Pumpkin-inspired Recipes to Share this Fall

Every year, when the seasons transition from summer to fall, pumpkin flavors infiltrate all of our favorite foods and drinks: seemingly overnight!

Rather than grab a pumpkin spice latte and call it a day, we decided to try and find some of the best pumpkin-inspired recipes that actually use the fruit we normally keep around as seasonal décor. Below we’ve listed out a few of our new favorites for really sinking into autumn, and we think that you and your household’s holiday guests will appreciate them, too!

Pumpkin Bread

It’s an old stand-by, but pumpkin bread is one of those items that helps kick off fall with the right combination of comfort and taste. Whether you like to spice things up and include nuts and raisins, or leave it plain so as to really savor the pumpkin and cinnamon notes, there’s no denying that this is one treat everyone should get a sample of this fall.

Pumpkin Polenta

Traditionally an Italian form of porridge, polenta is a grain dish that’s perfect as a side or a breakfast option. With a touch of pumpkin puree thrown into the mix, your guests can have a fresh take on this classic culinary delight, and a taste of the season to top it all off! There are plenty of delicious polenta recipes out there to use as baselines, but this pumpkin sage polenta combination is one of the best we’ve found for beginners and experienced cooks alike.

Pumpkin Pasta

We know what you’re thinking; what could pumpkins possibly have to do with pasta? But the answer is simple! Pumpkin’s versatility and richness can add a whole new layer to your favorite pasta dishes. You can incorporate this element in a number of ways; slices of pumpkin cooked with other vegetables, or a pumpkin puree simmered into the sauce are our favorites.

Pumpkin Soup

Here in southeastern North Carolina, it can take a little longer for a really distinct fall chill to settle into the atmosphere. So in the meantime, you might want to try a soup that gives you that cozy, warm feeling in your bones without being too rich and heavy for days when the sunshine keeps our climate mild. Most recipes call for chicken broth and olive oil, which helps achieve this balance between savory and light, but the amount of pumpkin versus heavy cream (or coconut milk if you’re trying to watch your dairy) can really make the difference in density.

Pumpkin Biscuits

Any local will tell you that a southern meal just isn’t complete without a serving of biscuits to compliment the other dishes. This fall, bring some healthier and seasonally appropriate offerings to the table! Pumpkin puree, along with some Greek yogurt, means that the amount of butter that would typically go into the mixture before baking is significantly reduced. And while that might immediately turn off some die-hard lovers of rich, hearty biscuits, this recipe we found promises the same flaky texture and buttery taste, with the added benefit of that distinct hint of autumn flavor from the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie

It’s a time-honored tradition, and everyone has a favorite recipe that’s practically become a necessary fixture of every holiday gathering. Whether you make your own pumpkin pie or have a bakery you trust above anyone else to create the best one when you need it, very few would deny that it’s one of the best ways to indulge in a sweet treat and enjoy the pumpkin flavor while it’s in vogue.

While you heat up your oven, or prep your shopping list so that you know precisely what you need to give one of these scrumptious recipes a try, stay tuned to our blog for more tips to make the most of the season!


Strawberry Delight

Courtesy of Garden & Gun

May’s recipe is from a new quarterly read, Garden & Gun magazine. The perfect alternative to ice cream without the trouble of churning. Published in the Junior League of Charleston cookbook and adapted by the Lee Brothers this lazy women’s delight serves approximately eight joyfully.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved
  • ⅔ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup buttermilk, preferably whole
  • 24 vanilla wafer cookies (about 3 oz.), crumbled to oyster-cracker-size pieces
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3 oz. mini-marshmallows (about 2 cups)

PREPARATION

  1. Put the strawberries, ⅓ cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until the syrup is glossy red but still runny. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. You should have 1½ cups fruit and syrup.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with the remaining ⅓ cup sugar and the salt until peaks begin to hold their shape. Fold in half-and-half, buttermilk, cookies, toasted pecans, and marshmallows until evenly combined (the marshmallows will mostly float; that is fine).
  3. Line a 3-quart loaf pan with plastic wrap and pour the cream mixture into it (you can also use two 1½-quart loaf pans and divide the mixture evenly between them). Then pour in the fruit and syrup from one end of the pan to the other, but do not stir (if using two pans, divide the fruit and syrup evenly between them). The syrup and fruit may float on the surface at first but will gradually sink through to the bottom. Lightly cover the loaf pan(s) with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until a cap of crystallized cream has formed about an inch thick, about 2½ hours (or 1¾ hours if using two loaf pans). Use a broad serving spoon to break up the cream and fold the ingredients together, taking special care to lift the strawberry pulp up off the bottom. With the back of the spoon, smooth the surface and return the pan to the freezer for 1½ hours (about 45 minutes if using two pans). Fold again, freeze for another hour, and fold a third time (if using two loaf pans, you might not need to do a third fold). Allow to set for an hour more.
  4. To serve, turn an entire loaf upside down onto an oval platter, surround it with greenery and flowers, and slice off individual portions with a knife—a silver one, if possible—warmed in hot water.


Avocado Pasta with Asparagus & Peas

Courtesy of Wellplated.com | Serves: Approximately 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 1 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, halved and peeled with the pit removed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus additional for cooking the pasta)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, optional for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta. About 3 minutes before the pasta is due to finish cooking to al dente (according to package instructions), add the asparagus and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain the pasta, and set aside.
  2. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Add the avocado, garlic, Greek yogurt, parsley, basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender. Process on high for 20 to 30 seconds, until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium low. Add the green onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until soft. Add the arugula and peas and cook another 2 minutes, until the arugula is wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the drained pasta and asparagus. Add the avocado sauce and toss gently to combine, adding a bit of the reserved pasta water as needed if the pasta is too thick or clumping together. Taste and add additional salt and/or pepper as desired. Serve immediately.

Reuben Dip with Dark Rye Toasts

If you find joy in a Reuben sandwich then you’ll love this month’s Reuben dip! Just in time for the St. Patrick’s Day, add this make ahead recipe to your party to do list. Slainte!

Serves: Approximately 10 appetizer servings | Courtesy of PureWow.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish that has been drained
  • ⅓ cup thousand island dressing
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish or salad cubes, drained
  • 8 ounces deli sliced corned beef, diced
  • 16 ounces sauerkraut, very well drained
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese (about 2-1/4 cups)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, horseradish, thousand island dressing and relish until mixed well. Stir in corned beef, sauerkraut and shredded cheese.
  3. Transfer to a baking or casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and edges are bubbling.

 


Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Courtesy of PureWow.com

Looking for the perfect homemade love gift this Valentine’s Day? This month’s recipe is a new spin on a classic dessert. The rich red velvet cookie with cream cheese, marshmallow frosting is guaranteed to lift an eyebrow or two. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • One 1-ounce bottle red food coloring
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk

FILLING

  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • One 16-ounce jar marshmallow fluff

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. MAKE THE CAKES: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla extract and food coloring; mix well to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix until a smooth batter forms. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the ingredients are fully combined.
  5. Using an ice-cream scoop or two spoons, scoop ¼ cup mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least an inch between each mound.
  6. Bake until the cakes begin to brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely.
  7. MAKE THE FILLING: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream cheese with the butter and marshmallow fluff to combine.
  8. ASSEMBLE THE PIES: Turn half the cakes upside down, spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of filling onto the center and top with another cake. Press gently to spread the filling to the edge of the cake. Repeat with the remaining cakes. Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

You don’t have to be Julia Child or a Master of French cooking to make this winter favorite. Just plug in your slow cooker and heat up the iron skillet to create this month’s wonderful beef stew. Our take on this classic dish raises the bar from a simple stew to an art form. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut to 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup red cooking wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
  • 5 Medium Carrots, sliced
  • 1 pound baby potatoes (I used tri color)
  • 8 ounce fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large skillet cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Put bacon in slow cooker. Salt and pepper the beef and add to the skillet and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Transfer beef to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the red wine to the skillet scraping down the brown bits on the side. Allow it to simmer and reduce and slowly add chicken broth, and tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the flour. Add the sauce to the slow cooker.
  3. Add garlic, thyme, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms to the slow cooker. Give it a good stir and cook on low until beef is tender for 8-10 hours or high for 6-8. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with mashed potatoes if desired.

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Cookies

Make your next holiday event even sweeter by adding this amazing Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Cookie to your baking list!

Recipe Courtesy of www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

 

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Ganache:

  • 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup crushed candy cane pieces

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cocoa. Set aside. Cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla and mix until combined.

Gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks or chips. Scoop the dough into rounded tablespoons and place on prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until cookies are set with a soft center.  Cool completely.

To make the ganache, first add the chocolate to a large bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat just until it bubbles around the edges. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30-45 seconds, then stir until the chocolate melts and a smooth ganache comes together, about 1-2 minutes.

Lay out wax paper. Dip the cookies, halfway, into the warm ganache. Place the dipped cookies on paper.  Sprinkle with candy cane pieces. Let cookies sit until ganache hardens, about 2 hours. Enjoy!


Roasted Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup

Recipe Courtesy of Chungah Rhee, damndelicious.net

MVP of the gourd world, the butternut squash might be fall’s most versatile (and beloved!) vegetable. This creamy comforting soup will be the perfect starter to your Thanksgiving feast and a great nutritious low-calorie option.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE SOUP

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender, stirring at half-time.*
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender a regular blender will do the trick.
  6. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives, if desired.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Layered Dessert

Recipe Courtesy of Joanna Saltz of delish.com

Ready or not we have pumpkin! Frightfully simple no bake pumpkin layered dessert served with a homemade caramel that you can set and forget. Surprise your guests with this unforgettable seasonal treat for a ghoulishly good time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 c. milk
  • 3 small packages vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 10 graham cracker sheets
  • 1/4 c. Caramel
  • Pecans, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.
  2. In another medium bowl, beat milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice until well-mixed and thick. (Start with 1 1/2 cups milk and beat until it’s the consistency of a pudding—if it’s too thick, continue to add the rest of the milk.)
  3. Layering: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture in a 9″-x-13″ baking dish. Top with a layer of graham crackers. Add half the pudding mixture and top with a layer of half the cream cheese mixture. Drizzle with caramel and repeat, ending with the cream cheese layer (hold the caramel until ready to serve).
  4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  5. Drizzle with caramel and garnish with pecans before serving.

How to Make Caramel from Sweetened Condensed Milk

Ingredient: 1 14-oz. can (396 g) sweetened, condensed milk

  1. Remove the label from the can. Make sure that it’s sealed.
  2. Place the can in a pot and cover it with 2 inches (5 centimeters) of water.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat for medium.
  5. Allow it to cook for 2 to 3 hours. Add more water as needed.
  6. Remove the can using tongs.
  7. Let it reach room temperature before opening it.

 


Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad

Recipe Courtesy of ButterYourBuscuit.com

September’s deviled egg macaroni salad is sure to be a hit at your Labor Day brunch or next beach barbecue. It’s a super easy recipe with just a few simple ingredients, packed with deviled eggs and combined with creamy pasta. Make ahead so you can chill out and enjoy your day!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. salad macaroni or Ditalini pasta
  • 1½ cups Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 6 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 2-3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • ½ cup black olives sliced
  • 4 oz jar pimientos drained
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with green onions

Directions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to the directions, drain and let cool completely
  2. Prepare hard boiled eggs, let cool and slice
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except eggs and mix with pasta until blended. Gently fold in eggs. Garnish with green onions
  4. Chill until ready to serve