100+ Fall Pumpkin Ideas to Satisfy Your Obsession

Fall’s early hallmarks are here: kids are back in school, slightly cooler weather has arrived in most places, and all things pumpkin are returning to stores. From actual pumpkins to ice cream to dog treats, pumpkin rules the season.

Updated September 18th, 2017

The kids are back in school and the slightly cooler weather has arrived, which means it’s time for all things pumpkin to return to stores opens in a new tab. From actual pumpkins to pumpkin ice cream sandwiches, drinks and dog treats, pumpkin rules the season. Here a few of our favorite products, recipes, tips, tricks and more!
Pumpkin Snacks

  • 365 Everyday Value® Pumpkin Spice Bites

  • 365 Everyday Value® Pumpkin Apple Cider 

  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pumpkin & Sage Farro Pilaf 

  • 365 Everyday Value® Seasonal Pumpkin Pie Popcorn 

  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice 

  • 365 Everyday Value® Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Sandwich Cremes

  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches 

  • 365 Everyday Value® Pumpkin Spice Granola 

  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pumpkin Spice Apple Sauce 

Pumpkin Cheese
Wellspring Pumpkin Chèvre Yes, pumpkin cheese! This combination of fresh-and-creamy goat cheese blended with sweet, earthy and rich pumpkin is delicious. 
Pumpkin Beer 
Selection varies by store. Beer not legally available in all stores.

  • Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin Ale

  • Dogfish Head Pumpkin 

  • Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale 

  • New Belgium Pumpkick

  • Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Ale

  • New Belgium Atomic Pumpkin 

  • pFriem Pumpkin Bier

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe opens in a new tab

So, Why is Everyone So Obsessed with Pumpkin?

Pumpkin is one of the most popular crops in the U.S. with more than a billion grown each year. In the same family as gourds and squash, pumpkins are more versatile in the kitchen than you might imagine. Pie pumpkins have a sweet, slightly nutty flavor and creamy texture. Plus they couple nicely with popular seasonal spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice for that palate-pleasing pumpkin-spice combo found in Pumpkin-Gingerbread Cupcakes opens in a new tab, Pumpkin Bread Pudding opens in a new tab and even in this recipe for Gluten-Free Pasta Bake opens in a new tab

How to Select a Fresh Pumpkin

When choosing fresh pumpkins for cooking, avoid the large carving varieties used for jack-o-lanterns, which are thin-walled, stringy and lack the rich flavor you want when baking or cooking. Cooking varieties such as pie pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins) are small but heavy for their size — about 5 to 7 pounds. The shape is not important.
Buying now, cooking later? Store pumpkins up to one month in a cool, dry place. The flesh tends to become stringy at temperatures above 60°F. And, if you can spare the space and temperature is an issue, pumpkins can also be refrigerated for up to one month.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe opens in a new tab

How to Cook Fresh Pumpkin

While canned 365 Everyday Value® 100% Pure Pumpkin is an easy shortcut, you can also roast a pie pumpkin (sometimes called a sugar pumpkin) to make homemade purée. While there are a handful of ways to cook fresh pumpkin, here is one we love: Easiest Whole Roasted Winter Squash recipe opens in a new tab. As a rule of thumb, for each pound of raw, untrimmed pumpkin, you'll get approximately one cup of purée. (For reference: one regular-sized 15-oz can of pumpkin puree is just shy of two cups.)

And don’t toss those seeds! Roasted Pumpkin Seeds opens in a new tab are a tasty addition in casseroles, salads, soups, breads and granola. Their rich, peanut-like flavor makes them an additive game-day snack too.

Pumpkin Recipes and Ideas

With more than 60 tested recipes using pumpkin or pumpkin seeds on our site, where do you start? To make it easy, we’ve curated our 12 best pumpkin recipes opens in a new tab, including a pumpkin pie smoothie opens in a new tab and one for pumpkin dog treats opens in a new tab. Looking for more? We’ve divided them up below to make it easy to pick the best pumpkin recipe for your occasion … or craving. Dig in!

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust Recipe
Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili Recipe opens in a new tab

Main Dishes, Sides and Soups
When it comes to pumpkin, think beyond dessert. You can use fresh pumpkin like you would butternut squash, stir puréed pumpkin into a soup, or make a creamy pumpkin rice dish opens in a new tab. Better yet, make a main dish like this Turkey Pumpkin Chili  opens in a new tabrecipe that brings together ground turkey, pumpkin, beans, veggies and spices for a hearty cool-weather meal.

Here are more ideas:

Whole Grain and Pumpkin Seed Granola Recipe opens in a new tab

Breakfast, Breads and Snacks
It’s time for pumpkin bread, muffins and cheese dip. Yes, pumpkin cheese dip!

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Making pumpkin muffins or a pumpkin pie? You can make your own pumpkin pie spice by combining 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Or take a short cut with 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice. Tip: Sprinkle it on your morning coffee, mix into your oatmeal or sprinkle on winter vegetables before roasting!

Pumpkin Seed Milk Recipe opens in a new tab

Pumpkin Seeds

The shelled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) you find in the bulk bins of Whole Foods Market come from a special variety of pumpkin that produces long, flat, dark green, hull-less seeds. However, the seeds you find in large and small pumpkins (carving pumpkins included) in the produce departments look different, though they are still perfect for roasting. opens in a new tab

Whether you roast your own or pick some up in bulk, pumpkin seeds make a great snack as well as add flavor and crunch to many dishes. Sprinkle on yogurt, soups and salads like in this recipe for Fall Greens Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Asiago opens in a new tab. Bake pumpkin seeds into cookies, cakes, breads and muffins. This recipe for Flax and Pumpkin Seed Corn Bread opens in a new tab shows you how. Or make Pumpkin Seed Milk opens in a new tab, a creamy, nutty, neutral-flavored nondairy beverage. 

Here are additional recipes with pumpkin seeds:

Watch and Learn

If you’re a visual learner, these cooking videos will be right up your alley:

Pumpkin and Pets

Get Fido into the action with Whole Paws® Pumpkin Soft & Chewy Treats or make your own. Go homemade with these Spiced Pumpkin Dog Treats opens in a new tab — they're gluten-free treats that are chock-full of tasty ingredients. Plus, peanut butter adds a tempting flavor.

Spiced Pumpkin Dog Treats Recipe opens in a new tab

Decorating with Pumpkins

This fall let nature do the work! Up your holiday décor game by pairing small white pumpkins with deep red pomegranates and dark green leaves. Or make a show-stopping centerpiece by carving a pie pumpkin large enough to hold a cup or small vase for flowers. In addition, a mini pumpkin can become a candleholder by simply slicing off the top of the pumpkin, removing the seeds and hollowing out a place to hold the tea light. Make several of these mock candleholders and line them up along the center of your table. And don’t forget the front stoop. Mixing and matching a variety of heirloom pumpkins is a seasonal and dramatic way to increase curb appeal.

For even more pumpkin ideas, visit your local Whole Foods Market opens in a new tab.  

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