As the autumn leaves fall and the chill in the air becomes more pronounced, there’s something magical about living in England during Halloween and pumpkin recipes. Spotting pumpkin farms along the route while travelling, witnessing children donned in costumes on the streets, and even a few parents joining in the fun is a delightful experience. Houses adorned with decorations, some cute and others eerie, and, of course, plenty of intricately carved pumpkins, which often become a delectable post-Halloween feast, making for excellent kitchen creations.
From classic favourites to a paleo-friendly twist, here are 3 favourite pumpkin recipes to try this season.
1. Roasted Pumpkin soap
If you know me or have seen other recipes on my blog, you know that I’ve been into paleo since 2020. This recipe is based on The Paleo Diet: Food Your Body is Designed to Eat, but I’ve adapted it slightly to add nutmeg – my go-to secret ingredient for so many hearty recipes at this time of year!
1 medium pumpkin
7 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole head of garlic
1 onion, finely chopped
1.1 litres of vegetable stock
400ml light coconut milk
4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
fresh thyme leaves to garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.
Cut the top off the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and fibres and put aside.
Cut the pumpkin into 4 quarters and place on a baking tray. Drizzle over 4 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Slice the top off the head of the garlic and drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Wrap in foil (so it is completely sealed), place on the baking tray with the pumpkin and then roast in the hot oven for 45 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion for a few minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer, then cover and take off the heat.
When the pumpkin is cooked, discard the skin and add the flesh to the saucepan. Squeeze the garlic flesh out of the skins and add to the pot, along with the coconut milk. Bring the contents to the boil and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, add the nutmeg before puréeing the soup in a food processor until velvety and smooth.
Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a frying pan over a medium head and fry the pumpkin seeds for 1-2 minutes until just toasted. To serve, reheat the soup and garnish o b2 minutes until spin seeds and fast thyme leaves, if using.
2. Pumpkin Risotto
Risotto is the all-time favourite recipe in our home, and this year, I asked my husband to try out the one from BBC Good Food.
1 small pumpkin or butternut squash- after peeling and scraping out the seeds, you need about 400g/14oz
1 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle for the pumpkin
2 garlic cloves
8 spring onions
200g risotto rice
2 tsp ground cumin
1l hot vegetable stock, plus an extra splash if needed
50g grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Chop up the pumpkin or squash into 1.5cm cubes (kids- ask for help if it’s slippery). Put it on a baking tray, drizzle over some oil, then roast for 30 mins.
While the pumpkin is roasting, you can make the risotto. Put the garlic in a sandwich bag, then bash lightly with a rolling pin until it’s crushed. Cut up the spring onions with your scissors. Heat 1 tbsp oil with the butter in your pan over medium heat – not too hot. Add the spring onions and garlic. Once the onions are soft but not getting brown, add the rice and cumin. Stir well to coat in the buttery mix for about 1 min. Now add half a cup of the stock and stir now and then until it has all disappeared into the rice. Carry on adding and stirring in a large splash of stock at a time, until you have used up all the stock – this will take about 20 mins.
Check the rice is cooked. If it isn’t, add a splash more stock, and carry on cooking for a bit. Once the rice is soft enough to eat, gently stir in the grated cheese, chopped coriander and roasted pumpkin.
3. Double Chocolate and pumpkin seed cookies by Nigella
75 grams of soft unsalted butter
100 grams caster sugar
70 grams of soft light brown sugar
1 large egg (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125 grams of plain flour
50 grams cocoa (sieved if lumpy)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of fine sea salt
125 grams dark chocolate chips
50 grams pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F. Beat together the butter and sugars until paler in colour and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine, scraping down the bowl to rescue and incorporate any batter clinging to the sides.
In another bowl, use a fork to mix together the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture in the bowl, beating it in gently.
With a spoon or spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds; you will have a thick, firm mixture.
Line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment, then, using a rounded tablespoon measure for ease, form heaped mounds, leaving about 6cm / 2½ inches space between them, easing the mixture out of the spoon with a small spatula onto the sheet. Don’t flatten them.
Cook a batch at a time for 10–12 minutes, by which time the surface will feel just set and be cracked in parts. They will still feel pretty soft but will firm up as they cool. Once out of the oven, leave on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool a little before diving in. Or leave to cool entirely if preferred.
So, as you prepare to enjoy this special time of year, remember to savour the delicious warmth that pumpkin recipes bring to your kitchen. Whether you’re gathering with friends for a Halloween bash or simply indulging in seasonal self-care, these recipes are here to make your autumn memorable. Let me know in the comments what are your favourite recipes during this time of the year!
Looking for more paleo recipes? Try those