clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Best Pumpkin Recipes, According to Eater Editors

A harbinger of fall, pumpkin is more than just a prefix to spiced latte

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

An overhead photo of a bowl of soup on a tan napkin with a spoon and three small pumpkins to its left. Shutterstock

Whether you love or hate the pumpkin spiceification of flavor, it’s easy to forget that pumpkin — as an ingredient, a winter squash variety, a flavor profile — stands alone. There are so many good dishes one can make with the winter squash that aren’t latte-adjacent, and many of them will make you forget the concept of pumpkin spice even existed (if that’s what you want, anyway). From pies to soups to pastas, pumpkin is not just a companion to pie spices — in these Eater editor-approved recipes, you’ll see that it’s the real star of fall.

Pumpkin Kale Lasagna

Molly Krebs, Spices in my DNA

If pumpkin can lean too sweet and kale too bitter, then pumpkin and kale is the combination that would have even Goldilocks coming back for seconds. I especially like the pairing in a lasagna that’s tinged with warming spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. The lightly cooked-down greens add some liveliness and a little chew to what is otherwise a soft, cozy pile of pasta and cheese — perfect for a colder night. — Bettina Makalintal, senior reporter

Spicy Peanut and Pumpkin Soup

Yewande Komolafe, NYT Cooking

Usually, when I make squash-based soups, they involve first cutting, seeding, and roasting said squash before adding it to the other soup ingredients. While this results in great, echoing depths of flavor, it is also time-consuming and somewhat messy, especially if you’re a serial composter like I am. So Yewande Komolafe’s spicy peanut and pumpkin soup had me from the sixth line of its ingredient list, which calls for one 14-ounce can of pumpkin puree. As someone who had previously only used canned pumpkin for various baked goods and as a supplement to my dog’s diet when he has an iffy stomach, this struck me as nothing less than pure genius. No, canned pumpkin doesn’t give you the same richness of flavor as a roasted squash — it is famously bland — but teamed with the soup’s other ingredients, which include peanut butter, coconut milk, ginger, and garlic, it creates a soup that is the essence of fall comfort cooking. I like to add turmeric, coriander, and a healthy dose of cumin to it, along with a little preserved-lemon paste for a bright jolt of acid. The whole thing takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, making it a truly weeknight-friendly meal, one I happily return to for weeks on end. — Rebecca Flint Marx, home editor

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Emeril Lagasse

I made this recipe for a Thanksgiving celebration many years ago, and it was such a hit that my family requested that it be an annual addition to the family lineup (at a certain point, my desire for experimentation pushed it out of the rotation, but maybe it’s time to bring it back this year). The pecans bring a nice texture to the crust, and the filling is rich and decadent (I find that I usually have more filling than my pie crust can handle; I just make a little custard on the side to use it up). — Missy Frederick, cities director

Pumpkin, Black-Eyed Pea, and Coconut Curry

Meera Sodha, Fresh India

Meera Sodha’s vegetarian cookbook, Fresh India, is one of the most dog-eared cookbooks I own. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to fall in love with Sodha’s recipes for grand vegetable biryani and lime-pickle rice with roasted squash. In fact, tubers and squash varieties feature so heavily in the book that it’ll make you forget that meat was ever an option for dinner, and nowhere is pumpkin so seasonally satisfying than in Sodha’s recipe for pumpkin, black-eyed pea, and coconut curry. It’s filling and warm and while the above-linked Food & Wine recipe calls for squash (acorn or delicata go great in this dish), I’m partial to pumpkin. ‘Tis the season. — Dayna Evans, staff writer and Eater Philly editor

Brandied Pumpkin Pie

Melissa Clark, NYT Cooking

For me, pumpkin pie is pure drama — not in its look (bright orange, crimped crust) or in its typical flavor, but in how much grief my friends and family have given me for daring to depart from the recipe on the back of the Libby’s can. They cannot stop whining at me about the various sacrileges of using butternut squash (even combined with canned pumpkin — it’s a melange of gourds in there) and roasting my own squash (my mother finds this particularly offensive). I get complaints that this pie is too “spicy” — which is to say, compared to Libby’s, it has four times the ginger, more cinnamon, and the addition of nutmeg. But this Melissa Clark version replaces the evaporated milk with heavy cream, and I find slicing a squash way easier than digging it out of a can. For my associates who want their pies bland, boring, and blaringly orange, you know what to do. For everyone else, especially those who “don’t get” pumpkin pie: Try this one. You don’t even need the brandy. — Rachel P. Kreiter, senior copy editor