Disclaimer: When you buy from links on our site, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more
When you think about pumpkins, do your thoughts drift toward jack-o’-lanterns and pie? It’s time to broaden your horizons! Pumpkins are not just for Halloween and Thanksgiving, they are a versatile seasonal ingredient that can add a wholesome twist to your dinner.
This guide will offer you 38 quick and easy pumpkin recipes that are perfect for any weekday meal. From warm, comforting soups to savory main courses, these easy recipes will show you how to turn this humble squash into something truly delectable. Forget the pumpkin spice latte – it’s time to bring the real pumpkin flavor to your dinner table!
How to Choose the Perfect Pumpkin
A good dinner recipe relies on good pumpkin but how do you know what the perfect pumpkin looks like?
- Look for a pumpkin that feels heavy for its size. This usually indicates dense flesh, which is ideal for cooking.
- The skin of the pumpkin should be smooth and free of blemishes or cuts. Damaged skin can affect the pumpkin’s freshness and flavor.
- Opt for smaller pumpkins, often labeled as “sugar” or “pie” pumpkins. They are sweeter and less watery than larger varieties, making them perfect for recipes.
- Check the color. It should be consistent all over, without any green spots. A fully orange color means the pumpkin is fully ripened.
- Tap it lightly. A ripe pumpkin will produce a hollow sound when you tap it.
- Inspect the stem. It should be dry and sturdy. A green stem indicates the pumpkin may not be fully matured.
Pumpkin Dinner Recipes with Pasta
Love pasta but want to bring that distinctive pumpkin flavor to your dinner recipes? Then check out this list of the best pumpkin recipes with pasta.
These recipes range from creamy dishes to hearty meals with sausage. The pumpkin adds a unique flavor and texture to the pasta, making these savory pumpkin recipes perfect for a cozy fall meal. Enjoy your cooking adventure with these delicious and easy pumpkin pasta recipes!
Remember to store any leftover pumpkin pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can reheat it in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent burning.
This dish combines the comforting flavors of pumpkin, garlic, and sage in a creamy sauce that’s perfect for coating your favorite pasta.
Savory brown butter pairs wonderfully with sweet pumpkin in this rich and nutty pasta recipe.
This simple recipe adds a healthy twist to pumpkin pasta with the addition of nutrient-rich spinach and toasted walnuts for added crunch.
This hearty pasta dish features rigatoni noodles coated in a creamy pumpkin sauce, making it a filling meal for chilly autumn nights.
The salty flavor of prosciutto and fragrant sage leaves give this creamy pumpkin pasta a sophisticated flavor profile.
This dairy-free recipe brings together savory Italian sausage, hearty pumpkin, and fresh spinach for a satisfying and flavorful pasta dish.
As a classic and simple dish, this pumpkin pasta recipe lets the sweet and earthy flavors of pumpkin shine through.
This recipe combines creamy pumpkin with tangy feta cheese for a pasta dish that’s full of contrasting yet complementary flavors.
Pumpkin Rice Dinner Recipes
Another great combination is to use pumpkin with different types of rice. Then add spices or herbs to bring the dish together and quickly have a recipe that will feed the whole family.
Here are some weeknight dinners with pumpkin and rice, sourced from various websites:
This recipe incorporates coconut milk and vegetable broth to create a flavorful blend of pumpkin and rice.
A simple yet delicious side dish or main meal that beautifully combines the flavors of pumpkin, turmeric, and coconut milk.
This recipe involves mashing cooked pumpkin before adding rice, creating a unique texture and flavor.
This creamy dish begins with sautéed onions and ends with perfectly cooked rice in pumpkin puree.
A healthy option that uses pumpkin chunks, brown rice, and Himalayan salt for a nutrient-dense meal.
This recipe features rice cooked inside a small pumpkin, offering an impressive presentation and wonderful aroma.
Pumpkin Stews and Casseroles for Dinner
Stews and casseroles are perfect for chilly fall evenings and these savory recipes make use of pumpkin as well.
This recipe uses beef stew meat, potatoes, and of course, pumpkin, to create a hearty, comforting stew perfect for chilly nights.
This recipe features ground beef or turkey, a variety of vegetables, and a flavorful broth for a savory pumpkin stew that’s gluten-free.
This recipe offers a twist on traditional beef stew by adding fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, along with herbs like oregano and thyme.
Here, the stew is actually cooked inside a pumpkin, providing a unique presentation and extra flavor.
This Italian-inspired recipe uses sausage, shallots, and garlic for a flavorful pumpkin stew.
Remember, when making stew, it’s important to let it simmer for a while to allow the flavors to fully develop. Enjoy your cooking adventure with these delicious pumpkin stew recipes!
Pumpkin Curry Recipes
Pumpkin might not seem like the obvious ingredient for curries but it can work very well and many of these are simple and quick to make.
This recipe is a simple yet satisfying plant-based, gluten-free dinner made with yellow curry paste, coconut milk, fresh vegetables, and pumpkin.
This spicy curry is made with sweet cubed pumpkin and Thai curry paste, with a rich coconut milk base.
This Indian recipe takes about 5 to 7 minutes to prepare and includes chickpeas in addition to pumpkin.
Another Indian recipe, this one includes carrots and bell peppers along with the pumpkin.
This quick and easy recipe includes onions and bell peppers sautéed in olive oil.
This recipe is loaded with chicken, veggies, and a creamy, flavorful coconut red curry sauce.
This authentic Sri Lankan recipe is said to be packed with flavor and easy to make.
This recipe from Jamie Oliver includes ginger, shallots, garlic, and fresh red chili along with the pumpkin.
Remember, the secret to a good curry is a good marinade. If you’re cooking chicken or beef, marination with flavorful ingredients such as minced garlic, red pepper, and various masalas or spice powders is essential.
The actual sweetness and creaminess of curries often come from fried onions and either cashews and/or dairy products. Ground coconut, white poppy seeds, and watermelon seeds are also used in some creamy sauces.
Chili Recipes with Pumpkin
If you want something a little spicier, then chili is always a good option. You can also use pumpkin for many of these dishes.
This great recipe uses can of pumpkin puree, tomato paste, water, smoked paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic to create a simple yet flavorful dish.
This savory recipe features spicy Italian sausage, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and chili for a hearty meal with a kick.
This turkey Pumpkin Chili includes pepper, sweet potatoes, and a warm blend of spices for a cozy and hearty dish.
With ingredients such as ground pork, sweet onion, red bell pepper, and garlic, this award-winning recipe promises a satisfying meal.
This gluten-free and dairy-free recipe uses ground beef, pepper, onion, and a drizzle of olive oil for a healthy twist on a classic dish.
This healthy fall recipe combines olive oil, diced onion, chopped garlic, sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, and pumpkin pie spice for a flavorful fall dish.
For a perfect chili, it’s all about the balance of flavors and the quality of your ingredients. Adding peanut butter can enhance the creaminess and thickness without having to use flour or cornstarch. The most common chili spices include cumin, chili powders, and paprika, followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves.
These ingredients can create a savory and well-balanced pot of comfort food. For a richer flavor, consider adding cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee, or tomato paste.
Other Quick and Easy Pumpkin Dinner Recipes
There are also loads of other recipes that make for a quick and easy dinner recipe and let you enjoy the seasonal goodness of pumpkin.
This comforting casserole combines pasta with creamy pumpkin sauce for a satisfying dinner.
A filling casserole that blends the flavors of pork, pumpkin, and cornbread in one dish.
Although it’s not a stew or casserole, this pumpkin soup recipe is a warm and comforting dinner option that’s easy to make.
This casserole features a spicy kick from gochujang (Korean chili paste) and crispy garlic chips for added texture.
While not a stew or casserole, this pasta sauce can be served over your choice of pasta for a warm, comforting meal.
Another delicious soup option, this recipe pairs pumpkin with sage for a flavorful combination.
Remember, you can always adjust these tasty recipes to suit your tastes by adding more or less of certain ingredients.
Delicious and Easy Pumpkin Recipes
We’ve explored a cornucopia of pumpkin-inspired dishes, from stews and curries to chili and pasta to try this upcoming pumpkin season. Each of these popular pumpkin recipes showcases the versatility and delightful flavor that pumpkin brings to the table. As autumn sets in, these dishes certainly make for a comforting, warm meal. But don’t stop there! There are sweet pumpkin recipes such as pumpkin muffins, vegan pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin ice cream! It’s the perfect time of year for these sweet treats.
Now, it’s your turn! We’d love to hear from you – which recipe will you be trying out first? Leave us a comment and let us know. Embrace the flavors of the season and happy cooking!
As a full-time working mom of three, I know what it’s like to feel like life is out of balance and out of control.
While I don’t have it all figured out, I am committed to sharing helpful tips and tricks with other mommas who are ready to break free from negativity, ditch mom guilt, & finally, live life on their own terms.