Whether you’re in the canned or home-pureed pumpkin camp, sometimes you have just a little bit of pumpkin puree left over after a recipe. It’s too sad to waste even a half cup, especially if you took the time to cook and puree your own, but sometimes it’s too difficult to think of ways to use every little bit of leftover vegetable that lands in your fridge.
When it comes to pumpkin, I got you covered. Here are more than 20 ideas that will use up a half cup of pumpkin (some can adapt to a bit less or more).
Simple Uses For Pumpkin
1. Stir into warm oatmeal with some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, a tablespoon at a time and taste as you go with my pumpkin spice oatmeal.
2. Make an 8×8 dish of Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal.
3. Pumpkin smoothies – just toss the pumpkin into any smoothie. It’s so mild it practically dissapears.
4. Freeze it for later – start a container or bag in your freezer and add your random half cups until you have enough for a whole recipe. Sometimes I freeze pumpkin in ice cube trays and then pop the cubes into a plastic bag after they’ve frozen. Pumpkin cubes are very versatile:
- You can use them for pumpkin recipes (about 8 cubes makes a cup at my house, but you’ll have to measure your own).
- You can substitute part of the oil/fat in zucchini bread without changing the flavor very much. Many people do this with applesauce, so try pumpkin next time – a lot more nutrition and fewer carbs!
- Toss a cube or two into your spaghetti sauce for pumped-up nutrition.
- Mix a few cubes into a soup.
- You could even try pumpkin oatmeal with one cube (cools it down for the kids and makes orange stripes by stirring).
6. Add to spaghetti sauce or any red sauce, boosting the veggies without changing the taste hardly at all.
7. Stir into a chicken broth-based soup, like this cabbage soup (but you could add it to many soups and get away with it).
8. Make a single batch of granola and add the pumpkin to the liquid mixture. You can cut down a little on the fat or water, but this recipe can also handle the extra pumpkin without getting too crazy.
9. Stir a tablespoon at a time into homemade yogurt; add cinnamon for a nice touch. You might not even need sweetener with this, mmmm….
10. Use in place of half cup of fat in many muffin and quick bread recipes. Not that fat is bad for you, but veggies are always good, and definitely better than the added carbs of subbing applesauce for the fat.
12. Bake a batch of grain-free pumpkin muffins from Healthy Snacks to Go
13. Add to homemade popsicles along with orange juice and coconut milk like this.
15. Stir into black bean soup. (Guessing any pureed soup more than 6 cups would hide a half cup pumpkin without anyone even noticing. I love my immersion blender (at Amazon) for pureeing both pumpkins and soup.)
16. Beef stew will also hide a half cup of orange vegetable without a problem.
17. Whisk it into a creamy stir-fry or alfredo sauce.
18. Add it to another can for 2.5 batches (barely enough for a hungry family of 4) of my awesome grain-free pumpkin pancakes (can be made with wheat flour or sourdough too) OR stick it in some grain-free banana pancakes in place of 1 banana. (PS – if you’re low on pumpkin by just a bit for the pumpkin pancakes, you can add a half or whole banana and you don’t even taste it.)
19. Make 4 mugs of this pumpkin spice latte.
21. This Instant Pot mac n cheese recipe gets its orange color from pumpkin puree, and you’d never know it by the way it tastes. Pure cheesy goodness.
22. These meatballs are cooked in a sweet and sour sauce made with pumpkin puree.
Check out all of Kitchen Stewardship’s other pumpkin recipes:
- Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins (also egg, dairy, corn, soy and nut free!)
- Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal
- “No Cans”, Healthy Pumpkin Pie
- One-Bowl Healthy Pumpkin Muffins or Bread
- Soaked Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
- Healthy, Easy Pumpkin Cookies
- Orange Vegetable Pancakes
- Secret Cabbage Soup
- Simple Soaked Gluten-Free Squash Cookies (but you could use any orange vegetable puree)
Hi! I’m Katie, and I’m the chief mess-maker around here trying to journey to better stewardship of my family’s health and the environment – while balancing a budget and limited time (did I mention I have 4 kids?).
I’d love to share more of our family-friendly recipes, science geek research and uber-practical tips with you, and I have a mini eBook with our family’s favorite “party recipes” just for you.
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Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to MOMables and Amazon from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.