How to cook with pumpkin

Once you've carved the perfect jack-o'-lantern, don't waste the leftovers. From sweet classics to savoury mains, the options for making good use of that bright orange squash are endless.

Stuffed vegan pumpkin

Leftover pumpkin on your hands? Step away from the rubbish bun and instead delve into our tasty tips for using up this super squash, from moist pumpkin cake to comforting one-pots and curries. Whether you are celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving or you just love cooking with this versatile veg, we've got plenty of pumpkin inspiration...
 

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds in a glass bowl

The first thing you will do with your pumpkin, whether you're carving or cooking, is scoop out the seeds. These little kernels are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a great source of fibre, so it would be a shame to throw them away.

To roast and eat, simply clean the seeds, boil for 10 mins to soften, then drain and dry on kitchen paper. Toss with a little oil, and, if you want to add a bit of flavour, sprinkle over some salt, pepper, paprika, or whatever takes your fancy. Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and roast in a low oven for around 45 mins or until they are crisp and golden. We've got plenty more tips in our guide on how to roast pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds also add a satisfying crunch to bakes. Try our moreish chocolate pumpkin seed cookies for a sweet treat or make our rye & pumpkin seed crackers to serve with cheese and chutney.

Discover more delicious pumpkin seed recipes.


Pumpkin cake recipes

Four pumpkin cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans

Sweet pumpkin lends itself perfectly to cakes and bakes when grated. Combine with cinnamon for lightly spiced cupcakes, enhance the sweetness with honey or give your favourite carrot cake recipe a makeover. If you find your grated pumpkin is a little too wet, simply give it a good squeeze before using and keep an eye on it during baking – the added moisture may mean it needs a little longer in the oven.

Our favourite pumpkin bakes:
Halloween pumpkin cake
Pumpkin caramel cake
Pumpkin passion cupcakes
Squidgy pumpkin & ginger loaf
Pumpkin & ginger teabread


Quick pumpkin recipes

Bacon and pumpkin pasta in a large dish

It's often assumed that cooking pumpkin will keep you in the kitchen for quite a while. This isn't always the case, as our speedy squash favourites prove. Make a moreish midweek meal by adding diced pumpkin to pasta, roast and serve with sausages or simply season and eat as a side dish.

Our favourite speedy squash recipes take 30 minutes or less:
Bacon & pumpkin pasta
Sausage & pumpkin roast
Sicilian spicy pumpkin
 

Pumpkin soup recipes

Pumpkin soup topped with croutons and pumpkin seeds

Soft pumpkin flesh blends effortlessly into a thick, velvety soup. Add onions, cream and stock to keep the colour bright and bold, or give your bowl an Asian twist with Thai flavours such as lemongrass and ginger. For a soup worthy of your next dinner party, roast the squash first to enhance its flavour, then serve the completed soup topped with salty pancetta.

Our favourite pumpkin soups:
Thai pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup
Roasted squash soup


Whole pumpkin recipes

Three pumpkins stuffed with biryani rice

Not a fan of jack-o'-lanterns? Cook up a flavourful biryani, then serve it inside the pumpkin itself. Alternatively, scoop out the seeds and strands, pour a garlic cream inside and roast the pumpkin whole for a delicious taste and texture. If you are throwing a vegan dinner party for Halloween, our impressive stuffed pumpkin recipe is sure to wow your guests. Fill it with a mouth-watering medley of rice, fennel, apple, pomegranate seeds and pecans.

Our favourite recipes for using your whole pumpkin:
Pumpkin biryani
Vegan stuffed pumpkin
Roast pumpkin with cream, thyme & parmesan


Pumpkin pie recipes

Pumpkin pie topped with cream, stem ginger and pecans, with a slice on the side

Pumpkin pie is something of a Marmite dish in the Good Food office. Love it or hate it, nothing tastes quite like it. Opt for a traditional version made with shortcrust pastry, nutmeg and cinnamon, or give it a twist with a lattice top, filo finish or decadent dollop of stem ginger cream. We also have an indulgent vegan version made with nut milk and maple syrup, so everyone can enjoy this classic dessert.

Our favourite pumpkin pie recipes:
Classic pumpkin pie
Best ever pumpkin pie with stem ginger cream
Vegan pumpkin pie
Pumpkin & pecan strudel
Butternut, maple & pecan lattice pie


Pumpkin one-pot recipes

Pumpkin and chickpeas curry in a bowl

The mild flavour of pumpkin means it soaks up aromatic flavours and spices easily, so it's a perfect base for curries and tagines. This chunky squash also helps to bulk up a creamy risotto, and combines well with prawns in a fragrant fish dish. 

Our favourite pumpkin one-pot recipes:
Pumpkin curry with chickpeas
Pumpkin, cranberry & red onion tagine
Pumpkin risotto recipe
Pumpkin, prawn & coconut stew

Get more perfect pumpkin ideas...

10 new ways with pumpkins
Our favourite pumpkin recipes
Vegetarian pumpkin recipes
Vegan pumpkin recipes
Healthy pumpkin & squash collection 
How to roast pumpkin seeds
How to carve a pumpkin video

What are your top tips for cooking the winter squash? Leave a comment below...