Yum!

Check out the details now.

22. Trifle

Vertical image of layered pumpkin trifle in a large glass serving dish with pedestal, with a white ceramic pumpkin and two white square plates of the dessert with forks, on a striped blue and gray cloth, with a mottled aqua background.

Not sure what to do with that leftover cake from the delicious recipe above? Make trifle, of course!

Layered with honeyed cream, toasted hazelnuts, and a sprinkling of cinnamon, this is a tasty and forgiving dessert that doesn’t require any special decorative skill to make a stunning presentation.

Find the recipe here.

And Yes, Pies

23. Classic Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Vertical image of a whole pumpkin pie with a bowl of spices and decorations on an orange towel.

A made-from-scratch classic recipe featuring a buttery and flaky crust with a spiced creamy filling. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any fall-time gathering, your friends and family are sure to love this traditional and tasty recipe.

Leave the crust plain, or  pretty it up with some easy dough cut-outs.

We show you how!

24. The Perfect Vegan Variation

Top down view of whole vegan pumpkin pie sitting on a rustic wooden surface. A pie spatula sits to the left.

Despite being made without eggs or dairy, this recipe still has that great custard-like texture that you grew up with. Your taste buds will never know that this recipe is vegan, and neither will your friends and family (unless you tell them)!

This recipe is made without any specialty ingredients that need to be ordered ahead of time; find everything at your local grocery store!

Get the all the details here.

25. Make it Better with Sage and Brown Butter

Browned Butter and Sage Pumpkin Pie | Foodal.com

Want to try something a little different? With a bit more deep, rich flavor and a kick of seasonal herbs and spices?

Try this version, made with tasty and nutty brown butter and the herbalicious flavor of sage, which blends so nicely with the more traditional spices like cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.

This might just be the best Thanksgiving pie you’ve ever tried!

Get this tasty recipe here.

What’s on the Menu?

Armed with these recipes, you’re sure to sail through the fall season on a satisfying sea of deliciousness at every meal. And don’t forget – lots of these dishes make excellent leftovers.

By the way, if you made its this far and you’re still looking for various other holiday pies, we’ve got that too! Check out our round up of some of the best recipes here.

What are your family favorites? And how will you use canned or home-roasted winter squash in new ways to expand your culinary repertoire this season? We want to hear from you! Leave us a message in the comments below.

Photos by Felicia Lim, Nikki Cervone, and Meghan Yager © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 23, 2017. Last updated: December 31, 2019 at 22:05 pm.

About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu is a culinary enthusiast from southeastern Pennsylvania who has returned to Philly after a seven-year sojourn to sunny LA. She loves exploring the local restaurant and bar scene with her best buds. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, chilling in the garden, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a dollar dog and crab fries at the Phillies game.

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