7 Savory Pumpkin Recipes for a Splendidly Seasonal Supper
According to the History Channel, Americans originally carved their jack-o’-lanterns out of turnips and potatoes each fall — that is, until the pumpkin was discovered on our continent in the late 16th century. But nowadays, pumpkins are good for more than just carving: The delicious fall flavors of this gourd can be enjoyed in every meal, and no, we’re not just talking about eating it in pie. This earthy ingredient has a tinge of sweetness that lends itself well to many types of savory dinnertime dishes.
Don’t take our word for it, though — give it a try for yourself! These 7 savory pumpkin recipes will make a tantalizing addition to tonight’s dinner menu.
1. Pumpkin Lasagna
Make pumpkin a part of tonight’s dinner with this recipe from Food & Wine, which incorporates the gourd’s unique flavor into the layered pasta dish for a hot, homestyle entrée. It makes a perfect main course for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. In a departure from your standard lasagna, this one does not include tomato sauce, instead letting the subtle flavors of pumpkin take the forefront. The recipe takes about an hour and 45 minutes to complete and yields 8 to 10 servings.
- 1 pound lasagna noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 pounds Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Three 15-ounce cans pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 4 cups fresh ricotta (32 ounces)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 2 cups shredded imported Fontina cheese (about 8 ounces)
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Drain well and transfer noodles to a baking sheet. Toss the noodles with olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until wilted and no more liquid remains, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season the chard with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, nutmeg and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, mix the ricotta with the eggs, 1½ cups of the Parmigiano, 1 cup of the Fontina, and 1½ teaspoons of salt.
In a well-buttered, 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish, spoon ½ cup of the pumpkin mixture in an even layer. Arrange 3 or 4 lasagna noodles in the dish, overlapping them slightly. Spread half of the remaining pumpkin mixture over the noodles in an even layer. Top with half of the Swiss chard and another layer of noodles. Cover with half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat the layering with lasagna noodles, pumpkin, Swiss chard, another layer of noodles, and finish with the ricotta mixture.
Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until heated through and slightly firm. Remove from the oven and uncover. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of Parmigiano and 1 cup of Fontina on top of the lasagna and broil about 4 inches from the heat until golden brown and crisp on top, about 4 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
2. Curried Pumpkin Soup
Curry is one of the most complex dishes to enjoy come dinnertime, and adding pumpkin to your spiced soup is a lovely way to capitalize on the flavors of fall. Taste of Home‘s recipe is deceptively simple, taking just 20 minutes to complete, and yields 7 servings. Each cup-sized serving contains 157 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein.
- ½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ to 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Minced chives
Directions: In a large saucepan, sauté the mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour and curry powder until blended. Gradually add the broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened. Add the pumpkin, milk, honey, salt, pepper and nutmeg; heat through. Garnish with chives if desired.
3. Pumpkin Gratin
Preparing food au gratin involves browning a bread or — as in this case — grated cheese crust through baking it, typically over a creamy, buttery, and cheesy main filling, according to Merriam-Webster. Although one of the most popular variations of this dish is potatoes au gratin, pumpkin gratin adds a tinge of sweetness to the classic, a great way to warm up at the end of a crisp fall day. This recipe from Epicurious combines flavorful Swiss cheese and egg along with pumpkin, heavy cream, and butter to make a creamy, soufflé-like dish. Recipe takes an hour to complete and yields 4 servings.
- 1 can (15½ ounces) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup grated Swiss cheese
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
4. Pumpkin Enchiladas
Bring some fall fun into your enchiladas by giving them a pumpkin-packed kick! The gourd lends a distinctively autumnal character to this zesty, Mexican-inspired dish. This recipe from Food Network takes 30 minutes to make and serves 2 people. It’s a vegetarian-friendly dinner option that weds several recognizable flavors into a definite family favorite.
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- ⅔ cup canned pure pumpkin
- 1½ tablespoons taco sauce
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix
- 2 large corn tortillas
- ¾ cup red enchilada sauce, divided
- 1 slice fat-free cheddar cheese, halved
- ¼ cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
- Salt and black pepper, optional
- Fat-free sour cream, optional
- Chopped scallions, optional
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add onion and, stirring occasionally, cook until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add pumpkin, taco sauce, and taco seasoning to the bowl. Mix well. If you like, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside. Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
Place tortillas on a microwave-safe plate. Warm slightly in the microwave, about 15 seconds. Lay tortillas flat, side by side. Spread 2 tablespoons enchilada sauce onto each one. Place a half-slice of cheese in the center of each tortilla. Evenly distribute the pumpkin mixture between the centers of the tortillas. Wrap tortillas up tightly and place them in the baking pan with the seam sides down. Cover with remaining ½ cup enchilada sauce.
Bake in the oven until enchiladas are hot, about 8 minutes. Carefully remove pan from the oven, and sprinkle enchiladas with shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Plate those babies and, if you like, top with sour cream and/or scallions. Enjoy!
5. Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
This creamy, pumpkin-infused macaroni and cheese is marvelously tasty — and surprisingly healthy. It’s a rich and creamy dish powered by pumpkin purée and protein-packed Greek yogurt. The incorporation of nutmeg brings out the wonderful, full fall flavors of pumpkin. The Law Student’s Wife‘s recipe for Pumpkin Mac and Cheese takes an hour and 30 minutes to complete and serves 4 to 6 people.
- 4 ounces bacon (4 to 5 pieces)
- 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cups yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 large)
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1½ cups nonfat milk
- 1 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock (if homemade, skim off fat)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 13 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni (or other short pasta, such as penne or rigatoni)
- 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
- ⅓ cup 2 percent plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about ¼ cup), divided
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
Directions: Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on a flat oven-proof rack, then set the rack atop the prepared baking sheet. Bake bacon for 20 minutes, until crispy. Once cooked, set bacon between two paper towels and pat dry. Once cool enough to handle, chop into rough pieces and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium high. Add onions and sauté until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook onions until caramelized and tender, stirring occasionally. Let the onions cook for at least 10 additional minutes, or up to 30 minutes as you prepare the rest of the recipe.
In a deep, wide saucepan, combine pumpkin, stock, and milk, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in mustard, salt, pepper nutmeg, and cayenne.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and 1 tablespoon kosher salt, then cook just until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, then transfer noodles to a large bowl. Pour pumpkin sauce over the top, then stir in the cheddar, Greek yogurt, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Fold in all of the caramelized onions and reserved bacon.
Lightly coat a 9-inch-square, deep baking dish or a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Transfer the pumpkin noodle mixture to dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the noodles. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 35 minutes more. Serve immediately.
6. Pumpkin Risotto
Risotto is one of the most common rice preparation methods used in Italy, involving rice cooked with broth, butter, onions, and other ingredients to a creamy consistency. Pumpkin purée and mascarpone cheese give this risotto its desirably creamy texture and taste. This recipe from Cooking Channel takes about 40 minutes to complete and makes 6 servings.
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 2 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, small dice
- 1½ cups canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ medium yellow onion, minced
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine broth, rice, squash, puree, and onion in a 3-quart baking dish, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir to evenly combine. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake, stirring occasionally, until most the water has been absorbed and rice granules are puffed, about 35 to 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, stir in remaining ingredients, season to taste, and serve.
7. Pumpkin Pizza With Crispy Sage
Two Peas and Their Pod‘s recipe for Pumpkin Pizza goes boldly where no pizza has gone before, using a combination of pumpkin purée and nutmeg in place of tomato sauce. The results are wonderful! Topping the pizza with Gouda cheese and crisped sage gives it a complex character, as each unique taste brings out the delicate flavors of the accompanying ingredients. This recipe yields 2 to 4 servings and takes an hour to complete. You can also try it with Gruyere cheese.
For the pizza dough
- 2¼ teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- Pinch of sugar
- 3½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Corn meal, for spreading on pizza peel
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
- Canola oil, for frying sage leaves
- 10 fresh sage leaves
Directions: To make the pizza dough, in a glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine yeast and 1 cup warm water. Add a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and salt. Mix the ingredients until combined.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Next, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix until combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes on medium speed.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Form dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover pizza dough with a damp towel and set in a warm area to rise. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
While the pizza dough is rising, fry the sage leaves. Heat 1-inch canola oil in a small pan over medium-high heat until surface is shimmering slightly. Add a few leaves at a time and cook until crisp but still bright green, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Season with salt.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or as high as your oven will go. If you have a pizza stone, place the pizza stone in the oven to get hot. Cut the dough in half. Take one piece of dough and punch it down on a lightly floured surface. You can refrigerate or freeze the other half of the dough or make two pizzas, if you wish. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle. Place the pizza on a pizza peel or pan that has been generously coated with corn meal.
In a small bowl, mix together pumpkin purée, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Spread pumpkin mixture evenly over pizza dough. Top with Gouda cheese.
Place the pizza in the oven directly on the pizza stone, if using one, or on the oven rack. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted.
Remove the pizza from the oven and place crispy sage leaves on top. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes and then cut into slices and serve warm.