Great Pumpkin Recipes

I have a group of friends who has been meeting for the last six years to celebrate all things pumpkin. (I like to say we were pumpkin when pumpkin wasn’t cool.) We eat, talk, and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

We’re each responsible for bringing a pumpkin-themed dish every year, so we have run the gamut from fabulous to not-so-fabulous. (Pumpkin Spice Oreos? Not so fabulous this year.)


But there are four tried-and-true pumpkin recipes that I have loved for years and wanted to pass along to you. Bonus: they’re vegetarian.

IMG_2745Pumpkin Hummus
15 oz. can of pumpkin
15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 T olive oil
1 t cumin
Dash of garlic and salt

Mix well in the food processor, and, if you like, sprinkle feta cheese on top. (My toddlers could not get enough of this at this year’s gathering.)


The next two are for the non-pumpkin lovers in your life. Two hearty fall dishes with only a trace of pumpkin taste (but with all the health benefits like vitamin A and fiber–yay veggies).

Pumpkin Chili
2 T olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
1 chopped green bell pepper
2 chopped jalapenos
12 oz. vegetarian turkey (We like Boca meatless crumbles.)
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 c. water
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
15 oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

Heat oil in large pot on medium high heat. Add onion and peppers, and brown for a few minutes before adding “turkey.” Brown for a few more minutes, then add everything else except the beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, and add the beans. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pumpkin Pasta
2 T olive oil
12 oz. vegetarian turkey (Again, Boca meatless crumbles in our house.)
1 c. chopped onion
1 bay leaf
2 T sage
1 c. vegetable broth
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. half and half
1 lb. whole-wheat rotini, cooked
Dash of the following: cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, salt, and pepper

Cook pasta as normal. Heat oil in large skillet. Brown “turkey” and onion for a just a few minutes, then add bay leaf, sage, vegetable broth, and pumpkin. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low, and stir in half and half. Add all remaining spices, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and combine the pasta and pumpkin mix over low heat for just a couple of minutes.

And, for dessert . . .

Pumpkin Honey Butter
1 cup vegan butter (We love Smart Balance and Earth Balance)
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. powdered sugar
3 T canned pumpkin
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice

Blend all ingredients well, and, if you’re so inclined, put it in a pretty jar.

Picture 1272

(This was clearly made before I had children.)

Even though I’ve loved pumpkin for years, I’m no snob. I always use canned because the fresh is just too much trouble for me to slice and cook. So these are all super easy dishes that have been tested and approved both by librarians and toddlers.


What are your go-to pumpkin recipes or favorite pumpkin dishes?

Tiffany is an Alabama expat who has been married to Jason since 2005 and has called Fort Worth home since 2007. They welcomed Catherine in 2012 and Nina in 2013. Tiffany recently retired after 10 years of librarian life to focus full-time on doctoral work at the University of North Texas and part-time on health and fitness coaching. In her spare (ha!) time, she enjoys blogging at, tweeting (@mrsmcbookworm), podcasting (, watching sports (Roll Tide!), and walking with Fred, their Bichon Frise. You will rarely find her without a cup of coffee, and she is a big believer in the one-minute dance party.


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