HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Pumpkin and _________? (What do you think would be good, nontraditional flavors to go with pumpkin?)

What about...

mayan 'hot' bitter spicy chocolate

My husband claims he saw an interesting recipe for pumpkin curry that I need to find and try. I was also kind of thinking how else might one make pumpkin so that it doesn't seem reminiscent of pumpkin pie?

The furthest afield I got in musing about this was wondering how good or horrible a cardamom-pumpkin ice cream (kind of like a khulfi) shot through with mayan cayenne hot fudge ribbon (not sweet) would be.

Then I was wondering what would happen if you roasted pumpkin and did something to it involving chipotle.

Any other wild pumpkin ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. how about a pumpkin gnocchi? Throw some sort of a chipotle sauce on that, or mole.

    6 Replies
    1. re: amkirkland

      I made pumpkin in a mole negro this weekend - it blends in really well. Of course the mole flavors completely take over, and it's not very *pumpkiny* . . .

      pumpkin or any winter squash goes well with sage (or sage and shallots)
      I'll be making a stew with a little sage and ginger and some other winter veg like parsnips

      I like curry with pumpkin/squash...plan to try a masaman curry soon, which has tamarind and coconut. I'm using a thai prepared spice paste, so no recipe to share.

      I bet the chipotle would be great - there's nothing that smokey pepper doesn't go with - it certainly makes for brilliant sweet potatoes.

      1. re: pitu

        Agreed.... Pumpkin & Chipotle are actually a fairly traditional combination in Mexico.

        Pumpkin Curry & Pumpkin Mole sound faboulous, especially if you prepare them Tempura style first & serve with a just a bit of sauce... thus allowing you to retain both flavors distinctively.

        Pumpkin Fries with Chili, Gruyere Fondue, Roasted Shallots & Curried Plaintain Rings might be a little more out of the box.

        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          tempura style..interesting thought
          I roasted the pumpkin first, to concentrate the flavor, then stewed it in with the mole negro

          The other half of the roasted pumpkin became soup, with habanero and tomato and ginger
          like this tomato-hab soup
          but I omited the cream and used pumpkin puree, thined with water as needed

          1. re: pitu

            I was gonna say Sage, but someone beat me to it. Berries work well, like a blueberry "butter" or treat the pumpkin as you would foie gras and use a blackcurrent jam.

            I've also tried with with an achiote paste, but that didn't work.


            1. re: pitu

              Well, sweet potato tempura is wonderful, so pumpkin probably would be as well.

          2. re: pitu

            Here's the pumpkin (actually butternut squash) and chile soup I made for a Day of the Dead dinner last Saturday. Easy, fabulous.

            I tossed cubed squash with olive oil, canela and cumin that I toasted whole in a pan and ground in my baby food processor, and brown sugar, maybe a quarter cup for two sheet pans of cubes. I roasted it until it got pretty caramelized, black in some places.

            I seeded and dry-toasted two dried ancho chiles and two dried chipotles, then soaked them in hot water and then pureed them in the baby food processor.

            I sauteed a chopped onion and four cloves of garlic in some of the oil I rescued from the baking sheet that had the squash. Then added the squash, the chile puree, some salt and Mexican oregano, and a bunch of water. Pureed the whole thing when it seemed right.

            Boy was it good.

            BTW, I got the cube-coat-and-caramelize part from a recipe in Aaron Sanchez' "La Cocina del Barrio", an enjoyable and reliable cookbook that you may find on your local remainder shelf.

        2. Pork products of all sorts seem to go well with pumpkin (and squashes); the different sweetnesses compliment well.

          Try a pumpkin or squash soup, with some baguettes and pork headcheese. Have a mustard selection for the sandwiches, and maybe some cornichons.

          In another sandwich vein, try pork pate or terrine, with good bread, along with a pumpkin or squash souffle. Again, counter the sweet with some acid the attending sides.

          1. My son told me today that for Thanksgiving he is bringing a pumpkin salad. OK......At first I thought maybe he was joking, since I've never heard of such a thing. But apparently there is a recipe for this that his girlfriend has...It comes from her mother who lives in Southern Japan (Miyazaki). A google search did indeed turn up several recipes for Japanese Pumpkin Salad. Most have a ginger-soy dressing.....I'm looking forward to it!

            2 Replies
            1. re: janetofreno

              Is this kabocha(sp?) squash, or our "American pumpkin?" I've seen some recipes (for kabocha), but have never tried them - hope it's a great addition to your feast. Share if you have the time; my family loves squash/pumpkin.

              1. re: cayjohan

                The recipes I saw called for either pumpkin or kabocha. Apparently kabocha is easier to find in Japan, so I imagine that's the true "authentic" recipe....

            2. How about a pumpkin smoothie with some vodka?

              1. Pumpkin and pistachio ice cream.

                1. I LOVE PUMPKIN!
                  1)pumpkin with thai chilis and coconut milk
                  2)pumpkin-bacon or pumpkin-country ham fritters
                  3)pumpkin gnocchi(mentioned above) are delicious, as are pumpkin ravioli which I made for Christmas dinner a few years ago and served with fresh ricotta with a little toasted cumin in it, hazelnuts, and sage
                  4)carnitas(fried bits of pork) and roasted pumpkin tacos
                  5)pumpkin-tomatillo tamales
                  6)pumpkin-roasted jalepeno filled arepas
                  7)pumpkin and goat cheese omelets or crepes
                  8)pumpkin-scallion-sesame sticky rice balls
                  9)pumpkin quesadillas
                  10)pumpkin and shrimp curry
                  11)pumpkin in peanut sauce with caramelized onions and couscous
                  12)pumpkin-lamb tagine
                  I could go on...

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: ghbrooklyn

                    will you adopt me? Please. pretty please with pumpkin on top?

                    1. re: ghbrooklyn

                      Have you made all these? Incredible list!

                      1. re: kare_raisu

                        I have made #'s 1,3,4,6,8,11 and plan to make the rest. Pumpkin HAS been on my mind alot lately with the seasonal change, but I normally spend most of my time thinking up dishes and then writing them down...
                        Pumpkin would also go well with Japanese sweet potato and arugula, now that I think about it...

                        1. re: ghbrooklyn

                          GHB... can one make # 3 with wonton wrappers and achieve a good result?
                          What did you use? Also, I agree Japanese sweet potato is very good.
                          With pumpkin, I haven't tried.

                          1. re: Cheese Boy

                            Yes you can, and if you get thicker wrappers its better. I see that you are in NYC, which opens up the possibility of buying fresh sheet pasta from somewhere like raffetto's, which is the best option if you are not making your own at home.
                            BUT I should add that unless you are making a ton of ravioli, making the pasta yourself isn't so much of a hassle(especially if you are already going through the hastle of using a fresh pumpkin) and I think it's worth it(and in this recipe you can do things like put cumin or finely ground hazelnuts into the pasta itself, which is nice) It is a nice cold weather afternoon activity if you have the time.

                            1. re: ghbrooklyn

                              Thank you GHB. I'm always concerned the raviolis will break open. That's the only reservation I have. I'm always purchasing the commercially made ones, and thought to myself 'pumpkin season would be a great time to experiment'.

                      2. re: ghbrooklyn

                        NEW ADDITIONS:
                        13)Pickled pumpkin(with mustard seeds)
                        14)Spicy Candied Pumpkin(simmer thin slices of pumpkin in a light syrup with dried chilis. When pumpkin was soft, remove from syrup and cool. Had it as a side condiment with some lamb, and it was pretty interesting.)

                      3. I'm curious as to what type of pumpkin you are all using. We have a vast variety of heirlooms in our farmers' market, a lovely array of squashes (I quote my father on pumpkins/squashes: "Hubbard makes as good a pumpkin pie as butternut, but better than acorn, and not as good as what we grew on the farm"), and a cupboard full of canned pumpkin (our dog is a greyhound and canned pumpkin is a great supplement to their diet for - er- tummy problems).

                        So: Heirloom pumpkins, pumpkin-like squash, and canned pumpkin. Tis a seasonal challenge. What (truly) cucurbitsa do you use, in what form, and does anyone like it (I ask because it's relevant)?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cayjohan

                          cheese pumpkins are really good, and small-to-medium sugar pumpkins.

                        2. Mmmm...reading these is making me feel warm (and it's cold outside). This is a little unlike other suggestions, but I recently had a dessert that involved a small-mid-sized roasted pumpkin, and inside was sweet sticky rice, with red bean paste & diced chestnuts, or maybe gingko nuts. For spices I think there was some type of allspice, maybe a bit of clove/cinammon/anise. SO GOOD. The pumpkin could have used a few more minutes, but that didn't keep any of us from devouring it. The pumpkin adds a really interesting flavor to the rice. It may sound weird, but it was amazing!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bbc

                            can i ask where you had this dessert?

                          2. I love the flavours of winter squash and maple syrup together, and I often roast acorn or pepper squash wedges with a little olive oil, maple syrup and salt brushed on top.

                            1. Pumpkin and ginger are always a happy pairing.

                              1. Pumpkin lasagne. I had some excellent pumpkin cheesecake the other day that made me realize pumpkin and cheese is tasty.

                                1. If you look on thaifoodandtravel.com, there is a good recipe for duck and pumpkin red curry. The spice combination there might give some ideas.

                                  I have also seen a recipe for a pumpkin gratin where it is cubed and baked with some butter, then halfway through some grated gruyere goes on top. Wonder how it would be subbed in a potato gratin recipe? You'd probably want some savory flavors to counterbalance its sweetness, or you could go the other way and enhance it.

                                  Lastly, there was a recipe for pumpkin soup with green onions plus at the end, a small amount of blue cheese mixed in.

                                  Best of luck! I'm cleaning my kitchen (finally) and am looking forward to cooking again--pumkin recipes are at the top of the list in cold & wet fall.

                                  1. Oh, and of course pumpkin risotto. Cube and mix in with rice once it's toasted in the oo. Add wine & broth gradually as usual, pumpkin will be cooked by the time the rice is.

                                    Also, a few fresh sage leaves sizzled in hot butter are a good topping to any non-sweet pumpkin side dish. Brown butter with a squeeze of lemon is excellent with pumpkin ravioli.

                                    OK, I *have* to get to work, enjoy, let us know the results of your experiments.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Louise

                                      Ramsay the other night threw some arugula into his risotto. And parmesan. (He used it pureed and cubed.)

                                    2. I like pumpkin (or any winter squash) paired with onions, shallots and garlic, also sharp cheeses (sharp chedder but also goat cheese). Sage.

                                      1. I use mostly butternut or delicata squash.

                                        I often do a gratin with onions, gruyere, and thyme.


                                        Recently I've been doing one with coconut milk and country ham.

                                        It's good in minestrone.

                                        1. Pumpkin tempura made with rice flour and a little sake in the batter--either savory with a spicy soy dipping sauce or sweet with some sugar/splenda in the batter and a sweetish dipping sauce.


                                          1. well, ghbrooklyn has the most amazing list! to it. i would add:

                                            pumpkin with sauteed onion, cheddar, bacon(opt. red pepper and mushrooms)

                                            and pumpkin sliced, glazed with teriyaki type sauce and broiled/roasted.(i do this with unagi sauce on kabocha.)

                                            1. Roasted Pumpkin pureed into a risotto with GORGONZOLA cheese (latte or crumbly) -- very nice!

                                              1. I made a Thai butternut squash, duck and mussel curry which had amazing flavor. The squash was a mild foil to the other, stronger, flavors but the overall impression was intensely tasty. I served this over udon noodles for a hearty, spicy meal.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: cheryl_h

                                                  That sounds excellent! Did you make it with Chinese roast duck or regular duck cut up? I'm not a big fan of mussels, wonder if clams would be as well?

                                                  1. re: Louise

                                                    I had regular roast duck left over from a risotto. But Chinese roast duck would be absolutely perfect for this dish. You could substitute any shellfish for the mussels, shrimp is probably the most popular. We happened to have mussels on hand. I guess this is an example of a dish you make out of what's in your fridge/freezer.

                                                2. My mom use to stir-fry diced pumpkin with water chestnuts and baby corn. Really, really good.

                                                  I've also used pumpkin in curry, along with potatoes, carrots, peas and corn.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    Wow, that does sound good, texturally really interesting. Can you elaborate on that? Any aromatics or soy or anything?

                                                  2. Slow-braised pork belly (sake, soy, rock sugar, ginger) would go well with Japanese Pumpkin, also slow-braised/boiled with the same sauce.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: friedbeefsandwich

                                                      It might also be good braised with slab bacon. Mmm, slab bacon.

                                                    2. pumpkin-chocolate cheesecake
                                                      ginger-squash filled wontons
                                                      pumpkin & coconut milk w red curry paste & shrimp or snapper
                                                      i also like greens fried with garlic & roasted pumpkin seeds
                                                      the whole list sounds great-- hope you have a big pumpkin patch! :)

                                                      1. Out to dinner friday night, I had pumpkin pie soup, involving pumpkin (not sweetened) with pumpkin pie spices, a crisp pastry cracker thing, "proscuitto-cured" duck, and a little dollop of slightly sweetened meringue. I am not usually a fan of sweet in my savory dishes, but it was pretty fantastic. So. Pumpkin and bacon is my suggestion also.

                                                        1. I make a yummy butternut squash and chickpea stew, flavored with red curry paste and coconut milk. The original recipe calls for pumpkin, but I find the butternut easier to work with.

                                                          1. How bout pumpkin and italian sausage? Can you go wrong?

                                                            1. I know it sounds bizarre but my mom used to cook pumpkin/squash in chinese black bean sauce. It was surprisingly tasty.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. Peanut butter. Make a pot of pumpkin soup and use one table of peanut butter to make it smooth tasting. As long as nobody has any known peanut allergies of course.

                                                                1. I do a chilean seabass (or another hearty whitefish) with a pumpkin chunky sauce/ragu (made of carmelized onions, roasted peppers, sage, condensed milk).

                                                                  Pumpkin waffles with pecans and maple syrup.

                                                                  Pumpkin Tempura with a spicy batter.

                                                                  Pumpkin chow mein.

                                                                  Pumpkin risotto.

                                                                  Pumpkin rice pudding... one of my favorites.

                                                                  1. I love this thread, but I need links or recipes!

                                                                    Ummmm... now I'm going to do the same thing (multi-tasking/no time, apologies). Lynn Rosetto Kaspar's farmhouse cooking book has a fabulous recipe for pumpkin bread with rosemary. I make it all.the.time. It is VERY good. Abandon all ideas about sweet, cake-y pumpkin breads, because this isn't. It has yeast and a great texture and the recipe is so good it makes me a better bread baker than I really am, if you know what I mean.

                                                                    Now some virtuous soul with the cookbook handy must post it! ;)