5 Unique Ways to Use Pumpkin This Fall

Holly Riddle

By Holly Riddle

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It’s mid-October. You’ve already made your roasted pumpkin, your pumpkin soup, your pumpkin cakes and other treats, your pumpkin-spiced this and that. You could say that you’re all pumpkin-ed out — and we wouldn’t blame you if that were the case! Once pumpkin season finally arrives, it can be easy to go all in with everything pumpkin before this gourd is gone for the season.

However, even if you think you’ve had your fill, you might not want to give up on all things pumpkin just yet (pumpkin is filled with tons of health benefits, after all, including vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, carotenoids, and fiber). There are still plenty of unique ways to use pumpkin this October. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Make Ice Cream

Homemade pumpkin ice cream.

Yes, ice cream season might technically be over, but if you’re the type to never turn down a bowl or cone of the good stuff, consider making some pumpkin ice cream this fall. This ricotta-based pumpkin ice cream is healthier than the store-bought alternative.

A jar filled with pumpkin panna cotta with a spoon.

2. Make Pumpkin Panna Cotta

Forget the pie — make panna cotta instead. While panna cotta may sound a bit intimidating, it’s actually not too hard to pull off. This recipe allows the panna cotta to set in individual-serving glass jars, for no worries about un-molding your dessert before serving.

A closeup of a roasted pumpkin that is stuffed with pasta.

3. Stuff It

Don’t want to process your pumpkin, including all the cleaning, slicing, and dicing? Stuff your pumpkin with pasta and cheese for a delicious, comfort food favorite that will use up your leftover pumpkins, but with little work on your end. For this pumpkin stuffed with pasta, all you have to do is cut the stem off your pumpkin, clean out the strings and seeds, then let it roast before stuffing in all your cheesy, sausage-y pasta goodness.

A white bowl with a blue rim filled with pumpkin chili with tortilla chips in the background.
Ildi Papp/Shutterstock

4. Add it to Your Chili

A great dish that uses pumpkin and harnesses all those pumpkin vitamins and nutrients, without putting the pumpkin flavor front and center? Pumpkin chili. Just add pumpkin to your favorite chili recipe (or substitute pumpkin for butternut squash in this Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili recipe). You’ll find that it pairs well with the flavors, blending in nicely with your crowd of ground meat (whether you go ground chicken, beef, or spicy sausage), beans, tomato paste, or sauce, and spices and seasonings.

5. Make a Mash

Mashed potato and pumpkin.
margouillat photo/Shutterstock

Goodbye, boring mashed potatoes. Add pumpkin to mash recipes and try blending it with other vegetables. You can use potatoes to start, but you can also mash pumpkin along with sweet potatoes, cauliflower, rutabagas, turnips, and other similar veggies, for a side dish that’s more exciting.

What Pumpkin Should You Buy?

No matter what pumpkin-based delights you plan on baking or cooking the rest of the season, be sure you’re picking the best types of pumpkins for eating and cooking.

Depending on your intended use, you may prefer certain types of pumpkins over others. For example, sugar pumpkins are best for desserts or stuffing, whereas Cinderella pumpkins are great for soups and stews, thanks to their high moisture content.

A white bowl with a blue rim filled with pumpkin chili with tortilla chips in the background.

5 Unique Ways to Use Pumpkin This Fall

Pumpkin isn't just for desserts and pumpkin spice lattes. Pumpkin is filled with tons of health benefits so why not incorporate it into more fall recipes? There are still plenty of unique ways to use pumpkin this October. We have 5 more delicious suggestions.

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