Every fall, we line Greatist’s pantries with can after can of pumpkin purée in the hopes of creating the season’s perfect pie. It’s a noble goal, to be sure, but there are endless ways to use canned pumpkin, from the fairly common (like risotto or pasta) to the less expected (or downright weird). Canned pumpkin is a surprisingly versatile product packed with vitamins A, C, K, and fiber, so we thought it best to spread the word: pumpkin makes almost anything delicious. Here’s a list of the more unconventional ways to use up pumpkin purée so that your cans are never wasted — eat up!
>> Below are excerpts from the full list of 31 weird but awesome recipes using canned pumpkin, at Greatist.com.
1. Pumpkin Pineapple Cocktail Pumpkin has a smooth, warming quality that typically lends itself to creamier dishes, but its also works well in this sweet, citrusy cocktail terrific for any season.
2. Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake Get jacked-o’-lantern (… sorry) with this muscle-building shake — the perfect end to a brisk outdoor workout.
3. Pumpkin Smoothie For a practically guilt-free dessert, this terrific vegan recipe tastes just like a pie without the pastry. Bottoms up!
4. Pumpkin Egg Nog An awesome twist on the holiday staple, this is how to start a December morning — and the sugar-free version has far fewer calories than your typical nog.
5. Pumpkin Chai Latte What could be better to sip on in front of a crackling fireplace? This no-frills recipe simply adds pumpkin to chai tea, but it bestows a depth and smoothness that’s perfectly warming.
6. Pumpkin Butter Like a regular bit of butter, but better! To get the morning feeling extra seasonal, try this pretty healthy, cinnamon-spiced spread (there’s not that much sugar) on a muffin, pancake, or some freshly-baked bread.
7. Pumpkin and Sage Savory Muffins Savory muffins just don’t get enough play, but this is a super simple, delicious way to bring them to the table. Made with oats, olive oil, herbs, and apple cider vinegar, they’ve got no added sugar but can still warm from head to toe.
11. Savory Pumpkin Hummus The recipe for this unusual dip has just one step: throw everything in a food processor. The mixture of chickpeas, pumpkin, cumin, and cayenne creates a rich, Middle Eastern flavor well suited to pita and antipasto.
12. Pumpkin Granola Roasting granola has to be one of the best ways to spend a fall afternoon. The smell alone is worth the effort, and cooking up a big batch for the week ahead can make anyone look forward to waking up in the morning.
13. Pumpkin Pie Pancakes With just one tablespoon of sugar between four servings these rich, intoxicating pancakes are a healthier option for kids and adults alike. They also pair beautifully with preserves, yogurt, nuts — you name it!
15. Healthy Spiced Yogurt Parfaits This parfait takes only take ten minutes to prepare and makes breakfast feel like dessert. Full of Greek yogurt, granola, cinnamon, and nutmeg, this dish is so simple and delicious that it’s sure to become a staple.
16. Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Breakfast Casserole The name might sound like a game of Madlibs, but this gluten-free and protein-rich breakfast is no joke. Flawlessly melding the flavors of coconut, pecans, maple, and vanilla, it’s hard to believe how healthy this breakfast is — just make sure you have an hour to prepare it!
18. Pumpkin Black Bean Burgers Pumpkin has never really found a home between bread, but these gluten-free patties will change the way you think about burgers. Be sure to remember the cilantro-lemon crema to add a zesty tang to this Mexican-inspired main.
19. Pumpkin Meatloaf with Pumpkin BBQ Sauce This smoky, flavorful loaf is just right on a chilly Fall evening. The BBQ sauce adds an extra dimension to the savory/sweet dynamic — just don’t go overboard on the sugar!
20. Pumpkin, Black Bean, and Jalapeño Quesadilla Pumpkin tastes so smooth and creamy that it’s amazing we don’t mix it with cheese more often. These quesadillas are a terrific “level-up” for you standard Mexican fare, and the substitution of Greek yogurt for sour cream is an especially nice touch.
22. Chickpea Pumpkin Patties For a high-fiber patty, try this spicy, deep orange concoction that comes alive with fresh basil and parsley. The recipe already contains breadcrumbs, so try serving the “burger” on a bed of vegetables with some tahini or mustard.
24. Pumpkin Protein Fudge Smooth, decadent, and protein-packed, nobody will guess this is a healthy dessert! The coconut oil and almond butter provide filling fats to help give this treat an unmistakeable melt-in-your-mouth quality.
25. Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream It’s neither cheesecake nor ice cream — it’s better. This high-protein mixture of Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, almond milk, and pumpkin will satisfy any late night ice cream craving without piling on the calories.
26. Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yoghurt Fro-yo gets a bad wrap for being more or less ice cream in disguise, but this vegan recipe uses vanilla-flavored coconut yogurt to create an innovative and healthy dessert — just make sure you have four hours to freeze the stuff!
27. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies Sweetened only with raisins and a little agave, baking these vegan cookies is a great way to spend an autumn afternoon. It’s wise to cook in small batches, though — it’s a little too easy to eat an entire tray!
28. Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts Made from a lengthy but delicious list of ingredients that includes oats, ground flaxseed, banana, and yogurt, these donuts are filling, healthy, and a lot of fun to serve. Feel free to omit the dusting of cinnamon sugar, or substitute plain cinnamon or nutmeg instead.
30. Pumpkin Custard If you can get your hands on some stevia, this recipe makes a super healthy, sugar-free dessert that can be enjoyed morning, noon, or night.
For the Dog
31.Chicken Liver and Pumpkin Ice Cream... for Dogs We said “weird” recipes, didn’t we? It turns out pumpkin purée is a great way to help with canine constipation, but even healthy pooches love this liver-stuffed ice cream. Why should Fido be the only one without a holiday treat?
>> For all 31 weird but awesome recipes using canned pumpkin, go to Greatist.com.