These pies, soups and cakes can be enjoyed over the holidays or any day as a special autumn treat. For more information, check out some fellow readers' pumpkin tips below.
- "Pie pumpkins" are the most flavorful variety for use in baking. Pick when fully ripened—the color will be deep orange, and the stem will easily break loose when ready to harvest. Wash, peel and remove seeds. Cut pumpkin into chunks and steam until soft. Puree using a food mill or processor. Cool and pack into freezer bags or containers in the amounts needed for recipes. Use cup-for-cup in place of canned pumpkin.
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- My pumpkin pie is often requested for potlucks, so I double the recipe when I make pie for my family. Extra baked pies get wrapped three times in plastic wrap and once in aluminum foil, then frozen. This wrapping makes transporting the frozen pies easy. At the potluck, I unwrap and thaw the pies for a convenient and delicious dessert.
—Elisabeth W., Spencer, Indiana
- I add 1 or 2 tablespoons of molasses to my pumpkin pie filling. It gives the pie a richer color and flavor.
—Julie S., Corpus Christi, Texas
- I think the crusts of apple and pumpkin pies are even better when I sprinkle nutmeg over the pastry dough.
—Lorrie A., Cardwell, Montana
- Leftover pureed pumpkin adds great flavor and nutrition to a batch of chili.
—Jean L., Deephaven, Minnesota
- If you rarely use pumpkin pie spice in your cooking, you may want to make your own instead of buying it. Combine 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Store in an airtight container. Substitute for store-bought pumpkin pie spice in any recipe. Yield: 7-1/2 teaspoons.
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- To enjoy a bit of pumpkin at any time of year, I add several heaping tablespoons of canned pumpkin pie filling to a package of sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix. I make the pudding with 2% milk but reduce the amount called for in the package directions by about 2-3 tablespoons.
—Ione K., West Bend, Wisconsin
- My family doesn't care for pie crust, so I make pie fillings without the crust, which means less fat and fewer calories! For pumpkin pie, I double the filling recipe, pour the mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish and bake at 350° for 50 minutes (or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean). For other pies, I put the pie filling into a pie pan or similar-size dish that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
—Barbara T., Beaverton, Oregon
Butter Pecan Pumpkin Pie
This Butter Pecan Pumpkin Pie was always a family favorite at holidays. It's handy to have in the freezer when unexpected company stops in for coffee and dessert.
—Arletta Slocum, Venice, Florida
Curried Pumpkin Soup
I whipped up this satisfying Curried Pumpkin Soup last Thanksgiving for my family, and everyone was crazy about it!
—Kimberly Knepper, Euless, Texas
Anytime Turkey Chili
I created this Anytime Turkey Chili to grab the voters' attention at a chili contest we held in our backyard. With pumpkin, brown sugar and cooked turkey, it's like an entire Thanksgiving dinner in one bowl.
—Brad Bailey, Cary, North Carolina
Pumpkin Pecan Loaves
Among all my pumpkin bread recipes, these caramel-glazed Pumpkin Pecan Loaves are the pick of the crop.
—Brenda Jackson, Garden City, Kansas
Cream-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes
Bursting with flavor and plenty of eye-catching appeal, these sweet and spicy Cream-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes are bound to dazzle your family any time of the year.
—Ali Johnson, Petersburg, Pennsylvania
Pumpkin Coffee Cake
It's tough to resist a second piece of this Pumpkin Coffee Cake with its comforting flavor. It's a breeze to throw together because it calls for pound cake mix and canned pumpkin.
—Sarah Steele, Moulton, Alabama
More Pumpkin Recipes »