45 Canned Pumpkin Recipes That Prove It’s Not Just for Pie

·13 min read

Want to know a secret? While making our own pumpkin puree is impressive and tasty, we actually prefer the canned stuff. It’s just as delicious and cuts the time spent in the kitchen by at least half. Plus, it’s versatile enough for both sweet recipes (like pumpkin angel food cake and pumpkin scones), savory applications (think pumpkin risotto and pumpkin pizza), and heck, even our dogs can eat it. And it’s not just for Thanksgiving dessert. Here are 45 canned pumpkin recipes that prove our point.

RELATED: 50 Easy Fall Dessert Recipes That Make the Most of Baking Season

1. Curried Pumpkin Soup

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free

It’s velvety smooth thanks to pumpkin and coconut milk. (FYI, you can totally swap the whole pumpkin for canned to save time.)

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2. Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon and Gouda

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, special occasion–worthy, gluten free

An elegant, seasonal meal that’s ready in 30 minutes? Oh yeah, we’re making this tonight. It’s extra creamy, thanks to mascarpone cheese that’s stirred in at the end.

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3. Cheesy Pumpkin Pancakes

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, vegetarian, <10 ingredients

Once you try a stack of savory flapjacks, you might never go back to sweet. Top them with a fried egg to make it an even more filling meal.

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4. Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients

It’s kinda like eating pumpkin pie for breakfast, but healthier. Peanut butter, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon balance out the squash flavor and keep it from tasting too vegetal.

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5. Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti with Garlic Kale

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories

This dish is all about the contrast between the luscious sauce, toothsome pasta and tender greens. It’ll remind you of ragù, but with a sweet-savory flavor that keeps things interesting.

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6. Pumpkin White Chocolate Mousse Pie

  • Time Commitment: 7 hours

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, no bake

It’s like biting into a sweet, spiced, pumpkin-flavored cloud. Even better, the filling is no bake and the crust is an easy, press-in number.

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7. Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Don’t want to run out and buy a doughnut pan? Good news, you don’t have to. These cuties are as easy to make as a batch of muffins, but taste like a cake-y, moist doughnut. (That’s thanks to the canned pumpkin, of course.)

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8. Whole Grain Pumpkin Spice Waffles

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, kid-friendly, gluten free

They’re gluten-free…but you wouldn’t know at first bite. The secret is oat flour, which you can either make at home in a food processor, or buy at the store.

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9. Pumpkin Spice Pecan Rolls

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly baked pumpkin cinnamon rolls. That’s better than any alarm clock.

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10. Biscuit Dough Pumpkin Hand Pies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Pumpkin pie but make it portable. The crust is as easy to make as it is to open a can of refrigerated biscuit dough. If you end up with leftovers (lucky), eat them for breakfast like a fancy toaster pastry.

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11. Pumpkin Pizza Crust with Arugula and Prosciutto

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, high protein

Is it just us, or is there always a little pumpkin left over in the can? No worries, this pie will make good use of it.

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12. Pumpkin Polenta

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Take your Thanksgiving feast to the next level with this creamy side dish. It calls for roasting your own pumpkin, but you can substitute the canned stuff, no problem.

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13. Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon-Roll Crust

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly

Pumpkin pie is a fall given, but we bet you’ve never tried it with a cinnamon-roll crust. That may sound labor intensive, but thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy to pull together, thanks to store-bought dough that you roll out with cinnamon, sugar and vanilla.

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14. Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Spicy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. They’ll melt in your mouth. (And unlike a real cheesecake, the filling calls for just five ingredients and is basically foolproof to make.)

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15. Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

We’re in love with this cake and we’re not afraid to admit it. It must be that cream cheese glaze. The cake won’t rise quite as high with all the pumpkin in the batter, but it’ll still be miraculously fluffy and light.

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16. Creamy Pumpkin Eton Mess

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, gluten free

Eton mess is usually made with fresh fruit or jam, but we fall-ified this version with a light and fluffy pumpkin cream. The meringue cookies mean it’s naturally gluten free.

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17. Pumpkin Brioche

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 50 minutes (+ rising time)

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion–worthy

Just when we thought buttery brioche couldn’t be improved, this one changed the game. You can leave the sparkling sugar off if you want a savorier loaf.

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18. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Cinnamon streusel topping? Tangy cream cheese swirl? Check and check. This would be delicious as a rustic dessert, or served alongside breakfast or brunch.

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19. Pumpkin Spice Icebox Cake

  • Time Commitment: 12 hours, 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, no cook

It has all the pumpkin pie flavors you crave, but you don’t have to turn the oven on to make it. As the cookies sit with the creamy filling, they’ll meld together to create a sliceable masterpiece.

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20. Pumpkin Soup in Mini Pumpkin Bowls

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, special occasion–worthy

Save those pumpkin seeds when you hollow out the pumpkin “bowls.” They make a delightfully crunchy topping for the soup.

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21. Pumpkin Pancakes

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, <500 calories

A stack of these cuties is worth getting up early on a Saturday morning for. (Psst: You can even transform a boxed mix into these pumpkin beauties. Just add a few tablespoons of puree and a few teaspoons of pumpkin spice.)

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22. Pumpkin Hummus

  • Time Commitment: 22 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, ready in <30 minutes

What’ll it be? Pita chips or carrot sticks (or both)? The pumpkin gives the dip tons of rich flavor that will have everyone coming back for more.

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23. One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, kid-friendly

It’s like a chunky knit blanket in a bowl. (And way tastier than the boxed stuff, if you ask us.) A blend of spices keeps the pumpkin from tasting one-note.

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24. Easy Vegan Pumpkin Waffles

  • Time Commitment: 18 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, kid-friendly, vegan

No dairy, no eggs, no problem. The canned pumpkin does the hard work, adding moisture and binding the dry ingredients together.

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25. Pumpkin Scones

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, beginner-friendly

They’re better than anything at a bakery (and you don’t have to leave your house to get them). The canned pumpkin ensures they’re anything but crumbly or dry.

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26. Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

The cake is tender and moist, but if we’re being honest, we came here for that glaze. It tastes like a million bucks, but it’s actually just three ingredients. (You can thank the brown butter for that.)

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27. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

It’s lightened up with yogurt, so go ahead with that second slice. You can also swap the vegetable for coconut oil if you want to add a subtle tropical taste.

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28. Pumpkin Sage Lasagna Roll-Up Pull Aparts

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

Instead of layering the noodles, they’re rolled up and covered in a blanket of crispy cheese. The recipe calls for kabocha squash, but you can take a shortcut by using canned pumpkin instead.

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29. Turkey Pumpkin Chili

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

The pumpkin puree makes this chili taste creamy and rich. Bonus: It also adds a boost of sneaky veggies if you’re feeding kids.

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30. Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 8 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, gluten free

If you look up comfort food in the dictionary, you’ll find this recipe. The scallops only seem fancy; they take just a few minutes per side to cook.

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31. Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Dunk one into your morning coffee and it’ll taste like a PSL. The maple glaze sounds fancy, but it’s only five ingredients and comes together in no time at all.

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32. Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, no cook, <10 ingredients

Or, just make your own homemade version of a PSL. It only takes five minutes, nine ingredients (including ice) and can be made with either espresso or regular brewed coffee.

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33. 5-Ingredient Pumpkin Alfredo

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Would you believe this luscious pasta comes together in all of 30 minutes? We didn’t. The sauce is a simple mixture of canned pumpkin and heavy cream, plus a little butter for richness and salt to round everything out.

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34. Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats with Pumpkin and Walnuts

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <30 minutes, gluten free

Steel cut oats can take a while to cook, but a pressure cooker makes quick work of the job. Use any milk or alternative milk to make it dairy free, but don’t skip the spices or maple syrup.

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35. Spicy Pumpkin and Pesto Cheese Stuffed Shells

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

Not today, marinara. We’re having pumpkin pasta. To make the pasta ahead, follow all the steps just until the final bake, then cool and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

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36. Pumpkin Cornbread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, crowd-pleaser

Plop the entire skillet on the table, add some butter and your Thanksgiving spread (and guests) will thank you. A pat of butter and a drizzle of honey will take things over the top.

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37. Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours, 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, <500 calories, gluten free

We’ll take any excuse to break out the mini blowtorch. (And if you don’t have one, no worries: Just use your broiler.)

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38. 10-Minute Spicy Pumpkin Curry Chowder in a Mug

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, beginner-friendly

The secret to this ten-minute soup is that it’s made in the microwave. Use frozen vegetables instead of fresh to shortcut it even further.

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39. Pumpkin Queso

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free

Pumpkin and cheese? You better believe it. The squash adds a hint of sweetness to offset the sharp cheddar cheese.

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40. Gluten-Free Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, gluten free

It all gets mixed in a single bowl, so you can spend less time cleaning up and more time enjoying that bread. The glaze is optional, but you can easily add it by mixing confectioners’ sugar and milk or water.

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41. Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, gluten free

If you want a more festive, bright orange hue, add ¼ cup extra pumpkin puree. You wouldn’t know it at first taste, but these muffins happen to be gluten free.

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42. Pumpkin Roll

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser

The key to a good spiral is to roll the cake right out of the oven, then let it cool to keep cracks at bay. The cream cheese filling adds just the right amount of sweet tang to balance out the spiced cake.

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43. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser

Who needs a holiday centerpiece when you have this stunner on the table? Since the meringue is cooked, torching the topping isn’t required, but who doesn’t want an excuse to buy a kitchen torch?

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RELATED: 50 Fall Dinner Ideas to Savor All Season Long

44. Spicy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sour Cream Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Enchiladas just got a savory, fall twist. Bonus: You can make the entire dish in advance, store it in the fridge and reheat for about 20 minutes when you’re ready to eat.

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45. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

  • Time Commitment: 18 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

It’s like cookies and pumpkin pie had a soft, cinnamon-laced baby. The canned pumpkin puree keeps this treat super moist.

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RELATED: 77 Pumpkin Desserts to Make on Repeat This Fall

Katherine Gillen is a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she's an avid home cook and fanatic baker.