Pumpkins are much more than just jack-o’-lanterns. This vibrant autumnal veg can be eaten in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes, adding colour and texture to meals for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Bonfire Night. Once you’ve carved your spookiest face, why not put the leftovers to good use in comforting dinners, easy bakes, classic desserts and drinks?
Check out our best-ever pumpkin ideas below, then get more inspiration from our collection of pumpkin recipes.
1. Pumpkin pie
This classic Thanksgiving dessert is well-deserving of a place in our top 20. With a sweet pastry and warming spiced filling, this simple recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Alternatively, try our vegan pumpkin pie for a luxurious dairy-free treat.
Try more of our pumpkin pie recipes.
Warm up on autumn nights with a fragrant pumpkin and chickpea curry. This vegan dish is low in calories but super-satisfying, with flavours of Thai yellow curry paste, lemongrass and creamy coconut milk. Serve it as a main or flavourful side.
We’ve got plenty more vegan pumpkin recipes.
Put pumpkin leftovers to great use in a moist and moreish Halloween traybake. Like carrot cake, it combines grated squash with subtle spices and citrus, topped with a fluffy soft cheese frosting. It’s sure to become a family favourite.
Check out our impressive pumpkin and caramel layer cake.
4. Pumpkin soup
One of our most popular pumpkin recipes, this silky soup makes a sensational starter or comforting dinner. Serve with a scattering of crunchy croutons and pumpkin seeds. Or, try our healthy vegan pumpkin soup for a lighter, dairy-free alternative.
Discover more of the best-ever pumpkin soup recipes.
Need a vegan centrepiece to impress? Bake a pumpkin with a gorgeous stuffing of rice, fennel, apple, pomegranate seeds and pecans. Finish with a zingy tahini dressing for the perfect plant-based dinner party dish.
Make the most of your leftover pumpkin seeds by roasting them in tamari, maple syrup and chilli flakes for a savoury snack. Or, check out more ideas for how to roast pumpkin seeds.
We’ve combined two classic American sweets to bring you the ultimate Bonfire Night snack. Sandwich a melty marshmallow and pumpkin purée filling between ginger biscuits to create an oozing stack of s’mores. Use our recipe for homemade pumpkin purée, or if you’re short of time, try shop-bought canned purée.
We’ve got lots more sweet and savoury s’mores recipes to try.
Decorate your Halloween table with this colourful party centrepiece. Hollow out a pumpkin, then roast the flesh and blend it with lemon juice, tahini and chickpeas to make a creamy hummus. Add it back to the pumpkin and serve with peppers, breadsticks and pitta chips for a healthy vegan buffet treat.
Take a look at our healthy Halloween recipes.
Bake a comforting veggie lasagne and freeze portions for busy nights. It features alternating layers of roasted pumpkin with cherry tomato sauce, nutmeg-spiced spinach and creamy béchamel. It’s well worth the effort for the irresistible combination of sweet, earthy flavours and crisp parmesan topping.
These lightly spiced scones make a great autumnal afternoon tea treat or Halloween party snack. Serve them warm and generously slathered in butter or soft cheese. Kids can get involved with baking them, too.
10. Pumpkin risotto
This hearty dinner is great for teaching older kids how to cook. Follow our step-by-step instructions for preparing and roasting the squash, then making the risotto. You’ll have a budding chef in no time!
The pumpkin spice latte has become an autumnal cafe favourite, but it’s not hard to recreate at home. Just combine smooth pumpkin purée, espresso coffee, fragrant spices and frothy steamed milk.
Warm up with more of our autumn drinks recipes.
It doesn’t get more comforting than this aromatic one-pot. The prawns balance well with a creamy coconut sauce and the mild-flavoured pumpkin. Add a touch of heat with red chillies and serve with rice for a simple, impressive dinner.
13. Pumpkin cupcakes
These pretty cinnamon-spiced cupcakes are not to be ignored. Similarly to carrot cake, you grate the pumpkin to make a moist sponge, dotted with juicy sultanas. If the grated pumpkin flesh is quite wet, give it a good squeeze before using. Finish with a simple soft cheese frosting and chopped pecans.
Calling all cheese lovers! This gorgeously gooey showstopper is perfect for Bonfire Night or Halloween celebrations. Fill a whole roast pumpkin with a creamy three cheese fondue, then serve with crusty bread and potatoes for everyone to dunk in.
The filling and base of this cheesecake can be made ahead and frozen, just add maple cream and ginger biscuits on top to serve. A delightful dessert with just five ingredients.
This spiced Indian-style fried cabbage and pumpkin makes a great vegan side with dhal, chutney and rice, or a flavour-packed main with roti.
Get your weekend off to a sweet start with this indulgent brunch. We’ve taken pancakes to the next level by adding pumpkin purée and cinnamon to the batter. The fluffy, American-style stack is then drizzled with a rich salted pecan butterscotch sauce. Add a dollop of ice cream if that still isn’t sweet enough.
With buttery, flaky pastry, creamy Italian cheese and autumnal vegetables, this stunning tart makes a wonderful lunch or dinner. Leftovers taste great the next day.
Raise a bright orange glass to Halloween with our spine-tingling pear, pumpkin and ginger mocktail. Give the non-alcoholic drinks the fright-factor by piping scary faces onto the serving glasses with black icing.
This moist cornbread combines mild pumpkin with punchy chillies, as well as a fiery whipped jalapeño butter. The perfect accompaniment to soups, chillis and roasts.
Discover more of our perfect pumpkin ideas…
Top 10 ways to use up leftover pumpkin
Pumpkin recipes for kids
10 new ways with pumpkin
How to carve a pumpkin
Pumpkin purée recipe ideas
How to roast pumpkin seeds
Our best ever pumpkin soup recipes
How to cook with pumpkin