Pumpkin Waste & Recipe Ideas

Pumpkin Feta Muffins

It’s October, the leaves are starting to fall, changing to various shades of rust before drifting to the floor, you’ve got your cosy  clothes out of the loft, meals are starting to shift from light summery flavours to more hearty stews and pies, it’s getting darker in the mornings and everyone is starting to talk about Halloween. It’s also the time that all the shops and market stalls start stocking pumpkins rather than just a butternut squash. Pumpkins are wonderful, and I’m going to spend some time telling you about just how wonderful they are, in the hopes that it’ll stop you wasting them.

Pumpkin Pie Brownies
Every year there are different statistics released about just how much pumpkin we waste in the UK. Whether it’s the innards from a carved Jak’o’lantern or just a few ‘cute’ munchkin pumpkins you bought as props for your super cute flat lay on Instagram, there’s something you could be doing with it. Sure, the ones grown for carving aren’t necessarily the best quality, but that doesn’t stop it turning into a warm and hearty soup. Pumpkin, in its various forms, can be both delicious and versatile in a host of different ways. I’m not here to discourage you from having fun, but to think about how you can use those pumpkins once your aesthetic need for them has passed.

Last year I spoke out about this on twitter and created a thread of recipes aimed at trying to get people to cook with their pumpkins, hoping to inspire people to try something new. This year, I thought I’d create a list, to highlight that pumpkin is great for cooking and baking, in sweet and savoury, in pies, stews, soups, breads, tacos, salads and a whole host of other dishes. A few of these recipes you can find on this very blog (see my pumpkin tag), but for others there are links to both well known publications and other British food bloggers. I hope it can inspire you.

Squash & Goats Cheese Rarebit – Cate In The Kitchen

Squash rarebit
Image – Cate in the Kitchen

Grated and melted down with goats cheese onto a thick slice of toast, I’ve made this one myself and can vouch for how excellent it is as a weekend lunch or snack.

Pumpkin Pie Brownies – Me

A slightly more indulgent one. It’s my normal brownie recipe with a layer of pumpkin pie filling slathered over the top.

Pumpkin & Black Eyed Bean Coconut Curry – Meera Sodha ‘Fresh India’

Squash, Black Eyed Bean & Coconut Curry
I’ve actually done a version of this recipe here as it’s one of my favourite curries, but the original can be found in the excellent Fresh India or else here. It’s a lightly spiced curry that’s perfect for autumn.

Squash & Mushroom Wellington – Melissa Clark NY Times

I’ve made this as a center piece for a couple of veggie Christmas meals. It’s simple, but excellent. Substitute the squash for a pumpkin and make it for Sunday dinner.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns – Me

Soft cinnamon buns infused with pureed pumpkin. You can make your own pumpkin puree by boiling up some pumpkin and mashing or blitzing it in a food processor.

Spiced Pumpkin & Maple Rolls – Hannah (The Dinner Bell)


Picture – The Dinner Bell

Soft rolls infused with pumpkin pie spice. Pull them apart and have them with a hot chocolate.

Pumpkin Bao – Emily (Recipes & Reviews)

Sticky pumpkin filling in a soft pillowy steamed bun. Perfect for a warm and hearty dinner when it’s cold outside.

Pumpkin, Feta & Sage Muffins – Ruby Tandoh ‘Flavour’

These are taken from Ruby Tandoh’s book ‘flavour’ and there’s a version on my blog. They’re perfect for autumn work snacks.

Roast Veg Tacos – Minimalist Baker

I love making a taco full of roasted veg, and pumpkin or squash is nearly always used as its flavours work so well with things like chipotle or chimichurri. This is just an example from a reputable source, but I tend to wing it. Another example is their pumpkin & portobello tacos.

Vegan Pumpkin Mac N ‘Cheese’ – Minimalist Baker

Pumpkin is often used in vegan dishes as a substitute for the nutty flavours and textures of cheese, especially as a cheese source, often coupled with nutritional yeast.

Whole roasted munchkin pumpkins with sage & goats cheese – The Green Roasting Tin

This isn’t a link, as it’s in a book. But imagine a small pumpkin, stuffed full of goodness and roasted, served whole.

Pumpkin Jam – Me

A sweet, pumpkin spiced spread for some sourdough toast. Ideal for something warm in these winter months.

Pumpkin Jam

I hope this has helped inspire you to try something new with your pumpkin or squash this year. What are your favourite pumpkin recipes?