Fit For Autumn: My Top 5 Ultimate Pumpkin Recipes


Don't throw away your left over pumpkins! Once you've carved it to perfection for Halloween, you can put the rest of it to good use with this selection of pumpkin recipes.

From sweet classics to savoury mains, the options for this bright orange squash are endless.

The first thing to do with your pumpkin is scoop out all of the seeds. These little kernels are a great source of fibre, packed with vitamins and minerals. Simply clean them, boil for 10 minutes to soften, then drain and dry on a paper towel.

Once the seeds are dry, toss with a little oil and spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes at 120 degrees until they are crisp and golden brown. If you want to add flavour, sprinkle on salt, pepper or paprika.

Another bit of the pumpkin that can be utilised is the sweet, honied flesh, which lends itself perfectly to cakes when grated.

Combine the grated flesh with cinnamon for lightly spiced cupcakes or mix in a bit of clear honey to add to a carrot cake to give it a kick.

Now onto some of my personal favourite pumpkin recipes below...

Stuffed Pumpkin

  • 1 medium sized pumpkin
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 100g wild rice
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1 Bramley Apple
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Half tbsp of chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 30g peacons, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 large pack parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp of tahini
  • Pomegranate seeds to serve


  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Cut the top off the pumpkin and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Get rid of any pithy bits but keep the seeds for another time (See my previously mentioned suggestions above). Put the pumpkin on a baking tray and rub 2 tablespoons of oil inside out and season well. Roast in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes or until tender with the 'lid' on the side.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the wild rice well and cook, then spread out on a baking tray to cool. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and apple, then squeeze over half the lemon juice to stop them discolouring.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Fry the fennel seeds and chilli flakes, then once the seeds begin to pop, stir in half the garlic and the fennel. Cook for 5 minutes until softened and mix through the apple, peacons and lemon zest. Remove from the heat and add the mixture to the cooked rice, then stir in the chopped parsley and taste for seasoning.
  4. Pack the mixture into the cooked pumpkin and return to the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until everything is piping hot. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining lemon juice with the tahini, the rest of the garlic and enough water to make a dressing. Serve the pumpkin, topped with pomegranate seeds and the dressing.

Creamy Pumkpin & Lentil Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Approx. 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds
  • 100g split red lentils
  • Half small pack of thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • Pinch of salt and sugar
  • 50g crème fraîche, plus extra to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic and pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds and remove any flesh still clinging to them. Dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently, but cover the pan in between to keep them in it. When the seeds look nutty and toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well.
  3. Add the cooked pumpkin mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.

Pumpkin Curry With Chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 piece of pumpkin (approx. 1kg)
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 400g can chickpea, drained and rinsed
  • 2 limes
  • large handful mint leaves
  • naan bread to serve

  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan, then gently fry the curry paste with the onions, lemongrass, cardamom and mustard seed for 2-3 mins until fragrant. Stir the pumpkin or squash into the pan and coat in the paste. Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring everything to a simmer, add the chickpeas, then cook for about 10 mins until the pumpkin is tender. The curry can now be cooled and frozen for up to 1 month.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the curry, then cut the other lime into wedges to serve alongside. Just before serving, tear over mint leaves, then bring to the table with the lime wedges and warm naan breads.
Halloween Pumpkin Cake
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g sultanas
  • Half tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200g butter, melted
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 500g (peeled weight) pumpkin flesh, grated

For drenching and frosting:
  • 200g pack soft cheese
  • 85g butter, softened
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • Zest 1 orange and juice of half
  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a 30 x 20cm baking tray or small roasting tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, sultanas and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice. Mix with the dry ingredients till combined. Stir in the pumpkin. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 mins or until golden and springy to the touch.
  2. To make the frosting, beat together the cheese, butter, icing sugar, orange zest and 1 tsp of the juice till smooth and creamy, then set aside in the fridge. When the cake is done, cool for 5 mins then turn it onto a cooling rack. Prick it all over with a skewer and drizzle with the rest of the orange juice while still warm. Leave to cool completely.
  3. Trim the edges of the cake. Give the frosting a quick beat to loosen and then using a palette knife, spread over the top of the cake in peaks and swirls. If you’re making the cake ahead, keep it in the fridge then take out as many pieces as you want 30 mins or so before serving. The cake should keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Pumpkin Pie
  • 750g/1Ib 10oz pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 350g sweet shortcrust pastry
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 140g caster sugar
  • Half tsp salt
  • Half tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 175g milk
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

  1. Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain pumpkin and let it cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 minutes. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 minutes until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Increase the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling has just set.
  4. Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Serve chilled.