It’s that time of year—the time when moms everywhere make their famous (or infamous) homemade pumpkin pie. But pumpkin can be used in much more than just pie. Put a twist on this year’s helping of pumpkin by trying these recipes from around the world.

Mashed Pumpkin

Photo by tim1965

3–4    cups pumpkin, cooked and mashed
1         onion
2         Tbs. olive oil
1          bell pepper
            salt and pepper to taste


  1. Clean one pumpkin and peel it. Cook until soft, then mash it with a mixer.
  2. Reheat mashed pumpkin in a large saucepan.
  3. Thinly slice the onion and bell pepper.
  4. Fry the onion and bell pepper in olive oil until brown.
  5. Mix browned onions and bell peppers with pumpkin.
  6. Add coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Fried Pumpkin Blossoms

Photo by Nick Perla/Flickr

1          dozen pumpkin blossoms
3          eggs
1          dozen saltine crackers
            salt and pepper to taste
1/2      stick margarine


  1. Crush crackers and place in a shallow bowl.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Scramble eggs in a second bowl.
  4. Dredge pumpkin blossoms gently in egg batter, then into the cracker crumbs. Turn over and repeat. (The flowers are tender, so it is better to set the blossom in the cracker bowl and pat on the crumbs.)
  5. Place directly into a frying pan with margarine.
  6. Cook until slightly brown.
  7. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain.

Pumpkin and Chicken Curry

Photo by protogarrett/flickr

1          small pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs.) halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into bite-size cubes
2          shallots, chopped
3          garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1          Tbs. Thai red curry paste
1          can (13 1/2 fl. oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
2          Tbs. Asian fish sauce Juice of 1 lime
2          tsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
3          Tbs. corn or peanut oil
1           lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size cubes
2          Tbs. slivered fresh basil, preferably Thai basil steamed rice for serving


  1. Cook the pumpkin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pumpkin and boil until barely tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Next, prepare the curry base. In a blender, combine the shallots, garlic, and curry paste with 2 Tbs. water and process until smooth. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. In a wok or large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil. Add the chicken and sear until light brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl.
  4. Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the curry base and cook, stirring for about 10 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and pumpkin, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork and the chicken is opaque throughout (about 5 minutes more. Transfer the curry to a serving bowl, garnish with the basil, and serve immediately with steamed rice.

Beef Stew in a Pumpkin Shell

Photo courtesy of


1          ten lb. cinderella or cheese pumpkin
3          tsp. olive oil
1          lb. beef chuck or stew beef cut into 1” cubes
1          small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1          green bell pepper, stemmed, peeled, and chopped
2          plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4      tsp. oregano
1          bay leaf
1          clove garlic
2         cups beef stock
2         sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2         russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1         cup fresh or frozen corn
2        fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and cubed, or 4 canned peach halves, drained and cubed salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut open the lid of the pumpkin. Clean out the inside, removing and discarding seeds and strings.
  3. Replace lid on the pumpkin and place onto a sturdy cookie sheet. Bake about 45 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife or fork.
  4. While the pumpkin is baking, heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef then transfer it to a bowl using a slotted spoon so the oil will drain.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, onions, and pepper. Cook until soft, about 10–15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Add beef, tomatoes, beef stock, and all spices. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
  8. Add potatoes and cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Add corn and cook another 10 minutes.
  10. Spoon soup into the pumpkin and bake for another 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven.
  12. Carefully transfer the pumpkin to a serving platter.
  13. Serve soup into bowls directly from the pumpkin.

—Katherine Smith