Plenty of Pumpkin–Old Loves and New Ideas

Fall has always been my favorite season. Along with being able to wear jeans and a sweatshirt with flip-flops, this season brings me three of my favorite things: college football, changing leaves, and pumpkin.


While I’ve never liked pumpkin pie, I’ve found a ton of other ways to enjoy this winter squash.

Pumpkin is the perfect fall vegetable, whether you cook your own or buy the cans from the supermarket. It’s high in lutein and beta carotene yet low in calories for a large serving, making it a nutritional powerhouse and a great addition to a variety of recipes.


8 ways to think outside the pie:

  • Stir into cooked oatmeal and add fun toppings like granola, peanut butter or – my favorite – chocolate and butterscotch chips
  • Mix into your favorite cookie dough with a pinch of cinnamon
  • Stir into plain yogurt with cereal/granola/oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and honey for a filling breakfast or snack
  • Make a “pumpkin pie” smoothie or milkshake with pumpkin puree, milk/yogurt/ice cream, cinnamon, ice, and sweetener of choice
  • Mix with cream cheese, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and pecans and spread on bagels or toast or use as a dip for ginger snaps and sliced apples
  • Blend with cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger and use as a filling for French toast – perfect for a fall brunch or weekend breakfast
  • Blend with sautéed garlic, onions, cream/milk and seasonings for a rich pumpkin soup
  • Mix with ricotta cheese, garlic, and sage and toss with hot pasta

With pumpkin, there are tons of possibilities!

Do you have any non-traditional ways of using pumpkin? I want to know!


  1. I love pumpkin in my oatmeal (ok, basically I love it in anything!). But pumpkin bread, pie, cheesecake, and oatmeal are probably my most favorite. :)

  2. I love the cream cheese idea. Yum!

  3. I’ve definitely used it in muffins and pancakes.

    I really am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. One little sliver will get me through the entire holiday season. However, I’ve been loving it in other baked goods… :)

  4. I love pumpkin pie smoothies… :)

  5. I made pumpkin cheesecake oats this morning and they were the best pumpkin thing I’ve ever tasted, seriously!

  6. I still love love love your pumpkin French toast, that was a winner!! :-) I love stirring pumpkin into my ice cream maker!

  7. Nice tips Brandi! :) Love this last one: Mix with ricotta cheese, garlic, and sage and toss with hot pasta

    I bet if you just baked the pumpkin + ricotta cheese etc. it would make a great dip for pita chips! :)

  8. Those are great ideas Brandi! I actually make pumpkin pancakes that are out of this world!

    Have a great day!

  9. I use it as an ingredient in a sauce for enchiladas. It sounds unconventional, but when mixed with spices it is so good!

  10. LOVE your ideas! I make a pasta dish with turkey sausage and a pumpkin cream sauce. Sounds weird but it’s really yummy…

  11. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with cream cheese and pumpkin together :) yum! We actually made pumpkin sauce for pasta the other day. it didn’t taste so good, so we might look for another recipe or figure out the error in our ways before it’s a blog worthy thing ;)

  12. I also LOVE pumpkin and don’t like pumpkin pie! I make “pumpkin fluff” – it’s so good!

    Just combine 1 can pumpkin with vanilla pudding mix (just the mix, and I use the sugar-free kind) and any spices that you like (pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg!) and then fold in one 8 oz container of thawed cool whip. Stick it in the fridge for 2 hours or so and enjoy! SO YUMMY!

  13. Make a pumpkin and black bean soup! This recipe is outstanding: The pumpkin really bulks up the broth and gives everything a delicious flavor.

    P.S. I just made your oatmeal breakfast pancakes for the first time this weekend and loved them! Thanks for the healthy, gluten-free pancake recipe!

  14. You know – recently, it’s been using pumpkin in my oats and smoothies!

  15. Those are all great ways to use pumpkin! I especially like it in my oatmeal, and also this carrot, pumpkin and coconut oatmeal cake I made (

  16. Not a fan of pumpkin pie?!!? Oh my! I’m just kidding. I won’t hate ;)

    I love pumpkin in just about everything- even spread plain on toast and layers with another slab of jelly. :P

  17. I love everything pumpkin! Just made pumpkin and turkey chili for my family for dinner. Wouldn’t have put the combo together, but found a recipe and, with a few changes, it was so so so good!

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