What to Do With Leftover Pumpkin

by on November 30, 2008
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What to Do With Leftover Pumpkin
I’m willing to bet that immediately after Thanksgiving, Google sees the number of searches for “leftover turkey” skyrocket. A comparable search for vegetarians would have to be “leftover pumpkin,” though having half or two-thirds a can of leftover pumpkin after the holidays is certainly not a strictly vegetarian problem. Many recipes call for just a half or a whole cup of pureed pumpkin, but the standard can contains about 1 1/3 cups. I hate to think of all the pumpkin that goes into a storage container, then into the refrigerator, and finally into the garbage after a few days. It’s needless waste since there’s plenty you can do with that pumpkin once everyone’s finished devouring your pumpkin cheesecake. Using Veg Blog Search, I’ve tracked down a wealth of recipes that use less than a can of pumpkin. So before that leftover pumpkin starts to grow a green coat, get up and put it to one of these good uses:

Pumpkin Spice BreadBake it! Try pumpkin bread, biscuits, cookies, or scones. If you don’t have quite enough pumpkin leftover, don’t open another can; just top off what you have with some applesauce or mashed sweet potato.

Stir a few spoonfuls into a bowl of oatmeal. Add some pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves) and maybe a few raisins, and you’ve got a breakfast that will brighten up your day.

Pumpkin WafflesIndulge in pumpkin waffles or pancakes. This recipe is good for either one, but you can also add a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin to your favorite recipe.

Make ice cream. Or how about pumpkin pie wontons?

Get very ambitious and make pumpkin pasta or pretzels or gnocchi. I’m thinking that pumpkin sausage looks like a winner.

Mexican Pumpkin SoupMake soup. Check out Toor Dal Pumpkin Soup, Hearty Pumpkin Soup, and Mexican Pumpkin Soup. Or just add it to your favorite vegetable soup or stew recipe for an instantly thick and flavorful broth.

Pumpkin Spice Hot ChocolateDrink it! Try a nog or a smoothie or Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate.

Don’t feel like eating it? Treat yourself to homemade pumpkin body butter or a pumpkin facial (veganized, as necessary).

Finally, if you’re just plain sick of pumpkin, you can always freeze your leftovers until inspiration strikes. Of course, I’ve got at least a dozen pumpkin recipes right here on this blog that might stimulate your appetite for pumpkin!

What’s your favorite use for leftover pumpkin?

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maureen September 11, 2010 at 11:33 am

In the past I’ve made pumpkin cornbread. Absolutely fantastic!


2 Natalya November 26, 2010 at 11:07 am

I really just thought of vegan version while scrolled Facebook and found leftover turkey pie… and 3 posts below found yours! Yummy!
My friend makes pumpkin soup with coconut milk, and i bake pumpkin pieces in a turkish way – in an oven sprinkled with honey until semi-transparent and soft


3 KathyF November 26, 2010 at 11:08 am

Pumpkin is very good for dogs. It’s good for digestion, either to firm up loose stools or the other way. Sorry, I hate to bring up such a gross subject, but maybe someone can use the tip!


4 Christine November 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I’ve done the pumpkin oatmeal before and that is yummy. I’ll also mix pumpkin puree with some whole wheat pasta, adding some flax oil, garlic, nutmeg and a little bit of brown sugar, and toasted walnuts on top. With a side of greens, it’s a great easy dinner!


5 Stinkypup November 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I just used my leftover pumpkin to feed to my dog who has a tummy ache (not from leftovers). If you think your dog may have a bowel obstruction, then pumpkin will help move things along.


6 Lori November 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I mix it in with soy vanilla yogurt.


7 Corinne November 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I made a lentil, mushroom and pumpkin lasagne (recipe found here:http://www.healthbites.net/2011/05/16/homemade-lentil-mushroom-olive-and-pumpkin-lasagne/) It’s so delicous, and so packed full of nutrients, particularly when you use wholemeal lasagne sheets.

Never tried pumpkin oatmeal – will definitely have to give that a go!


8 Tané Tachyon November 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I definitely used to mix leftover mashed yams into pancake batter for my children back in the day, so yeah, I imagine pumpkin would be great as well. These days, though, I’m more likely to mix leftover pumpkin puree in with lentil curry.


9 Amy November 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Pumpkin hummus is really good–I got my recipe from here: http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2011/10/pumpkin-hummus-with-honey.html


10 Kelly October 31, 2012 at 9:19 am
11 Laura T. January 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Do you have the pumpkin sausage recipe? We got some squash in our vegetable box this week and I thought that might be nice, but the link doesn’t work any more and it’s not on that site at all now it seems 🙁


12 Susan Voisin January 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I don’t have a pumpkin sausage recipe, but I’ll bet I can figure one out. Let me see what I can do, and I’ll get back to you.


13 Susan Voisin January 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Laura, here’s an idea. Roast or steam your squash. Mash up a 1/2 cup’s worth and then use it instead of 1/2 cup of the water in the sausage recipe at the bottom of this recipe:


If the dough seems too dry, add more mashed squash. You should be able to do this with any gluten sausage recipe.


14 Laura T. January 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Hi Susan
Thanks for getting back so quick! These look great. I’m guessing you can’t make these without gluten? I’m mildly intolerant (although I do sometime succumb to dough-based temptation…) but it’s not a huge issue.


15 Susan Voisin January 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I don’t have a gluten-free sausage recipe–yet–but I do have a falafel that uses sweet potato. If you’re interested, you could make these with squash instead of potato, and you could even season them more like sausage: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/01/sweet-potato-falafel-with-yogurt-tahini.html


16 Laura T. January 28, 2013 at 11:50 am

That sounds like a great idea 🙂 Thanks again.

17 Susan November 29, 2013 at 9:26 am

Ha! Ha! If it’s just a little bit, I just eat it! 😉


18 Tam May October 1, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Always love your recipes and suggestions, Susan :-). There are so many things you can do with leftover pumpkin, especially since you can use it as a substitute for eggs in a lot of vegan baking. I use it in a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe that I have, which is delicious, and also for soup. You can also put leftover pumpkin in oatmeal.



19 Tim Hordo August 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm

My favourite way to use leftover pumpkin is either in a quick soup, or in pumpkin pie pancakes, both very quick, easy and delicious!


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