4 Pumpkin Recipes Absolutely Worth Trying
We all associate pumpkins with the fall season: Halloween, jack-o-lanterns, and well, pies.
The great orange orb seems to be everywhere at this time of year…but did you know pumpkin is one of the most versatile fruits? While you’re home, try cooking up these pumpkin recipes that include soups, sides, and even a gluten-free pie.
1. Risotto with Pumpkin and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Makes 4–6 Servings
- One 3-pound pumpkin (or use 1.5 cups of canned pumpkin)
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 10 ounces (1 1/2 cups) carnaroli or vialone nano rice
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, as needed
- Sage leaves as needed (optional)
- Crumbled amaretti cookies (optional)
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the pumpkin and dice the flesh. Set aside.
- Heat the broth over low heat; keep warm.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the diced pumpkin and continue to cook, stirring to coat the pumpkin with the oil, until it is hot, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and toast lightly, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
- Add enough of the broth to come 1/2 inch above the rice, and cook, stirring frequently to be sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. As the rice absorbs the broth, keep adding more, 1/2 cup at a time.
- Once the rice has absorbed almost all the broth, and the grains are just tender (al dente), about 20 minutes total cooking time, remove the pot from the heat. Add the butter and cheese and stir vigorously until the risotto is creamy. (The pumpkin will start to fall apart; this is what should happen and gives the risotto a brilliant orange color and additional creaminess.) Season with salt and pepper if necessary and serve immediately on flat plates.
- Top the risotto with a few leaves of sage fried in butter and a sprinkling of crumbled amaretti cookies.
2. Pumpkin Soup with Ginger Cream
Makes 8 servings
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4 cups chopped leek
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth or water
- 3 cups diced pumpkin (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup sliced sweet potato
- 1 small piece cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, or to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup evaporated skim milk or whole milk
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/2 cup whipped heavy cream, chilled
- Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, leek, celery, and half of the ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leek and celery are softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the broth, pumpkin, sweet potato, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pumpkin is very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Puree the soup until quite smooth. Strain through a fine sieve for an exceptionally smooth texture, if you wish.
- Return the soup to medium heat. Add the wine, milk, lime juice, and the salt to taste. Stir to combine well and reheat the soup to just below a simmer.
- Whip the chilled heavy cream to medium peaks and fold in the remaining ginger. Serve the soup in heated bowls, garnished with a dollop of ginger-flavored cream.
3. Vegetarian Butternut Squash and Apple Soup served in Fresh Pumpkin
Makes 8 Servings
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups diced onion
- 1/3 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced celery root
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 cup sliced tart apple
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, or as needed
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup crème fraîche for garnish (optional)
- 8 small pumpkins (about a pound each) or one large pumpkin
- Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the broth, squash, and apple. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until the squash is tender enough to mash easily with a fork, about 20 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, wash the pumpkins with mild soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry. Carve a lid off the tops and remove the seeds from inside.
- Purée the soup using a handheld blender directly in the pot, with a sieve or a food mill, or in a countertop blender food processor. Return it to the soup pot if necessary. Return the soup to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Season the soup as needed with salt, pepper, and orange zest.
- You can serve the soup in heated bowls topped with a dollop of crème fraîche if desired.
- Or, to serve the soup in pumpkins, place each pumpkin onto a plate and fill them with soup topped with a dollop of crème fraîche if desired. If serving the soup in one large pumpkin, place the lid back on top to keep the soup warm. You can also offer the crème fraîche in a separate bowl on the buffet.
4. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
Gluten-Free Pie Crust
Makes two 10-inch pie crusts
- 1 1/8 cups white rice flour
- 1 1/8 cups tapioca starch
- 1/2 cup plus buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 2 1/4 tablespoons potato starch
- 4 sticks plus 4 tablespoons (18 ounces) cold unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 1/8 cup brown rice flour, for dusting
- 1/8 cup tapioca starch, for dusting
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie (eight servings)
- One-half recipe (one crust, 12 ounces) gluten-free pie dough
- 2 cups (15 ounces) pumpkin, canned (sweet potatoes may be used instead in equal portions)
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) brown sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) whole milk
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 each eggs
Gluten-Free Pie Crust
- In a large bowl, combine rice flour, tapioca starch, buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, and potato starch. Mix thoroughly.
- Remove one half of the flour blend and place it in a separate bowl.
- Using your hands, add unsalted butter to the remaining half of the flour blend. Blend butter into flour until it is fully incorporated.
- Add the reserved half of the flour blend and mix until it is completely blended.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the cold water. Using your hands, mix the ingredients just until smooth.
- Wrap dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine 1/8 cup brown rice and 1/8 cup tapioca starch. Use this mixture for dusting.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into two pieces.
- Roll out on piece of dusted wax paper or dusted clear plastic sheeting.
- Once you have reached the desired size, remove the top piece of paper or sheeting. Grab two corners of the bottom paper or sheeting under the crust and flip the dough over onto the pie plate. Gently press the dough into the plate, trim excess dough, and crimp the edges.
- Fill the pie crust with desired pre-made pie filling such as pumpkin, pecan, or sweet potato. You can also blind-bake the crust to use with a cold filling. Line the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and add enough pie weights to fill the pan from one-third to one-half full. If you don’t have pie weights, dry beans or rice work just as well.
- Place pie on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove pie from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out dough to 1/8″ thick, line pan, and dock.
- Parbake for about 15 minutes or until dough no longer looks wet. Let cool.
- Mix all other ingredients together. Fill pie shell with filling.
- Bake about 50 minutes or until filling is set.