7 New Ways to Cook with Pumpkin

If you're sick of the pumpkin spice latte craze, you're not alone. Coffee and pie aren't the only ways to get your pumpkin fill this season. Clever Cookstr has 7 new ways to use pumpkin in your kitchen.

Kara Rota
4-minute read
Episode #20

Savory Pumpkin Dishes

Pumpkin, like all winter squash, is ideal for soups, stews, and chilis that take advantage of lots of seasonal ingredients. I love doing a turkey vegetable soup with onions, carrots, herbs, rice or barley, and then some chunks of pre-cooked pumpkin thrown in there.

You can also puree roasted pumpkin with some chicken or vegetable stock, add some cooked onions, and then sprinkle crispy bacon or fried sage and a little crème fraiche on top. It makes for a delicious, warming soup.

Chili is a great idea for pumpkin too. You can start with ground beef or turkey, cook it up with a little salt and pepper in a big soup pot, a dutch oven, or even a crock-pot. Throw some chopped onions and bell peppers in there with the meat to sautee, and add minced garlic, cumin, chili powder. You want to cook these spices with a little oil instead of adding them to a dish like chili once it’s cooking because the spices really open up when they’re toasted.  

Then add cooked kidney beans and a can or two of diced tomatoes, or homemade tomato sauce if you have some in the freezer from the summer. This is when you add the pumpkin – either a can of plain pumpkin puree or a cup or two of puree from pumpkin you’ve roasted yourself. Then just let it go for a few hours, put some grated cheese and sour cream on top, and you’re set! 

My final idea might sound a little ridiculous, but stay with me here: pumpkin hummus!

I love making hummus because it’s so insanely easy in a food processor or a good blender. Some garbanzo beans, either cooked from the dried beans or just canned beans that you’ve drained and rinsed, a few tablespoons of olive oil and tahini, and ½ - 1 cup of pumpkin puree. Try adding roasted garlic for a really toasty, sweet finish, or fresh rosemary or sage. Salt and pepper to taste, and maybe sprinkle some toasted pumpkin seeds on top to serve.  Adjust the ratios to fit your preferences, but this should give you an outline for a seriously good seasonal dip.

So there you go—delicious sweet and savory ideas for pumpkin to spice up your fall meals. What are some of your favorite ways to cook with pumpkin this season? Email me at cookstr@quickanddirtytips.com and connect with me on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Join me next time on the Clever Cookstr for more tips and tricks from the kitchens of the world’s best cooks. 

Pumpkin, pancakes, and pumpkin soup images courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.