It’s October and that means pumpkin carving season! We love the family fun of creating wonderful designs and spooky decorations – and we also love cooking wonderful pumpkin recipes! After all, pumpkins are a delicious and nutritious food that is in season, so let’s make the most of them.
Zero Waste Pumpkin Carving
Set yourself up for success and make sure that your pumpkin carving team knows that whatever is carved out will be eaten. This helps to remind everyone to keep the carved bits on the table, and not mix bits that fall on the floor back into the “scrap heap”.
Make sure that you are working on a nice clean surface, and have bowls ready for both the seeds, and the juicy flesh.
Try to scoop out as much flesh as possible so that you can get maximum cooking value for your pumpkin recipes with minimal food waste.
Depending what type of pumpkin, squash, or gourd you are carving, the seeds might be a delicious treat too. Have a quick internet search to see if the seeds you have will be suitable or too tough. Even tough seeds can be great fun – you can save them to plant next year!
When you’re all done, keep your pumpkin guts stored properly until you are ready to use them. They freeze well in airtight containers.
1. Pumpkin Soup
Of course, we start with a classic autumn pumpkin recipe! Pumpkin soup is a delicious and affordable belly-filler that is just perfect for the stretch in the evenings. It is super easy to make this soup vegan and plant based too!
- 2 tbsp. butter or oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 2 cups of pumpkin – peeled and seeds removed
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup cream or coconut cream
- Optional – 1 tbsp curry powder
- Optional – 1 can of chickpeas (added fibre and protein)
In a large pot fry the onion in the oil or butter until the onion is translucent. If adding curry powder for a curried pumpkin soup recipe, add that now and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add pumpkin and stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until pumpkin is tender. If adding chickpeas or beans, add those now.
Using an immersion blender, purée mixture until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can also mash the soup and eat it chunky. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Cook for 10 more minutes. Stir in cream or coconut cream and heat thoroughly.
Serve hot with garlic bread, cheese toasties, or just tuck in! This is also a great opportunity to make toast with any less fresh bread that you have lying around to reduce food waste!
2. Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin risotto is fantastic comfort food, and also really affordable. This recipe makes about 8 servings and freezes well so that you can have future meals ready to go.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cups of peeled, cubed pumpkin
- 2 cups Arborio (risotto) rice
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine (optional, but recommended!)
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, heated
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Optional – 1/4 cup dried mushrooms
Sauté onion in the oil until soft. Add pumpkin and cook until softened, stirring often. Add rice, stirring until each kernel is coated with oil.
Add wine, if desired, and stir until combined.
Add 3 cups of the stock (about half), rosemary, and mushrooms if you are using them. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Keep stirring! Stirring throughout the process is what makes risotto so creamy.
Add the rest of the stock slowly as it is absorbed, and keep stirring. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed into the rice. It should be creamy and porridge like.
Add butter and Parmesan and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a sprinkle more Parmesan.
3. Roasted Pumpkin Hummus
- About 500g pumpkin
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tahini paste
- 400g can chickpeas, drained
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
Take the skin off your garlic and add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. You may need to add a little bit of water to help your blender along.
This hummus looks gorgeous when topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and goes well in sandwiches too.
4. Pumpkin Gnocchi
Making your own pasta sounds tricky, but making gnocchi from scratch is really simple! It is a fun date night activity or a recipe that the whole family can get involved with.
This easy homemade gnocchi recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover pumpkin after Halloween. We will swap out the traditional potato component for cooked pumpkin and top it with a simple yet delicious sage butter sauce
- 400g pumpkin (butternut squash also works!), peeled, seeded and cut into 2.5cm cubes
- 120g ricotta
- 50g finely grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 200g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 60g salted butter
- 1 tsp oil
- 20 sage leaves
- Salt and pepper
Steam the pumpkin in a colander set over a pan of simmering water or a steamer pan for 20 mins, or until very soft and tender. You can also cook it in the microwave! Drain off as much liquid as possible, and pat dry with a tea towel.
Mash the cooked pumpkin to a smooth purée. Mix together the pumpkin purée, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, ¼ tsp salt and some black pepper.
Fold in the flour, taking care not to ‘overmix’. You should end up with a soft dough. If it is still very sticky, add a tiny bit more flour.
Place the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 6 blobs. Roll one piece at a time into a long sausage. The roll should be about 1.5cm thick. Cut into 2cm pieces using a floured knife. You can gently dent each gnocchi with the back of a floured fork to add the traditional ridges.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. The water should be as salty as the sea! Tip in enough gnocchi to make a single layer in the water. They should initially sink, and then rise to the surface when they are cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and cook the remaining gnocchi.
Congratulations! You have made gnocchi! You can eat this however you like, with pesto, with ricotta and spinach, with honey and goats cheese and hazelnuts – the possibilities are endless!
We love our gnocchi in browned butter with crispy sage: Heat 15g butter and the oil in a large frying pan. Add half the gnocchi and fry for 2 mins or until starting to brown. Add 15g more butter and, once melted, add the sage leaves. Fry for 1-2 mins, until the gnocchi are golden all over and the sage is crispy. Repeat with the remaining butter, gnocchi and sage leaves. Serve with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts if you are feeling fancy.
5. Pumpkin and Apple Baked Oatmeal
A taste of autumn, with seasonal ingredients that is easy to grab and go on chilly mornings? Perfection! If you’ve never tried baked oatmeal then you are missing out!
- 1 1/2 cup pumpkin
- 1 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 cups rolled oats, gluten-free if needed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- /4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Optional – 1/2 cup pecan nuts
Preheat oven to 180° C and grease a 20cm square(ish) or similar baking dish.
Steam or microwave your pumpkin until very soft. Mash your cooked pumpkin into a smooth puree.
Mix together the pumpkin, milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir together. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar.
Bake the oatmeal for 30-35 minutes or until it’s golden and set. Let the baked oatmeal rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Baked oatmeal reheats nicely in the microwave for a quick breakfast, snack or even dessert. It keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days and freezes well.
Make the Most of Your Pumpkin!
These are just a handful of the amazing pumpkin recipes that you will find. With a bit of creativity and a quick internet search, almost every recipe can be altered to add a bit of pumpkin and make sure that it is used up.