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10 Pumpkin Recipes for Thanksgiving

Updated on March 11, 2014
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving, as well as fall in general, is the pumpkin recipes. I love the traditional recipes such as pumpkin pie as well as a little more unusual recipes like pumpkin pancakes. You can incorporate pumpkin into just about any part of the Thanksgiving day: breakfast, appetizer/snack, starter course (i.e. soup), side dish, or dessert. If you really enjoy pumpkin, consider using several pumpkin recipes throughout the day or holiday weekend. Many of these recipes are perfect for just about any time during fall or winter as well. Have fun cooking and happy holidays!


Pumpkin Pie

My favorite pumpkin pie recipe is the one right on the back of can of Libby's pumpkin. You don't need to add anything else or change any of the basic ingredients to have an amazing pie. Although the recipe says that you can use a pre-made pie shell, I highly recommend making one from scratch. I use a pie crust recipe from How to Cook Everything (see link below). You can also check out these free pie crust recipes.

Pumpkin Pie with Martha Stewart and Her Niece


Pumpkin Cheesecake

For those who love cheesecake, this is the perfect way to make it into a festive Thanksgiving dessert. I love the idea of using graham crackers AND Nilla wafers for the crust. The swirls on the top will wow all of your guests.


Curried Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup

If you're serving a more elegant Thanksgiving meal, a soup or salad starter is an excellent beginning to the meal. This pumpkin soup recipe is perfect and not too tricky or time consuming to whip up while the turkey is baking.


Pumpkin Spice Cake Chocolate Chip Cookies or Bars

I have tried several new pumpkin recipes this fall (and will probably try a few more before the season is over). This is one of them. I came across it in Kristy's blog and bookmarked it right away. This is about as easy as a recipe can get. It's a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving dessert selection. If you're feeling more ambitious, you can make the spice cake from scratch before adding the pumpkin and chocolate chips. If you are in the mood for cookies instead of bars, you can make it that way, too. The blog post doesn't mention greasing the pan, but please do that!

Copyright 2011, Rose Clearfield
Copyright 2011, Rose Clearfield

Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe is one of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes. I actually make it all year round, and it's always well received. It's from The Comfort Table by Katie Lee Joel (see link below). This is a perfect breakfast option for Thanksgiving Day or the morning after Thanksgiving when people aren't quite looking for leftovers yet. These muffins are ideal when they are eaten warm with a little butter or cream cheese.


Pumpkin Pound Cake

I found this recipe this fall in a pumpkin recipe round up on A Bird in the Hand Art. I usually make sour cream pound cake, but while I've been on my pumpkin recipe kick, I gave this one a try instead. It does not disappoint. For some reason, I really enjoy using my Bundt pan so it appealed to that notion as well. This is another great option for the Thanksgiving dessert selection.


Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

I recently made a very similar recipe that I got out of a random cookbook from the library that used canned cranberry instead of fresh or dried. It made a surprisingly good alternative. My husband would have preferred the bread without cranberry, but I love the addition of it. This bread makes a wonderful breakfast or snack. Breads freeze well so if you're overwhelmed with holiday prep, you can make these ahead of time and pull them out the night before.


Pumpkin Pancakes

This post is on a food blog primarily designed for kids' recipes. However, there is no reason that this recipe should be limited to kids. A stack of pumpkin pancakes will give adults the energy that they need to start the day, too. I love the idea in the post of using a Tablespoon to make tiny pancakes.


Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

A few handfuls of toasted pumpkin seeds can be a wonderful part of any Thanksgiving appetizer spread. This recipe is very basic with salt and butter. You can substitute olive oil for butter or experiment with different spices and flavors (cinnamon, sugar, Mrs. Dash, garlic, etc.). If you're using fresh pumpkin for any of your other pumpkin Thanksgiving recipes, save the seeds so you can toast them.

Get Some Toasted Pumpkin Seed Tips from YouTube


Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

Wow all of your guests with a pumpkin hummus as part of your Thanksgiving appetizers. If you're looking for a variation from the classic hummus, this is a perfect new recipe for the holiday. You can make this hummus as spicy as you like by adding more cayenne pepper and cumin or can experiment with a sweet taste with honey or pumpkin pie spices. Hummus can be paired with thick chips (i.e. tortilla chips, kettle cooked chips), carrots, or crackers. This blog post includes a recipe for homemade tortilla chips.

Pumpkin Donuts and Cupcakes

While I was searching for some of the pumpkin recipes for this hub, I came across a number of fabulous recipes for pumpkin donuts and cupcakes. If you are looking for some fun alternatives or additions to pie for your Thanksgiving meal this year, consider one of the following recipes.

© 2011 Rose Clearfield


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