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Leo Zehn

Editorial Assistant at Kitchen Stories

For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about pumpkins, probably doesn’t have to do with cooking. We’re used to seeing pumpkins as halloween decorations, visiting a pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins as a family activity, all in the hops of setting up a mood that helps us embrace the coming cold. Don’t get me wrong, I also like the idea of being creative, having fun, and sharing cozy fall experiences together, but for me as a cook, it’s important to remember just how much pumpkins have to offer in the kitchen—not just as decoration.

Pumpkins (and all winter squashes) are one of, if not the most, versatile vegetables (they’re botanically fruits but most often categorized as vegetables) out there. The ways to cook with them are practically unlimited. They come in every shape and color, and can be used for soups, pastas, risottos, desserts, drinks, and even ice cream. Cook it down with butter and stock, and purée for a perfect side dish, or stuff an entire butternut squash and make it the main event at a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. Pumpkins are a great vegetable to use to learn about different cooking techniques: you can roast, sauté, braise, deep fry, and purée them, and you can also extract the seeds, dry or toast them, or even go a step further and make your own pumpkin seed oil.

Homemade pumpkin purée

Homemade pumpkin purée

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How to prepare butternut squash

How to prepare butternut squash

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So pumpkins are here to, yes, remind you of the cold winter that’s on its way, where you can spend cozy days with family and friends, making memories with warming, rich, and hearty dishes, guaranteed to brighten up a cloudy day. But they’re also here to remind you that all it takes is a bit of creativity and you can create a huge range of comforting recipes to explore the versatility of your favorite vegetables. Here are 12 of our favorite pumpkin recipes to get you started.

Pumpkin spice bread

Pumpkin spice bread

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Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

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Endive salad with caramelized goat cheese, pumpkin, and lentils

Endive salad with caramelized goat cheese, pumpkin, and lentils

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Pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter, walnuts, and smoked bacon

Pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter, walnuts, and smoked bacon

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Hokkaido ginger soup with candied pumpkin seeds

Hokkaido ginger soup with candied pumpkin seeds

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Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Pumpkin pancakes with bacon and blackberries

Pumpkin pancakes with bacon and blackberries

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Hokkaido pumpkin risotto

Hokkaido pumpkin risotto

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Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie

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Homemade butternut squash ravioli

Homemade butternut squash ravioli

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Curried pumpkin pasta bake

Curried pumpkin pasta bake

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Pumpkin chocolate chip cake with ginger and orange

Pumpkin chocolate chip cake with ginger and orange

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More delicious ideas for you