pumpkin collage pumpkin collage Pumpkin everything. Why fight it? (Photo: Anna Norris, Sarah Berkowitz)

For the love of gourd: Our favorite easy pumpkin recipes

You've only got one day to prepare for National Pumpkin Day. What should you make? Here are 9 of our best ideas that won't keep you slaving away in the kitchen for hours.

Some of us won't rest until pumpkin has infiltrated every food group, every cuisine, every meal of every day between Labor Day and Christmas. Indeed, this is a trend that just won't be squashed – and we're here to welcome it!

From lattes to smoothies to couscous to even tacos, we've got your ticket to a full menu for National Pumpkin Day, which just happens to be, oh, right now. Wait, right now, you say? But there's no time to prepare all this food!

Fear not, pumpkin peeps. These recipes don't take long, and they don't require any grand skill or obscure ingredients. Just a hankering for fun – and that comforting fall aroma that fills your home once you start adding all those spices.

Pumpkin cheesecake squares

pumpkin cheesecake squares These cheesecake squares are fall-ready. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

With cheesecake in the name, you know it's going to be indulgent. But recipe author Sarah Berkowitz took a few liberties to cut down on the fat, using dairy-free Earth Balance spread instead of butter and reduced-fat cream cheese. But she assures us that doesn’t take away from the divine taste of these squares.

Here's the recipe.

Pumpkin pie smoothie

pumpkin pie smoothie Turn your pumpkin pie into a smoothie. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)

For those who can't – or don't want to – indulge in the decadent desserts that pumpkin can yield, there's always smoothies, and this one by blogger Jerry James Stone is a winner. It's an easy way to use canned pumpkin puree without undoing a diet, and it really does taste like you're drinking pie.

Here's the recipe.

Vegan pumpkin spice latte

vegan pumpkin spice latte It's vegan, it's homemade, and it's made from real pumpkin. Meet your new favorite fall drink. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

The much-chatted-up pumpkin spice latte is a $5 hot, steamy cup of ingredients that taste great but contain not a shred of pumpkin. This recipe, Berkowitz says, eschews the need for huge dollops of whipped cream or sugar, because what you really want to taste is pumpkin, coffee and maple syrup. And taste you will!

Here's the recipe.

Pumpkin couscous with browned sage butter

Rich and buttery, this pumpkin couscous rivals the richest of risotto dishes Rich and buttery, this pumpkin couscous rivals the richest of risotto dishes. (Photo: Anna Norris)

A little room for savory in your pumpkin pleasure, have you? This couscous recipe by Anna Norris will fill your kitchen with fragrant pumpkin, sage and nutmeg essences, yet another reminder that fall weather is in full swing. Paired with a buttery sauce, this Israeli couscous is a hearty dish that works well as an appetizer or a side dish as part of the most impressive of Mediterranean spreads.

Here's the recipe.

Pumpkin soup with garlic croutons

Pumpkin soup with croutons Fall dinner starts with pumpkin soup. (Photo: Alexander Demyanenko/Shutterstock)

If you have a day, you can let your favorite soup simmer in time for the evening. But if you only have an hour, you can still make an amazing pumpkin soup that tastes like warmth and love and comfort and perfection. And that's not even counting the garlic croutons, which you can make ahead or use store-bought.

Here's the recipe.

Pumpkin tortillas

pumpkin tortillas Feeling the urge to add pumpkin to everything this season? Try this recipe for an amazing fall dinner. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

We toyed with calling these pumpkin tacos, but we thought it might scare people. So we'll just say this: the pumpkin in this recipe acts as a creamy mashed potato-like filling, just a whole lot more flavorful. Mixed with the beans, crunchy onions, savory spices and cheese – taco or not, this dish will win you over.

Here's the recipe.

Pumpkin cranberry muffins

pumpkin cranberry muffins Don't want to waste your day's calories on pumpkin pie for breakfast? Try these pumpkin cranberry muffins. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

And we're back to the sweet stuff. But not too sweet – just a simple, satisfying muffin, substituting banana for oil (that's a thing!) to cut back on fat and sugar and adding whole wheat flour and cranberries for extra fiber. But don’t let the health talk fool you – these muffins are absolutely delicious.

Here's the recipe.

Pumpkin chocolate cake

pumpkin chocolate cake Pumpkin and chocolate make a great pair. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

You might just glaze over with glee once you bite into this one. High-quality baking chocolate, a trusty bundt pan and more of that pumpkin you can't get enough of – for an out-of-this-world, one-of-a-kind chocolate cake.

Here's the recipe.

Pumpkin pie hummus

pumpkin hummus Pumpkin hummus is great for a fall party. (Photo: Esther Berkowitz)

We couldn't just end it there, could we? Had to go and put it in hummus. But we're not alone. The dessert hummus craze is going strong, with flavors like chocolate chip and snickerdoodle, to name a few. So why not pumpkin? There’s just a touch of sweetness to the cream and the crisps, and the hummus is lightly touched with cinnamon so none of the flavors is too overpowering.

Here's the recipe.


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Related Topics: Healthy eating, Recipes

For the love of gourd: Our favorite easy pumpkin recipes
Just in time for National Pumpkin Day, we're rounding up our favorite pumpkin recipes to make at the last minute.​