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I was thrilled to receive sugar pumpkins in my farm share this year. But as the end of pumpkin season approached and I still hadn’t touched my pumpkins, I realized I didn’t actually know what to do with them. After doing some research, I decided the best way to get the most from my pumpkins was to roast and puree them, which then allowed me to add fresh pumpkin to whatever I wanted. How exciting!Roasting and pureeing a pumpkin is very easy; it’s just like roasting any other squash. You want to scoop out the seeds (save them for toasting!) and stringy insides, cut the pumpkin into chunks and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour between 350-400° F. I like my pumpkin golden brown (you can choose how “roasted” you’d like it), but as long as the pumpkin is tender like softened butter when you pierce it with a fork, you’re good to go.

1. Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese

The ultimate comfort food. This was the first meal I made with my freshly-pureed pumpkin.  I used this recipe from Naturally Ella. I love breadcrumbs on top of my mac ‘n’ cheese–it adds a beautiful golden color and a nice crunch. I didn’t have fresh thyme, so I used dried. This recipe is super easy and really satisfying.

2. Pumpkin Risotto

Risotto has become my “grown-up comfort food,” as I like to call it.  There’s something about stirring a pot over a hot stove for 30 minutes that makes the dish even more satisfying.  Whether you have or haven’t made risotto before, there are plenty of basic risotto recipes to be found. Check out our recipe for mushroom risotto and substitute pumpkins for mushrooms! Follow the recipe and when the risotto is almost done cooking, add ½ cup to 1 cup (I like it heaping) of pumpkin puree. Add for other flavors you might like, I added sage and Parmigiano Reggiano.  It’s a cozy fall dish that makes for great leftovers too.

3. Pumpkin Oats

Pumpkin Oats

I should call my oatmeal recipe “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink oats,” because I add everything. So why not pumpkin? For my pumpkin oats, I added ½ cup pumpkin puree, trail mix (any kind is awesome in oatmeal!), maple syrup, cooked apples, cinnamon, toasted pumpkin seeds,  and a pinch of nutmeg. But the great thing about oatmeal is, you can add whatever you’d like…everything but the kitchen sink!

4. Pumpkin Yogurt

Just like oatmeal, a quick and easy breakfast that keeps me full until lunch is Greek yogurt. I like to add a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin to it. Add whatever you have in your pantry, and pair with a cup of coffee or tea! You’ll see here I added pumpkin seeds I roasted with a little bit of cayenne and brown sugar. Drizzle pure maple syrup on top for that cozy autumn flavor!  I find this is a great after-lunch treat too.

5. Pumpkin Smoothies

My friend told me this smoothie changed her life, and it’s true. It’s that good. I used this recipe, plus I added chia seeds. I froze some of the pumpkin puree and added this instead of canned pumpkin.

6. Pumpkin Pizza

Homemade pizza is always a win.  Making your own dough is really easy, but you can buy dough at the grocery store too.  I like pesto on my pumpkin pizza, instead of a tomato sauce.  When pureeing the pumpkin, leave a few big chunks instead of completely pureeing smooth. It gives better texture as a topping. I also added red onion, roasted garlic, goat cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh arugula and balsamic vinegar once it was out of the oven. Not in the mood for pizza? Add it to a pasta dish!

What creative ways did you use your pumpkin this year? Share your favorite pumpkin dish with us in the comments below!

Feature photo via Naturally Ella

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