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Expert Guide

6 Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin

Pumpkin-Gingersnap Tiramisu

Pumpkin-Gingersnap Tiramisu Photo © Lucy Schaeffer

We all know that pumpkin makes great pies, but it can also upgrade smoothies, dips, pastas, grits, pancakes, soups and scones. In general, you want the canned stuff. It's easier to use and is actually more flavorful than fresh pumpkin. Here, six fantastic ways to used canned pumpkin.

1. Breakfast dishes. Update your oatmeal for fall by adding canned pumpkin along with brown sugar, spices and dried cranberries.

To make incredible pumpkin pancakes, whisk it with the batter's wet ingredients. This incredible gluten-free pumpkin-bacon pancake recipe also works with all-purpose flour.

Pumpkin often appears in sweet pastries, but it's also delicious in savory baked goods such as these fantastic tender scones with Gruyère and sage.

For pumpkin grits, just stir pumpkin into cooked grits, then garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. For a warming brunch side, add pumpkin to cheese grits.

2. Smoothies and shakes. Blend pumpkin with almond milk, frozen bananas and honey for a healthy smoothie (or with vanilla ice cream and spices for a luxurious shake).

3. Dips and spreads. Blend canned pumpkin with cream cheese for a bagel topping. To make a sweeter spread, mix in some brown sugar and cinnamon. For something more savory, season with garlic and thyme.

Spiking your favorite hummus with pumpkin pumps up the vitamin A and potassium.

4. Indian dal. Add it to any recipe for dal, the soupy spiced Indian bean dish. This yellow split pea dal calls for both fresh and canned pumpkin.

5. Risotto and pasta. The sweet flavor is especially nice with earthy mushroom risotto. Include some pumpkin right before serving.

Or use three cans of it in this cheesy over-the-top lasagna, made without tomato sauce.

For a simpler dish, mix it into a creamy pasta like this stovetop mac and cheese.

6. Non-pie desserts. Instead of the usual spiced pumpkin cookie, bake these tender scone-like cookies studded with dried fruit and pistachios.

For a riff on tiramisù, whisk pumpkin with the mascarpone filling.

Or make a moist spiced cake covered with a luscious caramel–cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin whipped cream is delicious on plain cakes and apple desserts, or as a dip for cookies. Add a few tablespoons before you whip the cream.

Related: Savory Pumpkin Recipes
Halloween Cakes
Thanksgiving Desserts

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