8 Fall Pumpkin Recipes

It's autumn's most beloved--but expected--icon. Let's see what the pumpkin can really do.

New life for pub grubNew life for pub grub
Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie

Brilliant orange roasted pumpkin replaces the traditional mashed-potato topping here, giving new life to classic pub grub.

Yield: Serves 6
Total: 2 Hours

2 1/2 pounds cubed peeled baking pumpkin or butternut or kabocha squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. chunks
8 ounces medium mushrooms, stems removed
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1/3 to 2/3 cup cream
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 400° with a rack in top third of oven. Put pumpkin on a greased rimmed baking sheet. Roast pumpkin, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, wide pot over high heat. Add lamb, 1 tsp. salt, and the pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until meat is browned on all sides. Add onion and garlic and cook until vegetables are starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Transfer lamb mixture with juices to a bowl; add carrots and mushrooms.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add flour to same pot and cook, whisking constantly, until flour smells toasted, about 1 minute. Pour in wine and broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour over lamb mixture, stirring to combine. Spoon mixture into 6 individual ramekins.

4. Mash pumpkin in a bowl with remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1/3 cup cream, adding more cream if needed until mixture is consistency of mashed potatoes. Dollop over lamb.

5. Bake until browned and sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes; sprinkle with parsley.

Make ahead: Complete through step 4, then chill, covered, up to 2 days. Bake 55 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 388
Calories from fat: 36%
Protein: 36g
Fat: 15g
Saturated fat: 5.6g
Carbohydrate: 25g
Fiber: 2.7g
Sodium: 774mg
Cholesterol: 112mg

More squash recipes

Perfect for a partyPerfect for a party
Pumpkin Curry Empanadas

Empanadas get their name from the Spanish word empanar, "to bake in pastry." For these handheld pies, we've used pie dough for a more delicate, buttery crust.

Yield: Makes 20
Total: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
12 ounces cubed peeled baking pumpkin or butternut or kabocha squash
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup currants, softened 10 minutes in hot water to cover
Easiest Pie Dough or 3 sheets frozen store-bought pie dough
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Cilantro Mint Dipping Sauce or other chutney

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Rub a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp. oil. Spread pumpkin on sheet and roast, uncovered, turning once, till tender when pierced, 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in spices and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3. Transfer onion to a medium mixing bowl. Drain currants and stir into bowl. Add warm pumpkin and mix well, mashing with back of a spoon to create a slightly chunky mixture.

4. Working with one pie-dough disk at a time, roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8-in.-thick round. Using a 4-in. ring cutter, cut out 20 circles, rerolling scraps.

5. Mix 1 tbsp. water into egg and brush onto dough rounds. Spoon 1 tbsp. pumpkin mixture into center of each round, fold over, and seal edges with tines of a fork.

6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Arrange empanadas on sheets, spaced slightly apart.

7. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with chutney.

Make ahead: Follow recipe through step 5. Freeze in an airtight container. Then bake from frozen, 25 to 30 minutes at 375°.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per empanada.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 180
Calories from fat: 55%
Protein: 2.7g
Fat: 11g
Saturated fat: 6.1g
Carbohydrate: 18g
Fiber: 0.9g
Sodium: 117mg
Cholesterol: 34mg

Delicious in our Pumpkin Caramel Ice Cream Delicious in our Pumpkin Caramel Ice Cream
Pumpkin Purée
Skip the canned stuff and make a fresh pie filling with plump squash or pumpkin. This easy purée is delicious in our Pumpkin Caramel Ice Cream Pie (below). To make it, choose a dry-fleshed baking pumpkin like Sugar Pie (Halloween pumpkins are too moist) or a dense orange squash like butternut or kabocha.

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut 2 lbs. pumpkin or squash in half with a large, heavy knife, then scoop out the seeds (save them for toasting if you like). Rub the inside of the pumpkin halves with vegetable oil and set them, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until very soft when pierced, 45 to 75 minutes. Scoop flesh into a food processor and whirl until smooth. If the purée is watery, let it drain in a strainer for 30 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups purée.

A whole new way to have pumpkin pieA whole new way to have pumpkin pie
Pumpkin Caramel Ice Cream Pie

Layers of pumpkin and vanilla ice cream top gooey caramel on a graham cracker crust.

Yield: Serves 12
Total: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cartons (14 oz. each) vanilla ice cream
1 cup pumpkin purée (see recipe above)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
About 1 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cook without stirring over high heat until sugar turns medium brown, 15 to 20 minutes, swirling pan at end to help brown evenly. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in cream (it will spatter). Pour into a heat-proof bowl; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, grease a 10-in. metal pie pan. In a medium bowl, mix crumbs, remaining 2 tbsp. sugar, and the butter with a fork until combined. Press over bottom and up sides of pie pan. Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

3. Pour half of caramel into pie pan, tilting pan so it spreads evenly over crust. Put in freezer to chill 20 minutes. Set aside remaining caramel to use when serving.

4. Soften ice cream at room temperature 10 minutes. Empty 1 carton into bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until smooth (like soft-serve), about 20 seconds. Quickly spread over caramel layer. Return to freezer, making sure it sits level.

5. Beat second carton of ice cream the same way. Add pumpkin purée and spices; blend just until combined. Spoon pumpkin ice cream over vanilla ice cream. Freeze until firm, 4 to 6 hours.

6. Let soften in refrigerator about 15 minutes. Use a warm knife to cut slices. Rewarm caramel to drizzle over top and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if using.

Make ahead: Up to 1 week, covered in freezer.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 361
Calories from fat: 41%
Protein: 3.4g
Fat: 17g
Saturated fat: 10g
Carbohydrate: 51g
Fiber: 1.1g
Sodium: 135mg
Cholesterol: 56mg

A great way to bring spice to the dinner tableA great way to bring spice to the dinner table
Cashew, Coconut, and Pumpkin Curry

Curry leaves make this vegan curry intensely aromatic.

Yield: Serves 4
Total: 50 Minutes

1 1/2 qts. peeled, 1 1/2-in. chunks pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash (from a 3-lb. squash)
About 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 onion, halved and cut into half-moons
1 or 2 red or green serrano chiles, minced
1 cinnamon stick (2 1/2 in. long)
20 fresh curry leaves* or 6 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 can (14.5 oz.) coconut milk
1 cup salted roasted cashews
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Steamed basmati rice

*Find in Indian markets.

1. Sprinkle pumpkin with 1/2 tsp. salt. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown half the pumpkin in oil, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes; reduce heat if pumpkin starts getting dark. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with 1 tbsp. oil and remaining pumpkin.

2. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil meanwhile in another large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer half to the nonstick frying pan and reserve other half in a bowl.

3. Add chiles, cinnamon, and curry leaves to onion in pan. Cook, stirring often, until curry leaves are very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Return pumpkin to nonstick frying pan (with onion) and add coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer until pumpkin is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in cashews and lemon juice, and add more salt to taste. Top curry with reserved onion and serve with rice.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 546
Calories from fat: 79%
Protein: 9.9g
Fat: 48g
Saturated fat: 23g
Carbohydrate: 29g
Fiber: 3.2g
Sodium: 498mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg

More fall meals

A comforting dishA comforting dish
Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Ginger Browned Butter
Warm spices and caramelized onions underscore the natural sweetness of pumpkin and butternut squash in this comforting dish. The easy swirl of ginger butter at the end adds a bit of flavor and a lot of style.

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Total: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes

2 pounds Sugar Pie or other baking pumpkin
2 pounds butternut or acorn squash
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
7 tablespoons butter, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
About 1 tsp. salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger, divided
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds (from about 4 pods)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cut pumpkin and squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and any stringy parts. Put flesh side up in a large roasting pan with 1 cup broth. Cover pan with foil and bake until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, melt 3 tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and start to look creamy, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low or medium-low and cook onions, stirring every few minutes, until they turn a caramel color and become quite sweet, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

3. When pumpkin and squash are tender, scoop out flesh and set aside; discard skins. Reserve any liquid in bottom of pan.

4. Return pot with onions to medium-high heat. Add garlic and 2 tbsp. fresh ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add remaining 7 cups broth, the carrots, cooked pumpkin and squash, and reserved liquid from roasting pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.

5. Whirl vegetables in a blender (in batches) until completely smooth. (For silky-smooth soup, you can pour the puréed soup through a strainer.) Return to pot and stir in brown sugar. Season with salt to taste. Keep warm over low heat.

6. Put a small bowl or measuring cup next to the stove. Melt remaining 4 tbsp. butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tsp. fresh ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter starts to foam. Stir mixture constantly until it starts to brown. Pour mixture into waiting bowl or measuring cup. Divide soup among 8 bowls and serve hot, with a swirl of ginger browned butter in each serving.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 248
Calories from fat: 36%
Protein: 5.6g
Fat: 10g
Saturated fat: 6.3g
Carbohydrate: 37g
Fiber: 3.2g
Sodium: 982mg
Cholesterol: 27mg

7 more fall soups

A sweet river of apple cider syrup, tooA sweet river of apple cider syrup, too
Pumpkin Waffles with Apples and Apple Cider Syrup

Come autumn, nothing beats the sweet and spicy waffles at Garland's Oak Creek Lodge in Sedona, AZ. Now you can make them in your own kitchen.

Time: 1 1/2 hours
Yield: Makes 16 waffles

Apples and syrup

9 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons honey
7 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
6 tart cooking apples such as Pippin or Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 in. thick
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple cider or juice

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
Cooking-oil spray

1. Prepare apples and syrup: Melt 6 tbsp. butter in a 12-in. nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add honey, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are lightly glazed and have softened slightly, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, the sugar, and cornstarch. Add apple cider and 5 tsp. lemon juice and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 3 tbsp. butter.

3. Make waffles: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In another medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until pale yellow; whisk in oil, buttermilk, and pumpkin.

4. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add egg yolk mixture to flour mixture, stirring to combine. Gently fold in egg whites just until blended.

5. Preheat oven to 200°. Preheat a waffle iron and coat it with cooking-oil spray. Ladle 1 cup batter (or amount directed by waffle-iron maker) onto hot iron, spreading with a spatula, and cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer waffle directly to oven rack. Repeat with remaining batter. Meanwhile, reheat apples and syrup.

6. Break waffles into sections, divide among 8 plates, and top with apples and syrup. Serve remaining syrup on the side.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 2 waffles with 1/4 cup syrup.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 552
Calories from fat: 38%
Protein: 7.4g
Fat: 23g
Saturated fat: 9.8g
Carbohydrate: 82g
Fiber: 3.1g
Sodium: 623mg
Cholesterol: 90mg

Pumpkin in unexpected placesPumpkin in unexpected places
Pumpkin Bourbon Shakes

If you prefer your shakes thicker, just follow the make-ahead directions.

Yield: Serves 8
Total: 15 Minutes

4 1/2 cartons (14 oz. each) vanilla ice cream such as Häagen-Dazs, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
About 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (preferably freshly ground)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

1. Whirl a third of the ice cream, pumpkin, milk, and bourbon at a time in a blender until smooth, adding sugar and spices to last batch. Pour into a large bowl and stir to combine.

2. Ladle shakes into 8 tall glasses and top each with a dollop of whipped cream if you like and a little nutmeg. Serve with straws.

Make ahead: Up to 1 hour through step 1, freeze airtight; stir before ladling into glasses.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 662
Calories from fat: 50%
Protein: 12g
Fat: 37g
Saturated fat: 22g
Carbohydrate: 62g
Fiber: 2g
Sodium: 158mg
Cholesterol: 239mg

Another fall classic: homemade doughnuts