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How to Get the Most out of Your Halloween Pumpkin

One of the great joys of the month of October is carving jack-o-lanterns to set out at Halloween. When I was a kid my parents were definitely into the whole Halloween experience, which included trick-or-treating, decorations, and, of course, pumpkins. My mom’s scrapbooks are full of photos of me and my sisters alongside jack-o-lanterns carved into an array of characters from Bert and Ernie to scary skeletons. Others include us playing with the innards of the pumpkins after they had been hollowed out, which left me wondering what the possibilities were for using all of the parts of a pumpkin instead of throwing it all away.

When I started this experiment, I thought I would be able to make several different recipes from one pumpkin. As it turns out, my fairly large pumpkin only yielded about one pound of meat. If you’re interested in getting serious about cooking with pumpkins, you should know that a cooking pumpkin will give you more meat than a carving pumpkin will.

One pound actually turned out to be a pretty lucky amount of pumpkin, because that is about how much pumpkin is in a can of pumpkin filling that you would buy at the store. To get my pumpkin the consistency of canned pumpkin, I put it in a food processor, which quickly turned it into something that resembled pumpkin pie filling. So, depending on your mood, here are several things you can make with your leftover pumpkin.


There are tons of ways to start your day off with pumpkin from eating it to using it to flavor your coffee!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

This homemade coffee creamer from The Springmount 6 Pack is an awesome alternative to buying flavored creamer, and it’s the perfect way to start your morning with a fall feeling.

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Latte

I am obsessed with the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, and with this recipe from Thriving Home it’s possible to recreate a version of the PSL in your own kitchen!

Starbucks Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones

Continuing with the Starbucks theme, these scones from Jam Hands are a great breakfast to eat on the go.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream Syrup

For mornings when you have a little more time to cook, try these pancakes with homemade syrup from Tastes Better From Scratch.



Pumpkin Waffles

For those who prefer waffles to pancakes, here is an incredible pumpkin waffle recipe from No. 2 Pencil.

Lunch & Dinner

These hearty pumpkin recipes will take you into your next pumpkin themed meal!

Pumpkin Ravioli

This recipe from Health is an amazing way to incorporate pumpkin into your pasta.

Pumpkin Chili

As the fall nights start to get colder, warm up with this delicious chili from Never Homemaker.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

This recipe was contributed to Delish by Martha Stewart Living, so it has to be good.

Pumpkin, Quinoa, and Hazelnut Gnocchi

Here is another wonderful pumpkin flavored twist on pasta from Canelle et Vanille.

Pumpkin Tacos

Sunset offers a fun way to incorporate pumpkin into a favorite dinner with these tacos.


In between pumpkin meals, there is an array of pumpkin snacks to be made, including different things to do with the seeds.

Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin adds a new element to this tasty and healthy snack from Closet Cooking.

Savory Pumpkin Dip

This recipe from Gimme Some Oven is perfect for people looking to get a lot of flavor out of their pumpkin.

Pumpkin Seeds

When I scooped out the inside of my pumpkin, I quickly realized that there are a LOT of seeds…definitely enough to deserve two different ways to cook them. Roast them the traditional way with this recipe from Allrecipes, or, for those with a sweet tooth, try them candied with this recipe from Taste of Home.


There are so many more pumpkin desserts than just pumpkin pie. When I decided I wanted to cook a pumpkin, desserts were the first thing I searched on Pinterest.

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats

This kid-friendly recipe from Essentially Eclectic is a great way to make a quick and easy dessert.

Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

I love making truffles, and these ones from Dixie Crystals are a great way to combine pumpkin and chocolate! That being said, this recipe uses a microwave to melt the chocolate. I would strongly recommend using a double boiler pot instead.

Spiced Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookies

These cookies from Ella Claire are the perfect transition between fall pumpkins and Christmas gingerbread.

Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is what I made with my pumpkin, because I don’t really think there are many foods better than cheese-based desserts. This cheesecake, from HubPages, was so good that it only lasted about two days in my house before it was completely devoured.

Cheesecake and whipped cream make a perfect pair, so here’s an easy recipe for whipped cream from The Food Network.


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