Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean you should forget about pumpkins. Gourds aren’t just for carving! Pumpkin season is still at its peak. Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching, which means you will need to treat your family and guests to something mouthwatering and delicious. Try one of these awesome pumpkin recipes from savory pumpkin soups to pumpkin cannelloni and pumpkin cinnamon rolls. This holiday season, your gatherings will be a lot tastier.
1. Baked Stuffed Pumpkins
You will need miniature pumpkins such as Jack Be Little, Small Sugar, Wee Be Little, Baby Boo, or Munchkin. The stuffing can be whatever you like and you can mix and match your favorite ingredients to make baked stuffed pumpkins, but I suggest you try one of my fav pumpkin recipes. If you don’t have sweet Italian sausage or you are on a diet, opt for chicken or turkey.
- 4 miniature pumpkins
- 2 cups pumpkin, chopped
- 4 oz. sweet or mild Italian sausage
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- ½ cup Granny Smith apples or any apples you have handy, chopped
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp. fresh oregano
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 350. Place crumbled sausage in a large pan and cook over medium-low heat till it’s almost done. Remove the sausage, and add chopped pumpkin and onion to it. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until pumpkin begins to soften. Add sausage and chopped apple and saute for 2-3 minutes, then add white wine and saute for another 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix dried cranberries, couscous, olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Add your sausage-onion-pumpkin-apple mixture to it.
Hollow out your miniature pumpkins and fill them with your stuffing. Place them in a baking dish, cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 25-27 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for 8-10 minutes.
2. Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin risotto is a quick and simple recipe to follow that’s totally delicious. Most of us love risotto and have been making a host of different variations for many years. Pumpkin risotto is ideal for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and for usual family dinner as well. If you watch your calorie intake, opt for brown or black rice instead of white one.
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 butternut squash
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated, optional
Cut the squash in half. Bake one half in the oven. Once it’s ready, make puree. Peel the other half, cut into small pieces, and saute in a little butter until soft and tender.
In a saucepan, heat olive oil, add garlic and onion and saute for 3 minutes or until soft. Add arborio rice and stir until the rice is coated with olive oil. Add white wine and cook until it’s been absorbed. Add 3 cups vegetable/chicken stock to cover the rice. Cook all of the liquid is absorbed.
Pour in another cup of the stock, cook until it’s been fully absorbed, and add 2 more cups of the stock and cook, stirring, until most of the stock has been absorbed and your rice is al dente.
Add the diced pumpkin and pumpkin puree to your rice. Lower the heat. Stir in butter and grated Parmesan(optional) and serve.
3. Pumpkin Mushroom Soup
Typically, we don’t make soups for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but why not break this little festive rule? Pumpkin mushroom soup will be a sophisticated addition to your Thanksgiving dinner. This thick and savory soup is so good and comforting that your guests won’t leave a spoonful by the end of the dinner.
- 1 pumpkin
- 1/2 pound fresh mushroom, sliced
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- dash of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp honey
Place onions and mushrooms in a saucepan and saute in butter. Add curry powder and flour and continue cooking and stirring until bubbly. Add your chicken or vegetable stock to it. Do it gradually, cup by cup. Bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and add pumpkin puree and the other ingredients from the list, except the cream. Cook, stirring, for 15-18 minutes. Add cream and cook on very low heat without boiling.
4. Pumpkin Waffles
While you won’t probably serve these cute pumpkin waffles on Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can treat your little ones to a tasty breakfast. These waffles are light, fluffy and easy to cook. It takes less than 15 minutes to add the pumpkin flavor to your breakfast or Sunday brunch.
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 2⁄3 cups milk
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 pinch salt
In a large bowl, combine baking powder, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pinch of salt, nutmeg, and ginger . In another bowl, mix pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, milk, and sugar. Fold in the first bowl. Mix well and let your waffle iron do the rest.
5. Pumpkin Potato Gnocchi with Bacon
Or without it. Those who don’t care about calories will definitely love this meal, though with some mixing and matching you can make a diet-friendly or kid-friendly version too. The best part about the pumpkin potato gnocchi is that it’s oh-so delis, but the downside is that it takes some time and effort to cook it. Anyway, give it a try if you have time!
- 1 ¾ lb pumpkin
- 5 oz all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 2 oz butter
- cilantro and mint for garnish
- cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 350. Cut the pumpkin in half, and bake for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Then, peel and mash it.
Make mashed potato as usual, and stir into the pumpkin mash. Add the egg, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well to make the dough – it shouldn’t stick to your fingertips.
Start shaping the gnocchi. Roll a small amount of the dough into a log and cut into little cylindrical pieces. Place the gnocchi in a pot of boiling water. Add a pinch of salt to it. Cook about 2-3 minutes or until they rise to the top of the pot. Use a slotted spoon to remove them. Place the gnocchi in a bowl with the melted butter. Serve with fried bacon, cheese, cilantro and mint.
6. Pumpkin Cannelloni
If you are a huge cannelloni lover, pumpkin cannelloni is a must-try. Instead of stuffing your cannelloni with ricotta cheese, try out the pumpkin filling. It’s cheap, quick and simple and doesn’t require exquisite ingredients.
- 1½ lb. pumpkin
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup pasta water
- 1½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tsp. finely chopped fresh spinach, basil, sage or parsley
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 package oven-ready lasagna sheets
Peel and dice the pumpkin, place in a large pan with water and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Make the mashed pumpkin. Add salt, pepper, and finely chopped fresh spinach, basil, sage or parsley to it.
Boil a large pot of water. Cook lasagna sheets for about 2 minutes, or until tender. Place on the plate and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush a medium baking sheet with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the oil. Add the pumpkin filling to center of each lasagna sheet, roll into cannelloni tubes, place them on the baking sheet, cover your cannelloni with pasta water and the baking sheet with the foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top golden.
7. Pumpkin Carrot Soup
Fall-ify your soup with this awesome recipe. Carrot and pumpkin have many health benefits. They are chock-full with vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Consuming pumpkin and carrots during the cold season is a surefire way to keep your immune system strong and your tummy happy.
- 1 medium pumpkin, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pumpkin, onion, and carrot on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil, pepper and salt and put in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until a bit caramelized.
Place your caramelized vegetables in a large pan with the stock, bring to boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Blend your soup until smooth.
8. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
If spending hours on baking perfect pumpkin cinnamon rolls doesn’t scare you, this recipe is exactly what you wish. Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are great for the whole family, making it a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked
- pinch salt
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Allow to stand for a while. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead until elastic and smooth. Don’t worry if your dough is a bit sticky. Form the ball, place it into a greased bowl, cover with a cloth, and let stand in a warm place for 40 minutes.
Brush the dough with melted butter. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice with brown sugar, and sprinkle over the dough.
Grease your baking sheet. Form your pumpkin rolls, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Meanwhile, combine the melted butter, vanilla extract, sugar, and milk. Spread the glaze over your pumpkin rolls right after they come out of the oven.
This holiday season, outfit your pantry with the ingredients necessary to make incredibly healthy and unbelievably delicious pumpkin meals. I think, we should always have pumpkins on hand when the cold season comes. They’re jam-packed with nutrients, easy to cook and can be used in many recipes. What are you go-to pumpkin recipes?