It’s our favorite time of year — that special time when we round up all our favorite pumpkin recipes and put them directly inside our faces.
As it turns out, pumpkin is much more than an edible candle-holder.
This squash is low in calories and fat and loaded with good stuff. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t transform a pumpkin into a bomb-ass cheesecake or boozy coffee.
They’ll also fill you up as part of a main dish or contribute their distinctive, autumnal flavors to a whole range of sides and mains.
From bread to soup, chili to cheesecake, here are 10 pumpkin recipes to make the end of your year better.
For when pumpkin needs to be the star and all other foods should tremble before it.
1. Slow cooker pumpkin chili
The only thing more warming and tastier than a chili is one you can throw in a slow cooker and forget about.
Despite the pumpkin in the name, this isn’t a veggie chili — hamburger meat also plays a key role. It also doesn’t incorporate whole pumpkin — pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice are enough to provide that rich flavor amidst the more traditional chili elements.
Any vegetarian folks can replace the hamburger meat with soy crumbles, more beans, or other veggies like mushrooms or butternut squash.
2. Pumpkin spice pasta dough
Some might enjoy roast pumpkin on their pasta (see below), but we found a recipe that goes one better: You can actually have pumpkin spice in the noodles to add even more fall flavor.
Again, this isn’t a recipe with pumpkin in it, per se. But these cinnamony, nutmeggy, cardamommy spaghetti superstars can underpin pretty much any meal that contains pumpkin without breaking a sweat.
3. Roast pumpkin, avocado, and feta on black bean spaghetti
If there’s anything that grows from the earth to be creamier and richer than pumpkin, it’s avocado. So combining the two over a special black bean spaghetti alongside the smooth tang of feta cheese is nothing but win.
Gluten-free scrumptiousness abounds in the black bean spaghetti, and the addition of lime, cilantro, and chopped jalapeños makes this a pasta dish that could hail from Mexico.
And it won’t matter either way, because it’s f*cking delicious.
Have some pumpkin next to your pumpkin, why not?
4. Cream cheese pumpkin bread
Make bread, the pumpkin-y way. And with cream cheese both inside and on top of your aromatic creation, you’ll never look at bread the same way again.
This is closer to banana bread than your supermarket-bought loaf. So whether it’s a “side” or not, pumpkin bread is a versatile bake you can eat as a snack, treat, meal accompaniment, or a bed for fresh fruit.
What a rich, fluffy, creamy addition to your fall menu.
5. Gingery apple-pumpkin soup with carrots
Soup is the lifeblood of fall and winter. Without it, we sit shivering in a soup-free cavern of sadness and low temperatures. So it’s appropriate for pumpkins to show up in this celebration of all things fall-spiced and flavorsome.
It’s an amazing vegan soup option, staying completely dairy-free. And the addition of roasted carrots adds a chunkiness and sweetness to this soup that perfectly plays off the apples.
6. Pumpkin and feta salad
We had to include a salad, because it’s the freshest way to enjoy the flavor of real pumpkin. Feta‘s back too, because, well, why not?
The recipe suggests roasting the pumpkin in oil first, as this caramelizes the pumpkin, setting it off against the sharpness of the feta.
A well-rounded, healthy meal awaits!
Now we’ve got the savory options out of the way…
7. No-bake pumpkin nutella cheesecake
Cheesecake is quite obviously the evolution of the pumpkin. And when did putting Nutella on anything make it worse? Plus, you don’t even have to bake it. That’s one heck of a dessert for not much effort.
With a crushed graham cracker base, this cinnamon-hued pumpkin filling provides a soul-massaging platform for crumbled oreo cookies, hot fudge sauce, crushed nuts, or just about anything you like.
8. Pumpkin almond butter cups
Peanut butter cups are so 2019. (They’re not, they’ll always be amazing.) But you can opt for something just as tasty and a little healthier.
Enter pumpkin almond butter cups, with their pumpkin-flavored filling and chocolate shell, they make for a cup to remember.
The filling is simple to whip up from almonds, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie spice, almond butter, and coconut oil. The whole recipe is even simpler. And at the end you have bitesize, chocolatey hunks of fall.
9. Pumpkin caramel sheet cake
Caaaaaaaaake. And this time, it’s a sheet.
Pumpkin and caramel go together beautifully. And the double hit of salted caramel and caramel sauce make this a sweet dessert to remember.
Don’t eat it all at once.
10. Bourbon-spiked no added sugar pumpkin spice latte
Okay, so immediately there’s a lot to love about this recipe. Bourbon? PSL? No extra sugar? An absolute winner right off the bat.
With only real pumpkin and spices at play and five ingredients (six including that sprinkle of cinnamon or cinnamon stick), this is super easy to make and a real comfort coffee.
When you’re next heading for a standard cup o’ Joe, why not make it really special?
Pumpkins may well be seasonal, but with recipes like these you won’t want to restrict them to pajamas-at-3 p.m. weather.
Many of these recipes lean on pumpkin purée, and making your own couldn’t be easier. So there’s no need to go store-bought — but, as always, you can. It’s just more likely to have extra sh*t in it like preservatives or sugars.
If you’re on a sugar-restricted or low carb diet this fall, you needn’t break your pattern either. There’s plenty of suitable pumpkin recipes out there.