To everything there is a season, and fall means that farmers markets are filled with beautiful orange pumpkins.
They make lovely decorations this time of year, of course, but it’s easy to forget that they also taste great — and not in just a pumpkin spice latte kind of way.
You can cook with pumpkins pretty easily if you plan ahead, and they’re delicious in both sweet and savory pumpkin recipes.
Preparing Pumpkin for Cooking
Before you can try these pumpkin recipes, you need to prepare the pumpkin!
If you’re pressed for time and need quicker pumpkin recipes, you can always grab a can of pumpkin puree at the grocery store.
Or if you want to do this the gourmet, start-to-finish way you can prepare the pumpkin yourself.
Once you have your hands on a fresh pumpkin, you need to scoop out the guts and roast it before you do anything else.
To do that, slice the top with the stem off, then cut the pumpkin in half the long way. Use a spoon to scrape away seeds and stringy bits; then turn your pumpkin half skin-side up in a roasting pan and cook for about an hour at 400 degrees, or until the skin bubbles up.
You should be able to slide a fork through the flesh easily when it’s done. Allow it to cool and then peel away the skin. Voila! Now you have fresh pumpkin to use in any recipe you can think of.
Need a little help choosing a pumpkin recipe? Try one of these favorites to get started:
Curried Pumpkin Soup
The sweet, autumnal taste of pumpkin pairs really well with rich Indian spices for a full flavor explosion.
Put that all in a hot, comforting soup with a side of crusty bread, and you’ve got yourself a new favorite meal with this savory pumpkin recipe.
- 2 pounds of fresh pumpkin, roasted and peeled or1 29-oz. can pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups cream
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
1. Cut roasted pumpkin into one-inch squares and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. (You can skip this step if you go with canned pumpkin.)
2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and saute onions until soft. Add flour and curry powder and stir until well blended.
3. Whisk in stock or broth and cook mixture until it thickens.
4. Add pureed pumpkin, cream, soy sauce, sugar and ginger and stir well.
5. Bring soup just to a boil, then turn down heat. Season with salt and pepper (and cayenne, if you like things with a kick!) to taste. Serve hot.
These cookies are moist, soft and delicious — think whoopie pies, but dressed up for fall with everyone’s favorite flavor: pumpkin spice!
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbs. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
- 2 eggs
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Blend well.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine both sugars with vegetable oil. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk until thoroughly blended. Add eggs one at a time and whisk until combined.
4. Add dry mixture to pumpkin mixture 1/4 cup at a time, stirring until combined before adding more. Continue until completely combined.
5. Use a large spoon to drop a heaping tablespoon of dough onto cookie baking sheets, spacing cookies about two inches apart (they’ll expand!).
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Test with a toothpick or skewer to be sure centers are done — cookies should feel firm to the touch and not collapse in the middle.
7. Remove cookies to a rack and allow to cool completely before eating.
8. To best store these soft cookies, place in neat rows in a Tupperware box, separating layers with a piece of plastic wrap so they don’t stick. Attach lid firmly to maintain freshness and store at room temperature.
Smooth, creamy and one of the most popular pumpkin recipes around, you can’t go wrong with pumpkin pie!
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
- 1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.
Looking for a great party recipe? Try these 3 Crazy, Mixed-up Cheeseball Recipes.
Holiday recipes and treats are fun, but make you sure you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.