Although a pumpkin is perhaps the most iconic emblem of fall, there’s so much more to this gourd than lattes, pies, and jack-o’-lanterns. It may not seem a very versatile squash, but it actually works well in a wide array of recipes, both sweet and savory. So there’s no reason you should just save it for that (admittedly delectable) dessert you’ve been wanting to make—you can enjoy pumpkin all day long, in your breakfast, appetizers, and even dinner.
The next time you want to add an autumnal kick to your day, skip the PSL and consider cooking with pumpkin in one of these eight surprising and creative ways. From elevated classics like buttermilk pumpkin pie to soul-soothing suppers such as mac and cheese, these recipes will prove that all pumpkins are pretty great, Charlie Brown.
There are so many things to love about this pumpkin smoothie recipe from Live Eat Learn. For one, yes, it does taste a lot like a pumpkin spice latte (including the fact that it contains coffee). Two, you can use canned pumpkin puree if you don’t feel like making your own from scratch. Pro tip: Pour whatever you have left over into a Popsicle mold and freeze it for another day.
Start making this slow-cooker oatmeal from Eating Bird Food the night before so that it’s ready to eat when you wake up. Trust us—the smell of cinnamon will get you out of bed way faster than your alarm clock.
For an Appetizer
This appetizer from The Bojon Gourmet is made with a homemade, gluten-free dough, but if you don’t feel like going to all the effort to make it from scratch, you can swap in your favorite store-bought pizza dough instead. (It doesn’t even have to be gluten-free if that’s not a concern for you.) If you’d rather go the extra mile, bake the crust ahead of time—it will remain good to eat for up to two days.
These fantastic fritters from Rasa Malaysia prove that pumpkin and Parmesan make quite the pair. Impossible to mess up, they take only 20 minutes to put together and are perfect for when you have last-minute guests over. The best part? You can sub in whatever type of squash you happen to have on hand if you don’t have a pumpkin lying around. Kabocha, butternut, and acorn all taste equally great in this dish.
When it’s cold out, nothing will warm up you (and your kitchen) faster than this stovetop mac and cheese from Vanilla and Bean. You don’t even need to buy, peel, and chop up a fresh pumpkin—the canned pureed stuff will get the job done and save you prep time, too.
This spicy number from The Modern Proper makes use of the entire pumpkin, seeds and all. It’s also a great recipe to prepare in bulk and freeze for later. That way, when you are ready to eat, all you have to do is pop it in the microwave and pile on your preferred toppings (avocado and sour cream all the way).
Don’t let the cooler temperatures deter you from making this dessert from Simply Recipes. Unlike a lot of ice cream recipes, this one doesn’t require any special equipment (like an ice cream maker). Simply whip heavy cream with a hand mixer or whisk until stiff; stir in pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, and spices; freeze it; and enjoy.
This recipe from Brooklyn Supper is not your average pumpkin pie. Thanks to freshly grated ginger and a healthy dose of buttermilk, it’s tangier and more refreshing than what you’d usually find on the table. Serve it for Thanksgiving and watch your guests go wild.