Savory Vegetarian Dishes Using Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is a versatile ingredient in many delicious vegetarian dishes. In addition to pumpkin’s vibrant color and luscious texture, it’s filled with beta carotene and other beneficial nutrients. There are many tasty uses for this healthy vegetable.

Some of these hearty options could be a nice side dish for a holiday meal. Pumpkin Soup or Pumpkin Chili warms you up on a brisk fall day. All of these vegetarian dishes can be made with fresh pumpkin puree. If you’re in a hurry, however, canned pumpkin is a fine substitute.

Pumpkin Soup

The main ingredients in vegetarian pumpkin soup are pumpkin puree and vegetable broth. Variations are endless but some of my favorites include the addition of caramelized onions, low-fat milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Another option is to create a traditional potato soup using canned pumpkin instead; season with cumin and a pinch of curry. Pumpkin Soup makes a great first course for a holiday dinner.

Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin dip is versatile. It can be served with crackers, bread, vegetables and used as a spread for sandwiches and vegetable wraps. One delicious pumpkin dip includes pumpkin puree, chickpeas or black beans, tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice blended together and seasoned with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Pumpkin puree blended with olive oil, roasted garlic and Parmesan cheese and seasoned with rosemary is another delicious combination. Since pumpkin dip is easy to make and transport, it’s the perfect dish to take to a holiday party.

Pumpkin Risotto

Arborio rice and canned puree pair together for a luscious Vegetarian Pumpkin Risotto. Other common ingredients in Pumpkin Risotto include onions, garlic, dry white wine, vegetable stock or broth, butter, olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Seasonings may include freshly grated nutmeg, freshly ground white pepper and sea salt. Take a straightforward recipe for risotto, add pumpkin and experiment with different flavors. It’s (nearly) impossible to go wrong.

Pumpkin Chili

Add a can of pureed pumpkin into your pot of vegetarian chili. Whether your favorite veggie chili recipe involves beans, Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP), or veggie ground beef, the addition of pumpkin puree gives the chili a nice substance, flavor and texture.

Pumpkin Ravioli

Pumpkin puree and ricotta cheese seasoned with a pinch of salt and freshly ground nutmeg make a hearty filling for ravioli, gnocchi or tortellini. If you want to speed up the pasta-making process, wanton wraps or pre-made dough may be used instead of making the pasta dough from scratch. This is a traditional fall favorite.

Note: If you plan on using canned pumpkin, make sure you get straight pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.

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