There’s a reason why Starbucks starts hyping up PSLs in the middle of August and Target aisles are already turning orange: fall is the freaking best. All the TV shows are back on (as if you needed another excuse to stay in), the weather sets the perfect backdrop for wearing your favorite athleisure, and then there’s the food.
Summer may be great for smoothie-sipping and backyard burgers, but fall brings cravings for nourishing, stick-to-your-bones meals. Hearty chilis, steaming soups, big bowls of pasta…The entire fall season is prime time for the whole spectrum of comfort foods. Pumpkin is one ingredient that works great in these types of dishes because of its hearty nature. With a flavor profile that’s both earthy and slightly sweet, it lends itself to just as many sweet dishes as savory ones.
Pumpkin is also great for immune support because it’s full of vitamin C. Besides that, it’s a good source of vitamin A (important for eye health) and fiber. If you’ve never cooked with pumpkin before, you may be wondering what to make with it—other than pie, of course. That’s where these ten healthy pumpkin recipes come in handy. Bookmark this page and you’ll have a recipe list you’ll keep coming back to all fall long.
10 healthy pumpkin recipes to try this fall:
1. Vegan pumpkin muffins
Pair one of these vegan, gluten-free pumpkin muffins with your PSL and you’ll be in pumpkin heaven. It’s made with the warming spices that serve as the backbone of fall baking: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. If you’re short on time, use canned pumpkin puree in place of fresh pumpkin—it will taste just as delicious.
2. Vegan pumpkin waffles with pumpkin spice syrup
Waffles are the perfect weekend breakfast and these ones bring all the fall vibes to the table. Pumpkin is pureed and blended with flour, alternative milk, and warming spices to make the batter. The pumpkin puree is used to make the syrup too, mixed with water, coconut sugar, and warming spices. It’s a pumpkin-on-pumpkin delight.
Get the recipe: vegan pumpkin waffles with pumpkin spice syrup
3. Pumpkin spice hummus with toasted walnuts and sage
Cook your pumpkin filling and combine it with hummus to give the protein-rich snack an added layer of flavor (and nutritional benefits). Here, balsamic glaze, lavender reduction, sage, warming spices, and walnuts are also added to really make it taste robust. Eat it with chips or veggies or work it into a meal, pairing it with rice, couscous, or veggies.
Get the recipe: pumpkin spice hummus with toasted walnuts and sage
4. Calabaza en tacha (candied pumpkin)
Candied pumpkin can be served as a sweet side dish or enjoyed on its own as a snack. The pumpkin is cooked with warming spices and brown sugar syrup. Then, condensed milk is drizzled on top. You’ll be licking your plate clean.
Get the recipe: calabaza en tacha (candied pumpkin)
5. Pumpkin quinoa bowl
Besides the pumpkin, this hearty dish also has Brussels sprouts and quinoa—tons of gut-healthy fiber all in one meal. The pumpkin and quinoa are cooked together with vegetable broth and coconut milk, which makes the meal both creamy and slightly sweet. Top it off with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch and to utilize more of the squash.
Get the recipe: pumpkin quinoa bowl
6. Roasted pumpkin salad
This is another recipe that uses both the pumpkin meat and the seeds, putting the squash fully to use. Simply roast the pumpkin slices and plate it with greens, the seeds, walnuts, pomegranate arils, and blue cheese. Drizzle heart-healthy olive oil on top and you have a satiating lunch ready to eat.
Get the recipe: roasted pumpkin salad
7. Pumpkin mac-and-cheese
When Candice Kumai brought in her famous pumpkin mac-and-cheese to the Well+Good offices (pre-COVID), it was gone in about 10 seconds—it’s so good. The pumpkin makes it extra rich and creamy.
Get the recipe: pumpkin mac-and-cheese
8. Savory pumpkin casserole
This casserole is cheesy, rich, and will prime your body for bedtime. (Did you know the magnesium in pumpkins is linked to good sleep?) If you don’t eat it all in one sitting, you can freeze the leftovers to enjoy later—it will last for months.
Get the recipe: savory pumpkin casserole
9. Pumpkin cookies with cream cheese icing
Pie isn’t the only dessert you can make with pumpkin; the squash makes delicious cookies, too. These are made with cream cheese frosting, but the cookies themselves are so delicious they taste great without it, too.
Get the recipe: pumpkin cookies with cream cheese icing
10. Pumpkin pie bars
These pumpkin pie bars are full of protein (from eggs) making them perfect for breakfast *or* dessert. The ingredients list is simple and the recipe is as easy as, well, pie.
Get the recipe: pumpkin pie bars
Love these healthy pumpkin recipes? Get more healthy recipe ideas in Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.
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