That pumpkin pie you’re looking forward to at Thanksgiving is still over a month away. Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte’s are delicious, but expensive and loaded with calories. What is a pumpkin loving food connoisseur supposed to do?
With all the various pumpkins and gourds filling the produce section at your supermarket, you’ve got a lot of options for Fall flavors. But with Halloween coming up, pumpkin is still king and that’s perfect. Pumpkin is a great source of vitamins and nutrients. And it just plain tastes good. From savory to sweet we’ve got some amazing pumpkin recipes to share with you.
I should note, before getting into any recipes, if you want to make roasted pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree, don’t buy carving pumpkins. There are much smaller varieties known as cooking, sugar, or pie pumpkins. They’ll give your dishes much better flavor.
Seasonal Pumpkin Recipes
Risotto with Pumpkin, Sausage, and Sage
My family hosts Christmas day every year and we like to serve a variety of dishes. In the past few years we’ve started making risotto. One year we decided to make a risotto for Christmas dinner. After searching through several cookbooks, we stumbled upon a recipe that called for pumpkin. While we were initially wary, the dish turned out to be fantastic!
5-6 C chicken stock
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
4 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage, casing removed
¼ C finely chopped onions
2 C arborio rice
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 TBSP chopped fresh sage, OR 2 TSP dried sage
½ TSP salt, plus additional to taste
½ TSP freshly ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
½ C white wine
½ C heavy cream
4 TBSP freshly grated cheese (Parmesan or Pecorino Romano)
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the stock and puree. Bring the mixture to a boil and set it aside. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Remove the pan from the heat, scoop out the sausage with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Pour off all but 3 TBSP of fat in the pot, return it to the heat, and add the garlic and onion. Cook it over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 3-4 minutes.
Put the rice in the pot, half the sage, and salt and pepper. Cook for another minute, until the rice is well coated and slightly opaque. Return the sausage to the pot and add the wine, stirring to dislodge any brown bits from the bottom. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add about 1 cup of stock to the pot and, stir constantly until the mixture is absorbed by the rice. Add another ½ cup of the stock and keep stirring. Continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the cream, cheese, and sage. Check the seasoning and serve.
Tips: For a looser risotto, stir in additional ¾ c of stock after rice has finished cooking. If there is any leftover risotto, shape into a log and refrigerate. Slice into cakes and fry in olive oil until crisp, about 3-4 minutes per side. Cakes can make for a hearty brunch or quick supper.
Note: Make sure you get arborio or carnaroli rice for your risotto. Other grains won’t have enough starch to produce the thick, creamy texture associated with the dish.
Pumpkin Spice Latte, courtesy of PopSugar Food
Starbucks only serves their seasonal latte for a few months out of the year. Some of us would love it all year-round. With this easy recipe, you can have the warm taste of pumpkin and cinnamon any time you want.
Savory Pumpkin Hummus, from All Recipes
Hummus is great year-round and is a neutral base for all sorts of flavors. It is versatile and delicious. It is great for an afternoon snack or as part of an evening meal. You may have some trouble finding tahini in your local stores, but you should be able to find it online with no trouble. If you don’t like a lot of heat, you can add less cayenne pepper.
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP tahini
3 cloves garlic
¾ TSP salt
2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans
2 TSP extra virgin olive oil
1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
1 TSP ground cumin
½ TSP cayenne pepper
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 pinch paprika
Pulse lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add garbanzo beans and olive oil and pulse until smooth. Add pumpkin, cumin, and cayenne pepper; process until well blended. Transfer hummus to a container with a lid and refrigerate at least 2 hours. When you’re ready to serve it, fold in the pumpkin seeds and garnish with paprika.
Pumpkin Cheesecaketini, by the Snappy Gourmet
This one is just for the adults, but we deserve a treat for ourselves every now and then. Similar to the pumpkin spice latte, this is a drink with the taste of fall. It’s a little bit creamy, a little bit sweet, and a whole lot of flavor.
This is what you’ll need:
⅓ cup milk or cream
3 TBSP Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
1 TBSP Hiram Walker Cinnamon Schnapps
1 TSP cheesecake instant pudding mix (regular or sugar free)
Graham cracker crumbs
To prepare your glass, coat the rim of the glass with caramel and then dip it into the graham cracker crumbs. Add the milk, pumpkin spice liqueur, schnapps, and pudding mix into a shaker with ice. Shake for approximately 30 seconds and strain into your glass. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon, if desired.
With its bright flavor and vibrant color, pumpkin is a wonderful addition to many dishes. And whether you’re buying cooking pumpkins or carving pumpkins, don’t forget to save those seeds. Run them under cold water and clean out the stringy pulp, then pat them dry. On a baking sheet, toss them with some olive oil and whatever flavoring you want. Bake them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Use them as a garnish or a tasty snack.
What are your favorite pumpkin recipes? Let us know in the comments below.