There Are a Million Things to Do with Canned Pumpkin (Beyond Pie)

October 12, 2015

Did you, like us, fill your shopping basket with cans of pumpkin when they appeared on the shelves last month? Did visions of pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin cheesecake dance in your head? Nearly two weeks into October, are you already a little tired of pumpkin?


Don't let pumpkin spice fatigue hit you just yet—our Hotline is full of ideas for how to use canned pumpkin:

  • SexyLAMBCHOPx makes a spicy cream of pumpkin soup with chipotles and toasted pepita seeds.
  • You can freeze puréed pumpkin in ice cube trays, reminds Nancy. And save it for midsummer, when out-of-season pumpkin cravings strike.
  • Add it to smoothies, says Adriana Zupan. (It's a vegetable, after all.)
  • And Niknud insists on pancakes and waffles. Plus, "then you can put maple butter on top and just die of happiness."
  • Baked pasta dishes become even creamier and cozier with the addition of canned pumpkin. Byb made a baked pasta with pumpkin purée, sautéed mushrooms, finely-chopped kale, thyme, sage, and garlic (and topped it with a white cheddar and Parmesan), but also thought a pumpkin bechamel sauce would be delicious. Nancy also recommended making a pumpkin lasagna.
  • Canned pumpkin is just a few ingredients away from a velvety soup (or curry).
  • Reduce canned pumpkin with a little sugar and some spices and you'll get pumpkin butter, says Rebecca Firkser | Spices and Spatulas. Stir a spoonful of it (or of plain canned pumpkin) into oatmeal and it's like pie for breakfast, she says.
  • Make a squashy iteration of hummus (and eat it on everything).
  • And SMSF can't get enough pumpkin ravioli.
  • Or DIY tortellini like aargesi: "I wanted pumpkin tortellini but had none so I made wonton wrappers with pumpkin and parmesan, poached in a tomato-y basil broth with some spinach and carrots." 
  • Stephanie told us to use it as a blank canvas for Southwestern, Indian, and Caribbean flavors—and recommends trying it with pork sausage. Or, she said, stir it into a vanilla custard base and make pumpkin ice cream. 
  • Make a weekend breakfast special with pumpkin cinnamon rolls or biscuits.
  • Or, use an afternoon to make a batch of pumpkin caramels.

What's your favorite, non-pie way to use up pumpkin? Tell us in the comments.

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Photo by James Ransom

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Betsey
  • julieoj
  • AntoniaJames
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Betsey October 14, 2015
Better stock up! There will be a pumpkin shortage in the US by Thanksgiving...
julieoj October 13, 2015
I put canned pumpkin into chili. Adds a smooth nutritious richness and depth. Also love it stirred into plain Greek yogurt with chopped walnuts and pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top.
AntoniaJames October 12, 2015
These cookies Merrill created for her daughter have found their place on our list of go-to seasonal favorites:


My son discovered the recipe last year, made them, gave them the seal of approval and then, bless his heart, tipped me off a few weeks ago. Very soft, almost cake like. Try them! ;o)