When it comes to food, there are infinite reasons to love fall. Football snacks, pecan pie, chili and just-picked apples (plus the apple cider doughnuts that go with them) are all high on my list. But my absolute favorite fall food has to be pumpkin, and all the delicious pumpkin recipes that autumn offers. To be honest, I hoard canned pumpkin year-round to stir into oatmeal and bake into breads and muffins. But even the canned stuff tastes so much better when there’s a chill in the air and the smell of fallen leaves hits you the second you step outside.
Plus, let’s be real: Fresh pumpkin blows the canned stuff out of the water. I like roasting big pieces and eating them on salads, throwing them into pastas, smushing them onto sandwiches or just eating them as a side dish with any old meal. When I’m feeling super ambitious, I even make my own puree from fresh pumpkin—by removing the skin after the chunks of pumpkin are roasted and soft, then blitzing it all in a blender and letting any excess water drain through a fine mesh sieve overnight. It’s more of a hassle than opening a can, sure; but I promise it really does taste that much better.
What makes the trouble of pureeing pumpkin worthwhile? You can use it in almost anything. You can turn it into pasta sauce, cook it into pancake batter, stir it into yogurt or even combine it with melted cheese for an earthy dip. The following 15 fall-ready pumpkin recipes showcase some of my favorite ways to use both pumpkin puree and non-pureed pumpkin, and I recommend you try at least a few of them ASAP. Because if fall’s not about gorging on decadent pumpkin dishes, what is it about?
1. 10-Minute Pumpkin Oatmeal
If you can’t choose between pumpkin and pecan pie, don’t fret. Now you can eat both for breakfast with this easy pumpkin oatmeal.
2. Pumpkin Pancakes
Make an extra big batch of these pumpkin pancakes for weekend breakfast, then reheat and eat leftovers for cozy weekday mornings.
3. Pumpkin Muffins
If fall weather has you desperate to bake, you might as well pick something that’ll make a great grab-and-go breakfast—like these pumpkin muffins.
4. Pumpkin Pesto, Date and Ripe Chèvre Sandwich
This recipe is a little more involved than your run-of-the-mill lunch sandwich. But whip up some pumpkin pesto and you can dollop it onto all kinds of things, from sandwiches and eggs to pasta.
5. Tofu and Pumpkin Risotto
Make meatless Monday one for the books with this cozy tofu and pumpkin risotto.
6. Savory Pumpkin Hummus
Speaking of things you can dollop on anything, this easy and savory pumpkin hummus will add fall flavor to toast, pita chips or your favorite kale salad.
7. Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Love lunch but hate meal prep? This simple pumpkin chili is the answer to your problem and makes enough to feed you for a whole week.
8. Pumkin Massala
This spice-filled vegan dish is great served over rice or another whole grain.
9. Vegan Pumpkin Tofu Bars
Top these vegan pumpkin tofu bars with a little whipped coconut cream for the ultimate fall treat.
10. Roasted Pumpkin with Maple, Chili and Feta
This tender, comforting recipe is the perfect side dish to roast chicken or braised beef. It also makes a great lunch salad topper when served over simply dressed greens.
11. Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies
Pumpkin puree makes keeps this mac and cheese recipe creamy while cutting down on the amount of actual cream and cheese. Fear not, though—there’s still plenty of flavor.
12. Roasted Pumpkin Quiche with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola and Sage
Looking to impress a brunch guest or two? Baking eggs, pumpkin, herbs and cheese into puff pastry crust to create this pumpkin quiche is definitely one way to do it.
13. Pumpkin Enchiladas
Shake up your pumpkin game with these zesty pumpkin enchiladas.
14. Spicy Pumpkin Soup With Bacon and Spicy Fried Chickpeas
Pumpkin soup is great on its own, but crispy bacon and chickpeas add crunch, flavor and extra staying power.
15. Pumpkin Chicken Curry with Cranberry Coconut Almond Rice
This next-level chicken curry makes a comforting dinner, but tastes even better reheated the next day.
A version of this story was originally published in September 2016.