Four recipes to make sure your pumpkins don’t go to waste this Halloween
12.76m pumpkins face being discarded and not eaten this October.
Food charity Hubbub surveyed 3,000 adults in the UK this year, with findings suggesting that one in seven people who carve pumpkins don’t regard the inside as food, with only 42% realising that it’s actually edible.
At HLN we hate the idea of food waste, so have compiled four of the tastiest looking recipes on the internet to inspire you to cook up a delicious Halloween feast this year.
How to prepare the pumpkin
Whether you’re chopping up the firmer pumpkin flesh or using the stringy insides, step one is to roast!
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop out the seeds and the pumpkin flesh that you want to cook. Lightly season with salt then place onto the baking sheet. Bake until soft, about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Cool until you can safely handle, then scoop into a blender or food processor and process until very smooth.
Smokey Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more, to top
- 2 chipotle chiles
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more to top
- Roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, to top
Pulse the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt together in a food processor or blender until it forms a paste. Add in the chickpeas, olive oil, and chipotle chiles and pulse until smooth. Add in the pumpkin puree, cumin, and smoked paprika and pulse until well-combined.
Transfer the hummus to a bowl and swirl the top using the back of the spoon. Drizzle over a little additional olive oil. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and top with roasted pumpkin seeds. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Creamy (and easy) Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- 8 ounces whole wheat fettuccini – or any other long, thin noodle, such as linguine or spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 minced cloves garlic
- 2 cups non-fat milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 ounces cream cheese – room temperature (do not use fat free)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese – for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain pasta, and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot and sizzling, add the flour, then whisk constantly until it turns a golden colour and smells nutty.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the milk a few splashes at a time, whisking constantly to smooth any clumps.
Increase the heat to medium high, then let cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the pumpkin, cream cheese, half of the chopped sage leaves, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne.
Continue whisking until the cream cheese melts and you have a smooth, rich sauce. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently toss to combine. Thin the pasta with a bit of the reserved pasta water as needed if it seems too thick or sticky.
Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan and the remaining sage.
Thai Pumpkin Soup
- vegetable stock cube
- 4 small to medium pumpkins
- 2 brown onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 1 red chilli
- 1 knob of ginger
- 1 heaped tsp lemongrass puree
- olive oil
Finely slice onion, red chilli, cloves of garlic, the coriander stalks and the ginger. Set them aside.
Chop the tops off the pumpkins. Remove the seeds. (If you want you can bake them for delicious roasted pumpkin seeds). Hollow out the pumpkins, scooping the flesh off the sides. Chop up the flesh.
Get a large pan on the heat and pour in a glug of olive oil. Add your onion, ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander stalks. Fry until soft. Add a heaped tsp of lemongrass puree. Mix it in and add your pumpkin.
Stir it about. Crumble in a stock cube. Pour in enough water to cover the pumpkin, place a lid on top and boil for 25 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.
Take a hand blender and blitz the pumpkin. Remove any scuzz with a spoon.
Add your coconut milk. Blitz again. Remove any more scuzz.
Turn up the heat and bubble the soup down until you have a nice thick consistency.
When ready, pour soup back into the hollowed-out pumpkins, scatter with coriander leaves, drizzle over some olive oil and tuck in!
Nigella’s Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake
FOR THE CHEESECAKE BASE
- 250 grams digestive biscuits
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 125 grams soft butter
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 x 425 grams pumpkin puree
- 750 grams cream cheese
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 6 large eggs
- Juice of ½ lemon
Blitz the digestive biscuits and cinnamon in a food processor until they are almost fine crumbs, and then add the butter, cut into pieces. Process again until the crumb mixture starts to clump together like damp sand.
Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin to create an even layer. Put the tin in the fridge while you make the filling. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C/150°C Fan/325°F.
Put the pumpkin purée and cream cheese into the processor and run the motor until the cheese blends into the pumpkin. Add the sugar and with the motor running, break the eggs one at a time down the tube of the processor. Scrape down and process again, adding the lemon juice and blitzing to make a smooth mixture.
Wrap the outside of the biscuit-lined springform tin with clingfilm. I give a good few layers to make sure everything is completely waterproof. Now sit this on a large piece of double-layered strong foil and bring it up around the edges of the tin to make a nest. Sit the foil-covered springform tin in a roasting pan.
Scrape the cheesecake filling into the springform tin, and then pour recently boiled water into the roasting pan to a level approximately halfway up the cake tin.
Bake for about 1 ¾ hours, or until the filling has set with only a small amount of wobble left at its centre; it is worth remembering that it will continue to cook as it cools down. Take the tin out of the water bath and sit it on a cooling rack, removing the foil as you do so. When it is cool enough, put the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight, before unspringing it from the tin to slice.