You guys. You know what tomorrow is, don’t you?
And you know what that means. Harvest parties, Halloween, costumes, leaves, corn mazes, sweaters, scarves, boots, hay rides, hot drinks, chilly fingers, and pumpkins.
ALL OF THE PUMPKINS.
Truth be told, pumpkin season started early in our house. For whatever reason the pumpkin crop in our modest little home garden took off and we had ripe, beautiful pumpkins populating our front yard right around the first of August. Not wanting them to rot on the vine we’d harvest a few at a time and haul them to our front door.
And then, one by one, I’d bring them inside to cut, seed, roast, puree, and freeze the fruits (vegetables?) of our labor. But here’s the thing. These were all carving pumpkins, not sugar pumpkins. And carving pumpkins are not known for their robust flavor. And if we’re still in truth-telling mode, I’m not all that big of a fan of pumpkin to begin with.
What’s a girl to do?
Consult Chef Google, of course!
Sadly, the good chef seems to specialize in baked goods and for a family that tries to eat fairly healthfully, cooking 20 pumpkins’ worth of pumpkin muffins did not seem like the best use of our time, calories, or culinary resources.
So I scoured the internet for satisfying main-dish meals that 1) called for pumpkin puree, 2) had intense flavor to make up for the lack of it in my carving pumpkins, and 3) were healthy and yummy enough that I was proud to serve them to my family.
And now I can serve them to you!
1. Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili from Skinnytaste
My husband asked me to make it again the very next week. Do yourself a favor (if you have a big slow cooker) and double the recipe from the get-go; keep the ground turkey at 2 pounds and double everything else. You’re welcome.
2. 5 Ingredient Thai Pumpkin Soup by Foodie Crush
Mine was actually a four-ingredient soup because I didn’t have red chili peppers on hand. There are lots of iterations of this dish, but if you’re crunched for time and want something flavorful and spicy, this is your recipe!
3. Surprise, It’s Pumpkin! Enchiladas by Hungry Girl
My husband took one bite and declared it delicious; I could hardly contain myself and squealed, “It’s not CHEESE in the middle, it’s PUMPKIN!”
4. Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi by Hank Shaw on Simply Recipes
You probably didn’t know I was fancy. And you’d be right. But I love a good challenge and although these took a bit of time, they were really simple and flavorful. They’re too much work (and too indulgent!) for a weeknight, but would be impressive for a special occasion or fun to make with your hubby for at-home romantic date night.
5. Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup by Southern Living
Thick from the potatoes, creamy from the milk, flavorful from the spices. I have a fairly decent vocabulary, but the only way I can adequately describe this dish to you is MAKE THIS RECIPE.
And now, since you just finished your dinner, I’ve got a special treat for you – a bonus recipe for dessert. No time to make a pumpkin pie? Me neither! Whip up this super easy Pumpkin Smoothie by The Pioneer Woman.
Happy October, mamas!
Do you have a fave pumpkin entrée? Share it with us!