10 Totally Unexpected Ways to Cook with Pumpkin
Put down the pie and pick up the waffles: This nutritional powerhouse and quintessential fall and winter ingredient can be a star at breakfast, lunch, dinner and, yes, dessert.
The Make-Ahead Breakfast to Go with Your Spiced Latte
Waffle batter fortified with pumpkin puree makes for just a little bit richer and sweeter way to start your day. Make a batch of these good-carb treats at the beginning of the week and then refrigerate or freeze them. When you want one, pop it in the toaster and then top with fruit, nuts and high-protein Greek yogurt.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Waffles
The New Alternative to Sweet Potato Fries
Who knew that pumpkin cut into wedges and fried until crisp and brown could be so tasty? Eat these addictive fries on their own, or enjoy them with jellied cranberry sauce and a salad of frisée tossed with warm bacon vinaigrette.
Get the recipe: Cranberry Gels with Frisée Salad, Pumpkin Fries and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
The Cool-Weather Pasta Dish That's Not Ravioli
We love those little squash-filled pockets, but this refreshing take on pasta plus pumpkin ensures that the veggie's flavor isn't masked by ricotta cheese. You roast cubed pumpkin until it's tender and golden brown, then toss it with cooked wide noodles, crisp pancetta, sage and a quick, carbonara-like sauce made from the pasta-cooking water, Parmesan and egg yolks.
Get the recipe: Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Pasta
The Fastest Way to Bagel Nirvana
This sweet, spiced cream cheese is so good, you'll be spreading it on everything from bagels to celery sticks to crostini. It's a snap to make, too: just beat softened cream cheese, canned pumpkin, brown sugar and pumpkin-pie spice until smooth.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin-Pie Cream Cheese
Photo: Courtesy of David Waltuck
Mousse with a Cookie Crunch
A pumpkin mousse flavored with maple syrup, rum, ginger, allspice, cinnamon and cloves would be delicious on its own. Add a topping of maple crème fraîche and gingersnap crumbs (homemade or store-bought), and you may never go back to plain, old pumpkin pie.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Mousse with Crunchy Gingersnaps and Maple Crème Fraiche
A Salad That Eschews Green for Orange
Yes, there is some arugula on the plate, but this salad from chef April Bloomfield puts the green in the back seat, instead highlighting spiced pumpkin, pine nuts and Pecorino cheese.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Salad with Pine Nuts, Pecorino and Balsamic Vinegar
A Vegetarian Chili with the Perfect Combo of Sweet and Spicy
Although all the usual ingredients are here—beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin—this unusual chili includes a few surprises. There's a full can of pumpkin puree, plus a chopped bell pepper, corn and bulgur, which has a chewy texture that's a healthy stand-in for ground meat.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Vegetarian Chili
The Speedy Trick That Makes a Basic Breakfast Holiday-Ready
Here's a no-brainer way to impress the morning crowd: stir a half-cup of canned pumpkin and a few shakes of cinnamon and cloves into regular pancake mix. Throw in a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans if you like.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes
A Fried Dessert That Gives Apple-Cider Donuts a Run for Their Money
Fritters are a simple but often forgotten substitute for donuts—and since you drop the batter into the pan by spoonfuls instead of forming it into rings, they're even easier to make. Serve these with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon sugar.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream
The Granola So Obvious, We Can't Believe We Hadn't Tried It Before
Homemade granola is a blank slate, but adding pumpkin is one direction we'd never considered taking before. It makes total sense, though: the squash goes well with classic granola ingredients such as brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nuts and cranberries. You stir the pureed version in with the sugar, oil and flavorings, and that becomes the coating for the oats, nuts and dried fruit.
Get the recipe: Spiced Pumpkin and Brown Sugar Granola
Next: 8 potluck suppers for your fall or winter party