The Rally To Consume Pumpkin

(aka: Pumpkin Dinner)

You asked for it...... here are the recipes, honed or 'reverse engineered' over more than a decade. While I keep tweaking some of the recipes, others (the Pun'kin Sauce, the Pun'kin Craisin Rolls) remain fairly stable.

Some new recipes have been added to the mix recently, including the Curried Cous Cous and the Pumpkin Seed Mole's. When possible, I'll try to note when the last time the recipe was used. For instance, I only make the dreaded Pumpkin Ravioli in Sweet & Sour Sauce about once every 5 years (labor intensive little buggers).

Table of Contents


Starters & Sides


We always save and de-goop our pupmkin seeds. Recently, we harvested over 7 pounds of seeds from the pumpkins we carved. During Pumpkin Dinner prep, I usually end up cutting up at least 4 pumpkins (those ghost pumpkins have a lot of seeds) and roasting seeds as a warmup snack.

Approx 1 pint of pumpkin seeds, rinsed and de-gooped.

Garlic Truffle Salt Seeds
Garlic Powder
Trufflle Salt (available from The Meadow online)

Chili Limi Seeds
Chili Powder
Lots of fresh young lime leaves, julienned
Lime Juice

Smokey BBQ
Liquid Smoke
Halen Mon Gold (or other) Smoked Salt (available at The Meadow)
Smoked Paprika (full sharp)

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put some parchment paper on top of that (keeps the seeds from sticking). Spritz a little oil down and spread the seeds into one even layer. Top with the good flavors. Mix up with your hands. Place in oven. Slow: 250F for hours and hours. Speedy: 375F for minutes (watch closely).


Serves 6-10

2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup applesauce
grated rind from a lemon
1 Juice from a lemon
1-2 tsp (heaping) cinnamon
1 cup honey

Mix & chill.



Don’t cook these too long....they are nice and soft. I prefer to use Craisins over’ bettah sweeter.
Approximately 16 rolls

3 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 TBS dough relaxer (optional)
2 TBS maple syrup
2 TBS butter, melted, at room temp.
1 TBS active dry yeast, proofed in warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 extra large egg
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or Craisins if you like sweet!)

(sure, you can do this whole thing in a bread machine, in fact this is what the original recipe called for. But not all of us have, or like to use bread machines, so here are the hand-made instructions).

Combine dry ingredients (except yeast and cranberries). Mix together. Add puree, maple syrup, butter, yeast and egg. Knead until smooth (approx 5 - 10 minutes). Add more flour or water as necessary to form smooth soft dough ball.
Add cranberries and knead a little more. Place in a metal bowl and cover with a towel. Allow dough to rise one hour.
Remove dough from bowl, punch down and litely knead (< 5 min.). Place back in bowl and allow to rise another 30 minutes - 1 hour.
Divide dough into fist-sized pieces and place on a greased baking sheet. Brush with butter and allow to rise another 30 minutes.
Lightly brush with butter and place in 400 deg. F oven for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown (approx 20 minutes).



Makes as much as you want. If you toast those pumpkin seeds in olive oil, they end up combining with the feta and making their own dressing. The shredded pumpkin looks like carrots but tastes so much better. (Pumpkin seeds without shells, buy them green at your local mexican food store or specialty store). Pumpkin oil can be tricky to find.
Makes enough for 8 people as a starter

1 head Romaine
1 bottle Ceaser Dressing (optional)
5 oz. Feta Cheese (garlic herb works well)
8 oz. aritchoke hearts
1 cup shredded pumpkin
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (without shells)
4 tbs pumpkin oil for dressing (optional)


Main Dishes & Soups


Slightly spicy, but supremely tasty and filling. This is great for a winter night. For added effect, serve in small bowls made from baby pumpkins.
Makes 6-8 servings (double that if served as a side)

2 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cups chicken stock (low salt)
2 lbs sliced baby carrots
1-2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup half & half
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Heat oil in heavy large sacepan, on medium high heat. Add onion and ginger and saute until onion is translucent, (5-10 minutes). Add chicken stock, sliced carrots and pumpkin puree. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender (about 30 - 45 minutes).
Working in batches, puree mixture. Finally, mix in orange juice and half&half and cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Mix in ground cinnamon, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


2-3 kinds of pumpkin, 2 kinds of sauce
I find that the Ghost Pumpkins are the sweetest and most flavorfull. I will also cut up the fairy tale pumpkins and the normal pumpkins to show off the variety of flavor and texture. Be sure not to overcook the want the cubes soft and firm, not mushy.

5 pounds of pumpkin will serve 6-8 people.

Skin and seed pumpkin and cut into 1-2” cubes.

Arrange pumpkin in a 13x9 baking pan and cover with aluminum foil. Puncture the aluminum foil to let steam out and bake 45minutes to 90 minutes or microwave for 10-15 minutes (depending on size of cubes) until tender with a fork. Remove cover and let the liquid steam off (or pour it off).

YOGURT DILL SAUCE (for cubed pumpkin)

This one is everybody’s favorite, although it can be made year-round
using any stiff squash--acorn, butternut, kabocha. This dish is an Afghani dish Makes 6-8 servings

6-8 servings (Enough sauce for 5lbs of pumpkin)

1 bunch dill
1 quart yogurt
1-2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove of fresh garlic puree)

Place pumpkin in a pyrex dish and microwave for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile combine dill, yogurt and spices in food processor and blend. Adjust salt to taste. Chill sauce in separate container.
Serve by portioning out pumpkin and topping with sauce. Keep the sauce separate for storage, as it does not reheat well.

MOLASSES CREAM SAUCE (for cubed pumpkin)

I just made this one up in 2010…….This recipe also works with Sorghum. It’s’s basic...and it is tasty.
6-8 servings (Enough sauce for 5lbs of pumpkin)

(you can cook the pumpkin in a jar’s worth of molasses….or you can make the following sauce to let people top their own)

3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
½ cup molasses
2/3 cup milk
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
dash cayenne (optional)

Follow the basic white-sauce method. Melt butter on low, whisk in flour and turn up heat to medium. Cook the roux to remove the raw flour taste (2-3 minutes) but not enough to brown. In the meantime, mix together molasses, milk and apple cider vinegar and heat in microwave until just shy of boiling.

Remove roux from heat and let the bubbling stop. Whisk in hot molasses mixture until incorporated (return to heat on low to thicken if need be). Stir in salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne to taste. The sauce should be creamy but not too sweet.


Slow Cooked Pork or Chicken with Pumpkin-Seed Sauce

The Slow Cooker method is derived from the original recipe. I like the original recipe better, because the sauce is tastier when it's fresh (vs. slow-cooked). Both preparation options are given below.
Makes 4 servings.

3 oz. dried tamarind pulp
1 cup hot water
2 12-oz pork tenderloins (slow cooker option: cube the pork)

1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (~2oz), ground
1/4 cup toasted almonds (~2oz), ground
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped husked tomatillos (about 4 oz)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeno chili, seeded, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

Optional ingredients for slow cooker method:

1/2 - 1 cup masa flour (for thickening)
1 tbs paprika
1/2 tbs cayenne
< 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Marinate the meat. Place tamarind pulp and 1 cup warm water in small bowl.  Let stand until tamarind is soft/dissoved, about 1 hour.  Strain tamarind mixture into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much pulp as possible.  Discard solids in strainer.  Place pork in bowl with liquid.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Build the Sauce. Stir pumpkin seeds in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to pop, about 5 minutes.  Cool.  Transfer to processor and blend until ground.  Transfer to small bowl.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat.  Add tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, and garlic.  saute until onion is beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add 1 cup chicken stock.  Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until tomatillos are soft, about 5 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Puree half of tomatillo mixture with lettuce in blender until smooth.  Pour into large bowl.  Add remaining tomatillo mixture to blender and puree until smooth.  Add ground pumpin seeds, walnuts, and almonds to puree in blender and process just until blended.  Mix into tomatillo-lettuce puree in bowl.

Original preparation method, grill the pork: Prepare barbecue (medium high heat).  Preheat oven to 400F.  Remove pork from marinade.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill pork until dark brown, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Transfer pork to small rimmed baking sheet.  Roast in oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes for medium.  Transfer pork to cutting board.  Let rest 5 minutes.  Top pork with sauce and serve.

Slow Cooker preparation method -- for larger events. Drain the marinade off of the meat and brown the outside of the meat in a large saucepan. Place meat and sauce in a slow cooker on low for many many hours. You may want to adjust the seasoning (the slow cooker definitely affects the flavor of the sauce, and building the complexity seems to help a bit).



New in 2010 ... this dish is a wonderful main dish or as a side. Roasting the vegetable separately to dry them out really adds flavor to the dish. I added lime leaves to my curry for a nice bit of brightness.
Serves 8-10

4 tbs oil (corn or vegetable)
1 lg onion
1 lg zucchini
4 cups small chopped pumpkin
‘1/4 cup dried currants
1-2 tbs curry powder
1-2 lime leaves (optional)
2 cups cous cous
3 cups water (or chicken stock)

Dice the onion. Chop the zucchini and pumpkin into small cubes. Preheat oven to 400F. Brush zucchini and pumpkin with oil and roast on a baking sheet for 25 minutes until golden brown (turning as necessary). Allow to cool.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté onions to soften. Mix in curry powder and 4-10 lime leaves and stir for 1 minute. Add 3 cups of water, bring to a simmer and reduce to low. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and stir in cous cous until slightly toasted (3 minutes). Mix in hot curry water and turn off heat and let stand until liquid is absorbed (10 minutes). Fluff with fork.

Mix in currants, zucchini, pumpkin. Season with salt and pepper.



This is the ALL STAR and a true favorite. However, this recipe takes a LOT of work. Plan several hours for rolling out your own pasta and filling it (6 hours = 300 ravioli...I'm slow). You’ll most likely have leftover pasta, which is a good sign because it means you rolled it out thin enough. Use a pasta roller, for sure. For piping the filling, I use a ziploc bag with a small corner snipped off. I find that sealing the pasta with an egg-wash and folding and hand twising (into little Brach's candy-like shapes) is the quickest method. I do really need to get a ravioli maker....

Serves <8-10> (about 50-80 large ravioli)

4 cups all-purpose flour (ok to substitute whole wheat for 50%)
3 eggs
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup water (this does not seem nearly enough).

1 egg for the egg wash.

To prepare pasta, put ingredients into bowl, gradually adding water and knead into a very firm dough. Continue folding and kneading until dough is elastic and smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and allow to rest for a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours.

1 lb pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup crushed lady fingers or amaretti cookies (Stella D'oro brand works)
1 cup bread crumbs (off-the-shelf Progresso brand works)
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet chutney (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped dates (optional)
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg (FRESH!)


Make the filling. Place pumpkin, eggs, parmesan, cookies, bread crumbs, chutney, salt and nutmeg into a large bowl and mix.

Now for the real labor. Mix up the dough in your stand mixer and let rest for at least an hour. When you are ready to make a mess, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll some more. Pass it through your pasta roller, on progressively thinner settings adding flour as needed to keep from sticking. Get the dough real thin, or you'll have way too much filling. You should get it paper thin if you can, so keep rolling. Move the long rolled sheet to your work surface and cover to keep moist. Keep on rolling out the rest of the dough, but work quickly so that the first sheet doesn't get too most.

Make an egg was with 1 egg and 1/4cup+ of water, whisked.

Take one long sheet of pasta. Arrange the pumpkin mixture in tiny portions (1/2") at equal intervals on top of 1 sheet of pasta. Brush egg was around the edges of the mixture with a slightly dampened pastry brush. OPTION 1: roll the sheet in half (lenghtwise) to cover, cut into pieces and use hands to seal and twist ends of 'ravioli'. OPTION 2: Place second sheet of pasta on top of the first, and press down around each pocket with fingers to seal. Use ravioli roller to cut into individual pieces and allow to dry at room temperature for 1 hour.

To cook, dop the ravioli into a deep saucepan of salted boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes until done. Serve immediately.



This is the secret sauce that took forever to reverse engineer. Treat it with’s a little tart, but full of sweetness and flavor. NOTE: a little goes a long way -- use sparingly so that the flavor of the ravioli comes through.

1 cup sweet & sour mix
1-2 cups sugar
1/2+ tsp nutmeg (fresh ground only)
1-3 tsp cinnamon
1 zest from 1 lemon
1 tbsp cornstarch (add more if needed)
3-5 pcs crystallized ginger
1-2 cups coconut milk (optional)

Make a slurry with cornstarch and the water. Throw it all in a sauce pot and heat it up. It doesn’t take much to coat a whole lot of pasta...this is enough for the recipe above. You might wish to alter the ginger/cinammon to your liking. The coconut milk really adds body to the entire sauce.
Heat the mixture up until bubbly. Turn down the heat and simmer until thick and syrupy (15-30min).


Desserts & Drinks


Makes 3 loaves

3-4 bananas
1 cup cooked pumpkin
3 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup oil
5 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves

Puree bananas and pumpkin, add eggs and sugar, mix well. Add oil. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves mixing until just blended. Pour into 3 greased loaf pans. Bake in a 350F oven for 50-60+ minutes (internal temp of 195F and comes out clean).


Recipe coming soon....


Coldstone Creamery had more and more locations in this area. Forget the standard pumpkin pie and get their “Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie”. With the cinnamon frosting, it’s super tasty and doesn’t have any cake-stuff to get in the way.



Every year around October, your local Beverages and More will have Pumpkin Ale. You just have to look for it. However, we find that the Spiced Pumpkin Beer (found at Whole Foods) to be much tastier.

Pumpkin punch can also be made if you scoop out a large pumpkin and fill it with all sorts of yummy liquids (alchohol or not). Throw in some dry ice, and you have the centerpiece of the refreshment table.