Everywhere you look at the moment, there’s pumpkins or squash! The supermarkets are loaded with them, decorations are popping up in shop displays and home windows; you can even go and pick your own direct from the field ready for Halloween.
But of course these gorgeous orange orbs are for more than just decoration; they’re delicious to eat and packed full of healthful nutrients including vitamins A, B and C, magnesium and potassiums, tiny anti-oxidants and of course gut-loving fibre.
I love to cook with both squash and pumpkins. There’s plenty of varieties out there to try too all year round. Here’s a compilation of some of my recipes here on the blog you might want to try. I’ll keep adding to the list, so do come back from time to time to check out what’s new.
We eat soup all year round, but there’s something rather lovely and comforting when autumn starts seasonal pumpkins and squash are at their best. Roasted or simmered in stock, they add flavour, texture and of course a wonderful range of healthful phytonutrients and fibre that can be matched with other fabulous plants. These are three of my favourites.
Squash, ginger and garlic soup
A super tasty, warming soup, perfect for chilly autumn days. As well as the fab betacarotene content of the squash, ginger and garlic help to warm off coughs and colds and support gut and heart health too. Bonus!
Portuguese pumpkin soup
The squash and pumpkins grown in Portugal are huge and are a key feature of their everyday soup. This recipe was created whilst staying with friends on our first visit to the Silver Coast area. We loved it so much, we bought a house 😉
Roasted squash and barley soup
This soup featured in my Christmas advent calendar series a few years ago. But as with most soups, it’s not just for the festive season. Warming and hearty, it’s a real crowd pleaser and another great dish to serve during the coughs and colds season.
Squash and pumpkin flesh provide a great base for dips as once cooked they blend and absorb flavours well. I frequently make these two recipes as I love the flavours.
Squash and harissa hummus.
Add a little kick to your everyday hummus with this gorgeous squash and spicy harissa combo. Adjust the amount of harissa to create the spice level that works for you, or if you don’t like it hot, leave it out but still add the squash for the lovely orange hue.
Spicy pumpkin dip
One of the first Sensitive Foodie recipes I shared, this dip packed full of warming spices remains a firm favourite in our house – and many others too! There’s an early Youtube video you can watch to see how it’s made as well, although it’s super easy. Again, play with the spices to get the flavour you love the most.
One of the advantages of squash or pumpkin is it doesn’t take a long time to cook. Having a high water content, it’s less dense than other veggies which means it’s useful for quick weekday dinners when time is short. Here’s three options to try, all different and definitely all tasty. And all take 30 minutes or less to make, so perfect for busy days.
Spicy squash rice
The squash melts as it cooks with the rice, creating a luscious thick sauce. It’s so colourful, you know it can only be good for you! And only takes 25 minutes to prep and cook (with a little advance planning for soaking rice).
Autumn squash stew
This is a super tasty stew that’s perfect for chilly autumn evenings. You can use squash or pumpkin – a great option if you have some spare pulp from carving out Jack O’Lanterns for Halloween. The inclusion of beans adds some extra plant protein top.
Roasted cabbage and squash chunks
This may sound odd, but it tastes fab, especially with the tahini dressing. Squash roasted quickly, especially if the slices are not too thick. And if you’ve not tried roasted cabbage – you’re missing out!
If you have a little more time to cook, or you’re having friends around for dinner and want to impress them with your plant-based culinary skills, then try one of these awesome recipes (they’re not difficult either, promise!).
Roasted squash and lentil filo swirl
A great recipe for Christmas Day or other celebration meals, these swirls are packed full of flavour and plant protein – and look impressive too. There is a gluten free option too – cabbage leaves. Not quite as glam, but still delicious.
Spaghetti squash and lentil bake
This is a great conversation piece for the dinner table as spaghetti squash has a unique texture that’s similar to, you’ve guessed it, spaghetti! The filling is flavoursome and most satisfying, so your diners will not go away with rumbling tummies!
Pumpkin and squash have their own natural sweetness, which means they can be eaten for dessert as well as a main meal – bonus!
Sweet pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin pie is synonymous with Thanksgiving, but of course you don’t need to live in Northern America to enjoy this super tasty dessert. My version contains less sugar and fat than traditional recipes but it’s still a mighty fine pie.
Perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert, these cute little fluffy pancakes are fun to make and a great way to sneak some more veg into your family’s diet!