If watermelons best categorize the bounty of summer, pumpkins do the same for fall. Pumpkins pop up everywhere on menus when the brisk weather arrives, and for good reason. Their richness can be a welcome addition to a variety of recipes, from classic pies to heartwarming soups. But if you’re looking to make the most of this abundance at home, then do yourself a favor when you bring a few pumpkins into your kitchen: Don’t discard the pumpkin seeds during your prep. Instead, incorporate their flavors into your dishes, too.
Pumpkin seeds not only make for a satisfying snack on their own, but they’re also equally versatile in breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes. We found nine examples that prove our point, including an irresistible casserole, a savory pasta made from scratch, a homemade hummus, an everyday protein bowl, even overnight quinoa. Each recipe is easy to re-create and showcases pumpkin seeds as an unforgettable detail. In fact, given how effortlessly pumpkin seeds fit into these recipes, you may also learn to do the same in many other meals throughout the rest of the season. Once you see how tasty pumpkin seeds can be, you’ll be glad that pumpkins are the de facto fruit for fall.
Tart Cherry Protein Bowl
What’s to Love: A Couple Cooks figured out exactly what we’re going to eat after every workout this fall, thanks to this recipe, which features Greek yogurt topped with cashews, almonds, dried cherries, and apricots. Pepitas round out the crunch and color of the bowl, too.
Keep in Mind: “Instead of buying flavored, sweetened yogurt, we buy plain yogurt and sweeten it to taste with a little honey or maple syrup,” Sonja and Alex Overhiser wrote.
Overnight Breakfast Quinoa
What’s to Love: Start your morning right with this recipe from How Sweet Eats, which features overnight quinoa that’s layered with dried cranberries, roasted pepitas, cinnamon apples, honey, and coconut flakes. You could always alternate the flavors, but with flavors that good, you probably won’t want to.
Keep in Mind: “When ready to eat, remove it from the fridge and add a little extra milk if you’d like,” Jessica Merchant says. “Load it up with toppings and you’re good to go!”
Roasted Pumpkin Hummus
What’s to Love: Break out the veggies, pita chips, or just a spoon, because you’ll want to snack on this recipe for roasted pumpkin hummus from Spoon Fork Bacon as soon as possible. It’s made from a sugar pumpkin, chickpeas, roasted garlic, and tahini, and then topped with pepitas and pomegranates.
Keep in Mind: “I’ve incorporated lots of roasted garlic and tahini for that savory, nutty flavor,” Jenny Park writes. “I also decided to load it up on top because I love the crunchy textures you get from the pepitas and hemp hearts.”
Fried Egg Cabbage Couscous Bowl
What’s to Love: This colorful, layered recipe from Sugar Salted would make the perfect fall lunch or dinner. It comes together with red cabbage, crispy chickpeas, airy couscous, and a handful of pumpkin seeds. Fried eggs and crumbled feta cheese top it off.
Keep in Mind: “Toss in the salt, oregano, and tomato paste and stir until dissolved,” the recipe notes. “Remove from the heat, add the couscous and cover the saucepan with a lid or large plate. Set aside and keep covered.”
Pesto Pumpkin Soup
What’s to Love: Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest serves up this recipe for pumpkin soup with a few twists. First, there’s the addition of a sage pesto, made with garlic and parsley, and a pumpkin soup that’s topped with fried seeds. You can even ladle it all into actual pumpkins when it’s ready, as she did.
Keep in Mind: “These could be served as the perfect first course (wow them right off the bat!) or as an appetizer served in shot glasses,” Gerard notes. “Or just let them shine in all of their orange glory as a full-fledged side dish.”
Sweet Potato Casserole
What’s to Love: This warm and rich casserole recipe from The Modern Proper has all the makings of an ideal autumn dish. It features thinly sliced sweet potatoes, candied ginger, chopped pecans, and pumpkin seeds that have been mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg. All in all, it’ll make your home smell divine.
Keep in Mind: “As the sweet potatoes bake, they soak up the extra sweetness from the maple syrup and the warm spices that I tossed into the coconut oil,” Natalie Mortimer writes. “They come out soft and tender in the middle with slightly crispy edges.”
What’s to Love: Gerard made yet another gorgeous and delicious recipe on Half Baked Harvest with pumpkin as the star. This time, pumpkin-flavored pasta is mixed in a sauce made with balsamic vinegar, fried sage, salted butter, and caramelized garlic. It’s topped off with roasted pumpkin seeds for even more crunch and flavor.
Keep in Mind: “In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pumpkin and flour and pulse until a dough forms,” she writes. “Alternately, this can be mixed by hand or in a stand mixer.”
Dark Chocolate Bark
What’s to Love: A Couple Cooks also deserves a second mention on this list for their gluten-free dark chocolate bark, which also features pepitas and cherries. Quinoa makes an unexpected addition to the bark as well, for an added bit of flavor.
Keep in Mind: “Refrigerate the bark for at least 15 minutes until it’s hardened,” they say. “When hard, cut into irregular pieces with a knife.”
Roasted Pumpkin Seed Turtle Clusters
What’s to Love: Half Baked Harvest also created the ideal autumn treat with these chocolate-covered turtle clusters, which include two cups of pumpkin seeds, sea salt, and toasted pecans. There’s also caramel involved, too.
Keep in Mind: “They have all the flavors of classic turtle cookies, but with the awesome addition of roasted pumpkin seeds,” Gerard adds. “It seems so simple, but I promise, the roasted pumpkin seeds make all the difference.”