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22 Delightful Pumpkin Recipes That Go Beyond Pie

Can we talk about how great pumpkins are?

I know, I know, I think everyone is a little Pumpkin Spiced-out. But I’m talking just straight-up pumpkin. Aside from being cool fall decorations and a classic pie, this humble orange squash is one of my favorite foods this time of year.

Two roasted pumpkin halves.
Roasted pumpkin, just waiting to be made into something yummy!

Everyone loves a good pumpkin pie. However, if you’ve never tried anything else beyond the annual Thanksgiving favorite, you’re missing out.

This favorite fall squash is so versatile; you can put it in about anything.

Here’s a list of some fantastic and delicious ways to use this classic harbinger of fall.

(And because you can’t beat pumpkin pie, I’m going to share my all-time favorite recipe at the end. It will take your pie game to the next level.)  

And if you grew your winter squash this year, here’s how to cure and store them so they last through the winter.

First things first, you need pumpkin puree. Making your own is simple to do.

You’ll need to roast your pumpkin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. For smaller squash like sugar, pie, or cheese pumpkins simply slice them in half. Scoop out the seeds and fibers. Save your seeds to roast and grow next year.

A small pumpkin cut in half and scooped out, seeds saved in a glass measuring cup.
Save those seeds for eating and growing.

Place the halves cut side down/skin side up on the baking sheet. For larger pumpkins, you’ll want to quarter them. Again, placing the pieces cut side down.

Perfectly roasted pumpkin halves.

Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until you can easily pierce through the skin with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool on the baking sheet.

A cookie scoop next to two scooped pumpkin halves.
Use a cookie scoop to scrape out the roasted flesh.

When the halves have cooled, use a spoon or an ice cream scoop and scrape the beautiful orange flesh away from the skin. I like to use my little cookie dough scoop.

At this point, I usually put the cooked flesh in a covered dish in the fridge overnight. All the extra liquid will pool, and you can pour it off the next day. Or save it and add it to smoothies.

Using a food processor or a stick blender, puree until it’s smooth and creamy. Easy-peasy!

Bright orange pumpkin puree.
Puree until smooth with a stick blender or a food processor.

Now that you have your puree ready to go, here is a list of all the things you can make with it.

Sweet Treats

1. Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

My boys and I made these pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting from Gimme Some Oven for breakfast this past weekend. What? They’ve got eggs and a vegetable in them. Stop judging me.

Three pumpkin cookies on a plate with a bite taken from one.
These cookies had a wonderful cake-like texture.

I made one minor change to the recipe – I halved the cream cheese frosting ingredients. I’m glad I did. Half was the perfect amount of frosting for three dozen cookies, which is what the recipe makes.

2. Donuts

Four donuts stalked on top of each other.
Nothing says fall like a sweet pumpkin donut rolled in cinnamon sugar.

How about a tender, cakey pumpkin donut? I like that she suggests using a wok to fry the donuts, so you use less oil. Brilliant! 

3. Whole Wheat Muffins

Four muffins in paper wrappers.
Hot, delicious pumpkin muffins are the perfect way to celebrate fall days.

Or if you’re looking for something a bit healthier, why not start your day off with whole wheat pumpkin muffins for breakfast instead?

4. Whipped Cream

Put some pumpkin pie whipped cream on your morning coffee, and even Mondays will be bearable. I dabbed this on gingerbread cookies too. So good!

A mug of hot cocoa is topped with whipped cream.
Pumpkin pie whipped cream makes hot cocoa extra special.

5. Waffles

Waffles. Yes, pumpkin waffles. I have used this Pumpkin Waffle recipe from Epicurious for several years. It never disappoints. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. Place a thin slab of brie on your waffles sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with maple syrup, and you have just made heaven on a plate. These fancy waffles are one of my favorite fall brunch dishes.

A pumpkin waffle topped with brie, walnuts and syrup.
Pumpkin waffles with brie, walnuts, and maple syrup. Oh yeah!

6. Ice Cream

Summer and fall come together in this ice cream.

Or you can make this creamy pumpkin ice cream. Put a scoop on your waffles for a delectable treat! Serve this ice cream in a dish sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup for an autumn-inspired dessert.

Savory Dishes

Don’t forget to bring pumpkin out before dessert. Everyone’s favorite fall mascot should have a place at the dinner table too.

7. Baby Food

A baby in a highchair is being fed pureed pumpkin.
Even the tiniest family members can enjoy pumpkin.

Pumpkin puree is a great first food for little ones. Don’t add anything to it, and make sure you blend it well. If you make your own baby food for your little one, then this should be on your list.

8. Pumpkin Puree Side Dish

The gorgeous color of this puree can be dressed up with any number of herbs and spices.

Not just for babies, pumpkin puree also makes an excellent side dish for us big kids too. Mix in some butter, salt and pepper, and a complimentary herb like sage or thyme. Parmesan cheese pairs well too, so sprinkle it on!

9. Pumpkin Soup

A crock of pumpkin soup on top of a placemat.
Pumpkin soup is an excellent option when the temperatures drop.

I could eat pumpkin soup all winter long. There is nothing quite as good as a hot bowl of this bright, gold dish. And it’s so easy to make. Here’s my recipe for pumpkin soup.


  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • ¼ cup of finely minced onion
  • 4 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ cups of vegetable stock
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large saucepan melt your butter over med-low heat, add the minced onion and thyme. Stir occasionally until the onions are translucent.
  • Raise your temperature to med and add the puree and vegetable stock. Heat until gently bubbling. Keep at a low simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  • Add the heavy cream. Using a stick blender, blend the soup until it’s creamy and smooth.
  • Or you can pour it into a blender several cups at a time and blend it that way. Be careful though; it will be scalding hot!
  • Serve with a sprig of thyme and crispy bread.

Pumpkin soup is so easy to change up too. I like to add one cup of crumbled cooked hot Italian sausage. Sometimes I ditch the thyme, and add a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger and a ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper. This recipe can easily be made vegan by substituting nut milk for the heavy cream.

10. Pasta

Hands roll pumpkin gnocci.
Pumpkin makes a great low-carb pasta.

If you want something a bit more filling than soup, give this recipe for homemade pumpkin pasta a try.

11. Pasta Sauce

Top your pasta with a pumpkin-based sauce.

Or skip making the pasta and use the pumpkin puree to make a pasta sauce for store-bought pasta. Winter squash pasta sauce is a wonderfully comforting food in the colder months and super easy to make.

12. Pumpkin Parmesan Rolls

These rolls go great with fall soups and stews.

How about a hot buttered pumpkin parmesan roll to accompany your main entrée? Give this recipe from Bakerita a try.

13. Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin is a great base for savory dips.

Are you tired of the usual game-day snack options? Try switching up your options and make instead, this savory pumpkin dip from Gimme Some Oven. This dip is loaded with all things yummy, like bacon and cheese!

Things to Drink

Starbucks has nothing on these delicious fall brews.

14. Wizard’s Pumpkin Juice

Pumpkin juice – a favorite among witches and wizards everywhere.

Are there any Harry Potter fans in our readership? (Ravenclaw in the house!) Why not grab a copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and sip some Pumpkin Juice? This recipe from Favorite Family Recipes is inspired by the drink served at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL.

15. Ginger Pumpkin Shrub

Vinegar drinking shrubs are some of my favorite homemade cocktail mixers.

How about a ginger pumpkin shrub? This delicious drinking vinegar is an excellent mixer for autumn cocktails or mixed with ginger ale. Check it out over at Almost a Homesteader.

16. Pumpkin Pie Martini

Mmm, it’s like drinking your dessert.

Forget eating the pie, why not drink it in this deliciously creamy pumpkin pie martini.

For all of you homebrewers, why not try a pumpkin mead or beer?

I have to say, pumpkin beers are my favorite. I wait all year long for them.

17. Mead

Pumpkin Mead. And it’s brewed right IN the pumpkin! Yeah, I’m going to have to give this a try myself. Find all the details here on Ale Horn.

18. Ale

This roasted imperial pumpkin ale sounds incredible. And it’s a one-gallon batch, so it’s the right size to try it to see if you like it.

Don’t forget your four-legged friends.

19. Dog Treats

Pumpkin can be a great healthy treat for pups.

Don’t forget your four-legged friends. Mix up a batch of these tasty pumpkin dog treats. Using the puree (with nothing else added) is also suitable for puppies when they are a little, ahem, backed up. Add a tablespoon of it to their food. (Always check with your vet first.)


This amazing squash is a superfood for your skin. Over at Healthline they have broken down all the great stuff that’s packed into these super squash.

Pumpkin is a nutritional wonder, loaded potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E.  It contains beta-carotene as well. Your body turns beta-carotene into Vitamin A.

Think of pumpkin as edible (and delicious) sunscreen.

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, which helps protect your skin from UV damage. Pumpkin also helps your body make collagen, which keeps your skin, bones, and joints healthy, strong, and young.

Two great ways to use pumpkin on your skin are as a face mask and as a skin scrub.

20. Pumpkin and Honey Face Mask

To make a mask mix ¼ cup of pumpkin puree (fresh is better than canned for this!) with one of the following: 1 tablespoon yogurt or 1 tablespoon of raw honey or 1 tablespoon of egg white or 1 tablespoon of mashed banana. Mix well and apply to your face. Relax for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with cool water. You look amazing!

Pumpkin and honey face mask.

21. Pumpkin Exfoliator

For a gentle exfoliator mix ½ cup of fresh puree with 1 cup of sugar. Rub into over your skin gently. If you use it on your face, avoid the eye area. Rinse with lukewarm water and moisturize.

And because you can’t have a list of things to make with pumpkin without pie, I give you…

22. Pumpkin Custard Pie

This custard version of the Thanksgiving classic is my new go-to.

I had this custard pie for the first time several years ago, and let me tell you; it was a game-changer. I immediately came home and scoured the internet for the recipe. After a few flops, I stumbled across this Amish Country Pumpkin Custard Pie recipe. You’re going to love it!

I hope this list has given you some new ideas to whip up everyone’s favorite fall squash. Maybe you’ll even consider pressure canning or freezing some extra pumpkin puree so you can enjoy it year-round.

And if pumpkin isn’t enough consider that there are quite a few other varieties of winter squash to enjoy this time of year.

9 Varieties of Winter Squash You Should Be Cooking this Fall

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Tracey Besemer

Hey there, my name is Tracey. I’m the editor-in-chief here at Rural Sprout.

Many of our readers already know me from our popular Sunday newsletters. (You are signed up for our newsletters, right?) Each Sunday, I send a friendly missive from my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. It’s a bit like sitting on the front porch with a friend, discussing our gardens over a cup of tea.

Originally from upstate NY, I’m now an honorary Pennsylvanian, having lived here for the past 18 years.

I grew up spending weekends on my dad’s off-the-grid homestead, where I spent much of my childhood roaming the woods and getting my hands dirty.

I learned how to do things most little kids haven’t done in over a century.

Whether it was pressing apples in the fall for homemade cider, trudging through the early spring snows of upstate NY to tap trees for maple syrup, or canning everything that grew in the garden in the summer - there were always new adventures with each season.

As an adult, I continue to draw on the skills I learned as a kid. I love my Wi-Fi and knowing pizza is only a phone call away. And I’m okay with never revisiting the adventure that is using an outhouse in the middle of January.

These days, I tend to be almost a homesteader.

I take an eclectic approach to homesteading, utilizing modern convenience where I want and choosing the rustic ways of my childhood as they suit me.

I’m a firm believer in self-sufficiency, no matter where you live, and the power and pride that comes from doing something for yourself.

I’ve always had a garden, even when the only space available was the roof of my apartment building. I’ve been knitting since age seven, and I spin and dye my own wool as well. If you can ferment it, it’s probably in my pantry or on my kitchen counter. And I can’t go more than a few days without a trip into the woods looking for mushrooms, edible plants, or the sound of the wind in the trees.

You can follow my personal (crazy) homesteading adventures on Almost a Homesteader and Instagram as @aahomesteader.

Peace, love, and dirt under your nails,