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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.
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).
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
- Breakfast, Brunch, and Afternoon Tea
- Simply Savory Snacks and Sweet Appetizers
- Lunch and Dinner Entrees and Sides
- Desserts, Cakes and Cookies
- And Yes, Pies
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!
Breakfast, Brunch, and Afternoon Tea
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Simply Savory Snacks and Sweet Appetizers
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!
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.
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.
Lunch and Dinner Entrees and Sides
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.
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.
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.
Desserts, Cakes and Cookies
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
And Yes, Pies
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.
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!
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!
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 foodie from Philly who is based in Los Angeles, where she loves exploring the local restaurant scene with her husband. She holds a master's degree 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, 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 food-filled magazine at the beach.