Pumpkin Recipes for the Backyard Vegetable Gardener

When most folks think of pumpkin recipes, the first thing that comes to mind is pumpkin pie. However, fresh pumpkin can also be made into stews, soups, bread, dessert bars, cookies, etc... Pumpkins taste great in both sweet and savory dishes. Before we get to some of our favorite pumpkin recipes, here is some nutrient information.

Sugar Pumpkins

One cup of pumpkin contains:

  • 50 calories
  • 12g carbs
  • 12mg Vitamin C
  • 2mg Vitamin E
  • 37mg Calcium
  • 22mg Magnesium
  • 564mg Potassium
  • 3mg Sodium

Here are some of our favorite pumpkin recipes:

pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Spice Bread - One of our family's favorite pumpkin recipes, moist and delicious

3 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup oil
2 cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
1 cup toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. To the flour, add remaining dry ingredients and combine.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour oil, pumpkin and water into the center. Blend together with an electric mixer.

Add eggs one at a time, beating mixture after each egg. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into 6 small loaf pans that have been well greased.

Bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove bread from pans and let cool on cooling rack.

Any unused bread can be wrapped in several layers of foil and frozen. Will keep well in freezer for up to 3 months.

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Creamy Pumpkin Soup - this pumpkin recipe makes a comforting soup that's silky smooth

8 cups of fresh pumpkin, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 of a white onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 of a bell pepper, finely diced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

In a large pot, boil pumpkin pieces in water until very tender. Drain and return to pot. Mash the cooked pumpkin with a potato masher. Set aside and let cool slightly.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onion, carrot and bell pepper and saute until tender. Pour this mixture into the mashed pumpkin and combine.

To the pumpkin mixture, add chicken stock, half and half, sour cream, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, sage and allspice. Combine thoroughly.

Place this mixture in a food processor and puree. A hand blender can also be used.

Return the soup to the pot and warm through over medium-low heat. Serve warm. Can be garnished with creme fresh, croutons, bacon bits, green onions, etc...

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No Bake Pumpkin Pie Layered Cheesecake - this rich and delicious pumpkin recipe is a family Thanksgiving tradition

2 graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (3.5oz) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup milk
3 cups pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a 9 inch spring-form pan, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in melted butter and combine. Using fingers, press crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cool on cooling rack.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 2 cups of whipped topping, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine pudding mix, milk, pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Fold in remaining 2 cups of whipped topping.

Spread half of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled crust in the spring-form pan. Spoon half of the pumpkin mixture on top of the cream cheese layer and spread evenly. Spoon the remaining cream cheese mixture on top of the pumpkin layer and spread evenly. Spoon the remaining pumpkin mixture over the top and spread evenly. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over the top. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours. 20 minutes before serving, place cheesecake in freezer so it will be very firm before unmolding the spring-form pan.

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Rice and Beef Stuffed Pumpkin - this savory pumpkin recipe tastes great and provides a dramatic table presentation

1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 white onion, finely diced
2 cups long grain rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium sugar pumpkin
1 egg, beaten
1 small can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 small can mushroom pieces and stems, drained
1 bell pepper, diced
1 regular can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To a large pot over medium-high heat, add beef, garlic and onion. Cook until onion is translucent and beef is evenly browned. Drain off the fat. Turn heat up to high. To the beef mixture, add rice, water, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender and water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, cut off the top of the pumpkin and reserve it. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place pumpkin on a large baking dish.

After the rice is cooked, add the egg, water chestnuts, mushrooms, bell pepper, soup, sage and oregano to the rice/beef mixture and combine thoroughly.

Spoon rice/beef mixture into the pumpkin. Replace the the pumpkin top. Place in oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until pumpkin is tender.

When serving, spoon out portions of the stuffing mixture along with some of the pumpkin flesh.

This recipe can also be used to make individual portions using miniature sugar pumpkins.

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Apple and Walnut Stuffed Pumpkin - this sweet pumpkin recipe makes a unique dessert

6 miniature sugar pumpkins
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the tops off the pumpkins and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place cleaned pumpkins on a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine apples, walnuts, brown sugar, white sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Sift together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Add to apple mixture and toss until all apples are coated.

Divide mixture and spoon into each pumpkin. Replace the tops and bake in oven for 1 hour, or until pumpkin is tender.

Before serving, stir, scraping some of the pumpkin flesh into the apple mixture. Garnish with whipped topping, ice cream, etc...

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Classic Pumpkin Bars - this pumpkin recipe makes moist and delicious bars that have a brownie-like texture and a creamy frosting

3 eggs
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until well combined. Spread evenly into an ungreased, 10x15 inch jellyroll pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes in oven. When a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack.

To make the frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Stir in vanilla. Sift together powdered sugar and cinnamon and add to cream cheese mixture a little at a time, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over pumpkin bars after they have cooled completely. Cut into squares before serving.

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We hope you enjoy these sweet and savory pumpkin recipes as much as our family does.

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