Dr. Phil Shares: 17 Delicious Ways to Cook with Pumpkin

Posted on October 21, 2014 by


Years ago, I thought the only thing you could do with pumpkins was carve funny faces into them, or somehow, magically turn them into pie. Now I know that there is so much more to them than that. I get excited when I see bright orange baking pumpkins appearing at farmer’s markets because I know I’ll soon be eating pumpkin bread, pumpkin risotto, and my favorite, pumpkin curry! This inexpensive fruit (yep, pumpkins are actually a fruit) keeps well for months when kept whole, and can be used in so many different ways. And, pumpkins are so good for you. Their orange flesh is packed with fiber and is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which helps with vision and supports the immune system.

How to choose a pumpkin
Look for small, round pumpkins in the produce section marked “pie pumpkins” or “sugar pumpkins.” It’s OK if they have blemishes, but pass on any that have bruises or soft spots. Smaller pumpkins are the best kind for cooking. Avoid the larger type that you might choose for carving jack-o-lanterns, which have stringy, watery flesh and very little flavor. If you can’t find a proper pumpkin for cooking, you can substitute any other type of winter squash or even sweet potato in these recipes.

How to roast pumpkins
Canned pumpkin puree makes it easy to add pumpkin flavor to your meals. Look for puree with no added spices. Add leftover puree to your Shakeology, as in the first recipe below, stir it into oatmeal, or freeze it in ice cube trays for later use. If you want to put in a little extra effort, and it’s worth it, you can easily make your own flavorful roasted pumpkin puree. Carefully cut your pumpkin in half with a large knife scoop out the seeds and pulp (save the seeds for roasting!), drizzle with 1/2 tsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper if desired, and roast on a baking sheet in the oven at 350° for 35-45 minutes, or until the inside is easily pierced with a fork. To then turn it into purée, simply put the roasted pumpkin in a blender or food processor and blend, adding a little liquid if needed to get a smooth texture.

We’ve created 17 different pumpkin recipes for you to try, but don’t stop there! Once you’ve tried these recipes, we think you’ll want to experiment with using pumpkin in all sorts of dishes. What are your favorite ways to cook with pumpkin? Tell us in the comments!

Pumpkin Pie Shakeology
Make your Shakeology taste just like pumpkin pie! This healthy smoothie has a full serving of pumpkin, and tons of fiber to keep you satisfied for hours. Get the recipe.

Pumpkin Muffins
One of our Social Media Strategists, Amanda Meixner, came up with this delicious, high-protein recipe for healthy pumpkin protein muffins that are just perfect for Fall. Let us know what you think! Get the recipe.
Healthy protein pumpkin muffins recipe

Pumpkin Spice Latte
This pumpkin spice latte has half the calories of your favorite fall treat from the coffee store chain. Get the recipe.
This pumpkin spice latte is much lower in calories than the coffee chain version

Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Lentils and Goat Cheese
This hearty salad topped with lentils and fresh pumpkin is perfect for fall and winter months. In other seasons, replace pumpkin with sweet potato! Get the recipe.
Healthy pumpkin lentil salad recipe

Pumpkin Risotto with Garlic and Sage
Risotto is comfort food, pure and simple, but it can be loaded with high-fat ingredients. That’s why we created this delicious, lighter version with pumpkin, garlic, and sage. Get the recipe.
Pumpkin risotto recipe made with brown rice.

Vegetarian Pumpkin Curry
Don’t be intimidated by making your own curry! Our recipe makes it easy to prepare and oh-so delicious. This simple dish of pumpkin, bell peppers and fragrant fresh basil and coconut milk is ready in just 25 minutes. Get the recipe.
Healthy vegetarian pumpkin curry recipe

Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin is the star of this belly-warming vegetarian chili that has only 96 calories per serving! Get the recipe.

Chicken Baked with Pumpkin
This casserole with savory bites of lean chicken breast, pumpkin, and fresh herbs has a whopping 25 grams of protein per serving and only 182 calories. Get the recipe.
Chicken baked with pumpkin recipe

Pumpkin Quesadilla
This is not your average quesadilla! It is stuffed with pepper jack cheese and spiced pumpkin puree and topped with all the trimmings. All for only 269 calories per serving. Get the recipe.
Pumpkin quesadilla recipe

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
For a crunchy, salty snack, try these pumpkin seeds! Get the recipe.
Roasted pumpkin seeds recipe

Pumpkin and Kale Pizza
Create this beautiful gourmet pie for your next family pizza night. Get the recipe.
Recipe for pumpkin pizza ith kale and caramelized onions

Cauliflower Pumpkin Au Gratin
This combination of cauliflower and pumpkin sauce has all the comfort of a creamy casserole without the fat. Get the recipe.
Cauliflower pumpkin au gratin casserole recipe

Roasted Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Brown Rice Pilaf
This colorful side dish packed with vegetables is hearty enough to be your main course!Get the recipe.
Sweet potato, pumpkin, kale, and brown rice pilaf recipe

Paleo-Friendly Pumpkin Bread
The scent of this paleo-friendly pumpkin bread wafting from your kitchen will have family and neighbors running into the kitchen to grab a slice. Get the recipe.
Paleo-friendly pumpkin bread recipe

Pumpkin Coconut Custards
Step into fall with these pumpkin custards made with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a touch of coconut extract. Get the recipe.
Pumpkin coconut custard recipe

Pumpkin Cookies
Bake a batch of these yummy pumpkin oatmeal cookies with raisins and pecans. Only 103 calories for two! Get the recipe.
Oatmeal pumpkin cookies recipe

Peanut Butter Shakeology Cups
Peanut butter and chocolate combine in a healthy version of this classic candy made with Shakeology. Get the recipe.
Shakeology peanut butter cups recipe


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