These 3 Pumpkin Dishes May Outshine Turkey at the Table – Fort Bragg Advocate-News

These 3 Pumpkin Dishes May Outshine Turkey at the Table – Fort Bragg Advocate-News

By Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Of all the classic Thanksgiving dishes, only one gives roasted turkey a run for its money.

Silky smooth pumpkin pie ranks high on many people’s list of favorite holiday dishes. A slice of Libby’s canned pumpkin puree is often made, bringing the meal to a sweet conclusion.

I’ve never been a big fan because of the jiggly texture of the candy. Even a dollop of homemade whipped cream drizzled on top won’t sway me. However, I am more than happy to bake a pie or two for family and friends who love them.

Like many Americans who love the flavor of pumpkin in everything from their morning coffee to bread, soup, and biscuits, I also love cooking with it, as long as its final destination isn’t inside a pie crust.

It’s not just about the flavor: When it comes to canned foods, pure pumpkin is a nutritional winner. Not only is the fruit low in fat and low in calories (a half cup has only 45 calories), it’s naturally gluten-free. They are also full of nutrients, fiber and vitamin A. It can be a great substitute for oil or butter in baking.

The holidays are prime time for pumpkin lovers, because those instantly recognizable cans of pure pumpkin puree are not only happily sold out in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they’re also front and center on the finished hats and baking aisle at your grocery store – Practically begging to be thrown into the shopping cart.

Want to expand your pumpkin repertoire? Or maybe you’re just looking for ways to use up any pumpkin leftover after making your desired pie. These three recipes put bright orange puree to good use, in both sweet and savory ways.

The first is a delicious pumpkin hummus that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, and will start your holiday gathering in a delicious and nutritious way. It has all the ingredients of traditional hummus—chickpeas, garlic, lemon, and tahini—plus canned pumpkin puree and warm Mediterranean spices. The result is a festive, slightly spicy twist on a cold dip that’s perfect for fall.

The second recipe is made to order for guests who prefer vegetarian food, especially when the dish in question partners with cheese and pasta. Cooked lasagna noodles are filled with a creamy mixture of pumpkin puree, ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese and rolled burrito-style in bundles of fat. A rich sauce made with more pumpkin and heavy cream, plus thin ribbons of fresh sage. Not exactly low in calories, but great! You’ll never make a sweet potato casserole again.

Finally, for dessert, may we suggest the perfectly moist and spiced pumpkin cake. It’s more colorful than a round or square cake, and easier to make because you don’t need to ice it. A thick but pourable glaze made of maple syrup, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar is drizzled over the top and down the side for a sweet, seasonal finish.

happy thanks giving!

Spicy pumpkin hummus

This low-calorie, super delicious appetizer made with pumpkin puree is so easy to make and very seasonal. The cayenne pepper and cumin give it a little spicy flavour.

Serves a crowd of people

1 15 ounce can canned pumpkin puree

1 15.5-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well

3 tablespoons tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove of garlic

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pita chips, apple slices, and/or crackers for serving

  1. Pulse the pumpkin and chickpeas in a food processor until fairly smooth. Add tahini, lemon juice, oil, chili pepper, cumin, and garlic to the food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper; You can also add more lemon juice or spices as desired.
  3. Serve with pita chips or wedges, apple slices and/or crackers, with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper on top.

– Adapted from

Pumpkin lasagna rolls

Do you have a few vegetarians at the table this holiday? Or simply tired of the same old sweet potato dish? This delicious lasagna dish is sure to please. The filling combines pumpkin puree with ricotta and Parmesan cheese as well as fresh sage. And the creamy pumpkin sauce screams “Down!”

Lasagna rolls filled with a creamy mixture of canned pumpkin, Parmesan, ricotta and mozzarella cheese swimming in a rich pumpkin sauce. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)

I used heavy cream in the sauce, but if you’re looking for a lighter dish, use all milk instead. Any leftover filling can be put into ravioli or cannelloni.

Serves 6-8

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for noodles

12 slices of lasagna

1 tablespoon salted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup light or heavy cream

2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed

Salt and black pepper

1 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

A sprinkle of grated nutmeg

A pinch of cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree

1 16-ounce package full-fat ricotta cheese

4 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until done. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool, then lay flat on a large sheet of foil. When cool, cut each piece in half.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk constantly with a wooden spoon long enough to remove the raw taste of the flour, but not so long that the roux begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the milk slowly, whisking constantly. Season with a teaspoon of salt and a little ground pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Whisk in 1/3 cup Parmesan, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper until dissolved.
  4. Add 1 cup of pumpkin puree to the sauce and whisk until smooth. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, nutmeg or cayenne pepper, if desired. If it seems too thick, add more milk. Sit aside.
  5. Preparing the filling: Combine ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/2 cup pumpkin, eggs, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of ground pepper in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Compilation of lists: Spread 1/2 cup of sauce into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread a tablespoon of the ricotta filling over each noodle half, then roll it up to enclose the filling. Arrange seam side down in pan. (I divided the pasta between two pans.)
  7. Top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. Sprinkle with sage. Cover loosely with foil.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake until done, another 10 minutes. Leave it for 15 minutes before serving.

– Adapted from

Pumpkin cake

Pumpkin pie is the most popular Thanksgiving dessert, but personally, I can’t stand it. (It’s something about the texture.) This super-moist pumpkin cake, which includes many of the same ingredients, including canned pumpkin, is a great alternative. The sweet maple glaze adds an autumnal touch. Great for breakfast before Black Friday shopping.

Makes one cake

For the cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon of ground spice

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegetable oil

2 1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

For maple glaze

3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chopped walnuts or pecans for garnish (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan with flour baking spray.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and baking powder to the bowl and mix together.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and sugar until completely combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix in vanilla.
  4. Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternately adding the dry ingredients and pumpkin puree to the mixture, mixing on low speed after each addition until the ingredients are combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and form an even layer. Firmly tap the pan on the work surface several times to release any air bubbles.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Preparing maple paint: Place the butter, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter melts. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla. Leave to cool for 2-4 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  8. Pour the warm glaze over the cooled cake. If the glaze starts to bubble in the pan before you drizzle it on the cake, simply put it back on the heat for a few seconds and whisk until smooth). Garnish with chopped walnuts as desired.

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