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Sustainability charity Hubbub estimate that a scary 22 million pumpkins go to waste each year!

The real shame here is that pumpkins are really tasty, and every part of them is edible except for the stalk. Just like their cousins, the butternut squash, there are lots of delicious recipes you can enjoy with them. Here are six of our favourites.

1. Classic pumpkin pie 

Taking inspiration from across the pond, the most famous pumpkin-based dish is surely the pumpkin pie. This warming, lightly spiced pie is made with the scooped-out insides of the pumpkin, so it’s great for using up all the bits you’ve scraped into a bowl before carving. It’s the perfect autumnal treat served warm with whipped cream.

2. Hearty pumpkin soup 

As autumn turns to winter and the nights draw in, you can’t beat a warming soup, and around Halloween, spicy pumpkin soup is the way forward. This soup is really versatile, as you can make it with pumpkin or squash as well as any other veg in the fridge that needs using up. It’s dead easy, too – you can either make it with the scooped-out insides (minus the stringy bits and seeds, which you can also use – see below!), or just cut the pumpkin into cubes and roast them. 

pumpkin soup

3. Pumpkin pasta bake 

A cheesy pasta bake is the ultimate comfort food, and any pasta bake recipe can be improved with the addition of pumpkin or squash! Why not cut your pumpkin into small cubes and fry it in a saucepan with onions, garlic and chorizo to get your pasta bake started? Or blend boiled pumpkin with mascarpone and tomato purée to create a beautifully silky pasta sauce. 

4. Pumpkin risotto 

On the subject of comfort food, can we interest you in some pumpkin, blue cheese and apple risotto? This tempting recipe is as simple to make as any risotto, using pumpkin you can dice from what you’ve scraped out before carving. Serve with sage and a sense of satisfaction. Pro tip: you don’t actually have to stir a risotto continuously!

5. Stuff the whole pumpkin 

A small whole stuffed pumpkin or squash makes a fantastic showstopping dish for an October or November dinner party, as well as for a Halloween-themed feast. There are numerous stuffing recipes out there, both with meat and vegetarian, so take your pick. All you need to do is scoop out the stringy bits and seeds, fill with your stuffing of choice and bake the whole thing in the oven. Don’t forget to keep the ‘lid’ to pop back on the top and complete the look! 

Preparing a Pumpkin by taking the insides out

6. Toast the seeds 

Finally, save the seeds! Toasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious and nutritious addition to a variety of dishes. Use them to garnish some of the recipes we’ve talked about here, such as the soup and risotto. Add them to your morning porridge or cereal. Mix them into salads. Blend them up in smoothies or stir them into your granola mix. Use them to add a lovely crunch to homemade bread, either sprinkled onto the top of a loaf or kneaded into the dough. Snack on them. You name it, really!

We hope we’ve convinced you that there are too many mouth-watering uses for pumpkins to throw them away at Halloween. Don’t forget, if you’ve got more pumpkin than you can use straightaway, you can also freeze it – just parboil it in chunks, cool in iced water and pop in an airtight container ready to conjure up something delicious another day. Halloween never looked so tasty!

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