I’m kind of crazy about pumpkin season (otherwise known as Fall and Autumn to normal folks). Maybe because it means my birthday is right around the corner, but mostly because I love the smell of pumpkin baking. The same ole pumpkin pie recipe gets tired after a while, and I never get tired of the taste of pumpkin, so I went looking for some inspiration to change up my pumpkin routine.
The nice thing about pumpkin is it has one of those flavors that plays nicely with sweet, spicy, and savory combinations. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin french toast, and pumpkin cinnamon rolls are a fantastic ways to add the healthy boost of pumpkin to your breakfast. For now, however, I’d like to focus on pumpkin as a side dish or entree.
Ravioli is a delicious dinner staple, but it can be easily kicked up a notch with a pumpkin Alfredo sauce. Taste and Tell shared this simple recipe that calls for a touch of pumpkin puree to flavor a simple, straightforward Alfredo sauce. This makes a delicious addition to your favorite ravioli or tortellini.
A similar effect can be achieved with lasagna. Julia Salbum shared this vegetarian lasagna recipe which calls for the addition of butternut squash, but pumpkin puree makes a tasty substitution in this filling comfort food. She also shared her pumpkin chili recipe which is absolutely amazing! Your meat-eating buddies will be surprised at how tasty and satisfying this recipe is, and all without the addition of meat.
Not a fan of the pumpkin and spinach combination? That’s okay, pumpkin and kale lasagna is great also.
Okay, so pumpkin and pasta just seems to go well together, like in this skinny pasta pumpkin bake shared by The Kitchen Paper.
Pumpkin mac and cheese happens to be one of those soothing, warming, tasty, and satisfying dishes that goes well as a side or a main course. Plus, according to The Stir Cafe Mom, it’s super-easy to prepare. Depending on the age of your kids, you might be able to get away with adding a spoonful of pumpkin puree to a box of Kraft dinner.
My personal favorite way to enjoy pumpkin is in the form of pumpkin soup. Seriously, it’s ridiculously simple to make and calls for very few ingredients, and even less effort. I really like this soup with kabocha (the Japanese pumpkin), but any sort of pumpkin will do.
A more exotic version of pumpkin soup is this amazing pumpkin Thai soup that I found at Fleece Fun. The Thai version isn’t any more complicated, but the addition of peanut butter changes the flavor profile just enough to really make the dish feel special.
If you really want something special and memorable, however, try this incredible recipe for pumpkin and chipotle corn chowder which was shared by The Food Charlatan. Yum!
Quinoa is one of those amazing sources of starch and essential nutrients that’s often overlooked and under-appreciated. Blended with pumpkin, however, and it becomes a delicious salad that makes a filling lunch or a tasty side dish for dinner.
You can kick up the simple quinoa salad by giving it a delicious Thai twist, this time using chunks of roasted pumpkin rather than pumpkin puree.
I love everything curry, especially if it involves the addition of coconut. Naturally, I’m positively gaga over this pumpkin coconut curry recipe from The Wicked Noodle. It’s okay to leave out the chicken if you’re not a meat eater, tofu works just as well. Personally I think it’s fine without the addition of any meat at all.
The Cozy Apron shared this rich and satisfying pumpkin risotto recipe. The most challenging thing about this recipe is patiently waiting for it to be ready. Though this recipe calls for the addition of sausage, it’s really a matter of personal preference and taste. You won’t miss it at all if you decide to keep this dish vegetarian.
For the ultimate in pumpkin comfort foods, try these awesome pumpkin pierogies with pecan sage cream sauce. I love regular ole pierogies anyway, but the addition of pumpkin really makes this classic feel so much more sophisticated. I could eat a whole batch of these on my own and not feel the least bit ashamed about not sharing. Hopefully you’re a little more generous and hospitable than me, because these delicious little pillows of tasty love are too good to keep to yourself.
I could go on and on about my love of all things pumpkin, but the season only lasts so long. The more I dig through the internet the more I realize the opportunities are practically without limit. Just think about the pumpkin-oat chocolate chip cookies I could be baking.
Plain snickerdoodles are delicious in their own right, but pumpkin snickerdoodles are even better!
I haven’t even gotten started on the pumpkin nutella cookie bars, pumpkin pecan pie bars, or the pumpkin pie fudge yet. There’s so many different directions to go with this really versatile ingredient. Pumpkin isn’t only for pie anymore, try it in some of your savory dishes and watch your family light up with appreciation for your culinary talents.
I’d love to hear from you! Please share some of your favorite pumpkin recipes in the comments below, or on our Facebook page. Also, if you try any of the recipes mentioned in this article, please share your experience with us, we’d love to know how it turned out for you and your guests.