There is something so exciting about the arrival of pumpkins in our shops. Of course they are great for carving, but did you know they also make the perfect ingredient for many dishes, both sweet and savoury? Try these perfect pumpkin recipes this Halloween and put this great seasonal ingredient to the test!
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Before you get started, it’s worth noting that not all pumpkins are equal. The larger pumpkins are mainly grown for jack-o-lanterns and are better suited to carving. Smaller sugar pumpkins, butternut squash or kabocha pumpkins are all sweeter and can be roasted and puréed for a huge number of sweet and savoury pumpkin recipes.
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How To Cut a Pumpkin
First things first – prepare your pumpkin. Slice through the middle of the pumpkin, just to the side of the stalk. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp, but don’t throw the seeds out – they are delicious and require very little effort to transform them into something tasty! Check out these recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds and give them a go.
Now that you have two pumpkin halves, you can roast the pumpkin and then scoop out the cooked flesh for use in soups, stews, and baked goods. Or you can use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skin, chop the flesh and add to stews, curries, soups, risotto and more.
Many people use canned pumpkin for baking due to its speed and convenience, but outside of the US that can be harder to come by. In that case you may want to look at roasting some pumpkins and making your own pumpkin puree for baking.
Take a look at the pumpkin recipes below and be inspired to try something new with one of the season’s most treasured ingredients!
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Deliciously Good Pumpkin Recipes
#1. Pumpkin Bread
This popular recipe for Pumpkin Bread on Simply Recipes is quite adaptable to different types of pumpkin purée and spices. The pumpkin flavour is rounded out with a lovely orange juice, zest, vanilla and sugar glaze which, although optional, is definitely worth it!
Once Upon A Chef also has a recipe for a delicious Spiced Pumpkin Bread, which is easy to make with the kids – just a little mixing, stirring and into the oven – and you’ve got the perfect bread.
#2. Pumpkin Soup
This pumpkin soup is adapted from a recipe in Seriously Spooky Fun by Marion Haslam. You get a little extra sweetness from the addition of an apple to the soup, ensuring the kids will be back for seconds!
#3. Pumpkin Muffins
We love the sound of these Maple Glazed Spiced Pumpkin Muffins from Donal Skehan, which are easy to make using tinned pumpkin purée.
The Lovely Little Kitchen also has a recipe for Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins, which is super light and fluffy thanks to the addition of coconut oil. Definitely worth a try.
#4. Roast Pumpkin Seeds
With a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package. However, we so often forget about or discard the seeds when carving our pumpkins.
These caramel pumpkin seeds are just one of the delicious pumpkin seed recipes you could try!
#5. Pumpkin Pie
It wouldn’t be Halloween without pumpkin pie! BBC GoodFood’s recipe for Pumpkin Pie uses fresh pumpkin, which you boil and then pass through a sieve. But it would work equally well with tinned pumpkin.
For another option, Sally’s Baking Addiction’s recipe for pumpkin pie is bursting with flavour, has a smooth filling and a flaky crust you’ll love!
#6. Pumpkin Pancakes
Adding pumpkin to your pancakes is the perfect autumnal or Halloween breakfast treat.
Once Upon a Chef’s recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes results in fluffy and moist pancakes packed with flavour.
#7. Pumpkin Scones
These delicious pumpkin scones are perfect for baking with the kids, and adding pumpkin to your scones helps to make them a bit healthier at the same time. You will need to puree the pumpkin for this recipe.
#8. Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin cookies are a great snack idea around this time of year, and make a great party food idea. Kids will love these yummy and fun old-fashioned soft pumpkin cookies from Very Best Baking. Decorate with a little glaze or leave them plain – either way, delicious!
For something a little different, what about these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies? With some added chocolate chips and walnuts, these produce a tasty cake-like cookie.
#9. Pumpkin Cake
This idea for easy pumpkin cake from Natasha’s Kitchen, with a tempting cream cheese frosting, looks delicious!
And if you like carrot cake, then you will love this clever Halloween tray bake idea from BBC GoodFood which uses grated pumpkin instead of carrot. Butternut squash will also work well in this recipe if you are all out of pumpkin.
#10. Pumpkin Cheesecake
You may have tried cheesecake before, but this pumpkin cheesecake with orange and almond in a delicious crust is a whole new level! Perfect for a Halloween party dessert, or just a seasonal treat.
#11. Pumpkin Bars
These pumpkin bars we found on Allrecipes are a treat at anytime of year, and are very light and moist.
#12. Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese
For something more savoury, Gimme Some Oven has a great take on the classic with this pumpkin macaroni and cheese, which can be served straight from stove top or baked with crispy breadcrumbs. The smoked paprika adds a nice twist to this tasty dish.
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What are your favourite pumpkin recipes? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!
Lead Image: Gimme Some Oven