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5 Quick Canned Pumpkin Purée Recipes for Fall

Ready to pump up your meals and snacks? Try these easy ideas for using pumpkin purée this fall.

6 min read

Some people are excited when they see pumpkin cans towering in grocery stores each fall, while others wonder what to make with pumpkin purée (besides Thanksgiving pies). If you’re in the latter group, the trick is to think outside the box when it comes to canned pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin purée's smooth texture and mild flavor can enhance pancakes, soups, muffins and even macaroni and cheese. Add pumpkin’s excellent nutritional profile (it’s high in vitamins A and C), its affordability and the fact that canned pumpkin is shelf-stable, and you have a winning base for delicious fall recipes. Shopping tip: read labels carefully and be sure to select pumpkin purée, which is 100% pumpkin, rather than pumpkin pie filling. The filling is a pie shortcut that contains sugar and spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon), along with puréed pumpkin.

Need inspiration? Here are five pumpkin purée recipe ideas to try this season.

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Pumpkin Pancakes

Upgrade morning flapjacks with this easy canned pumpkin purée recipe that’s just a slight tweak on a box mix.


  • 1 box pancake mix
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée per egg


  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. Follow instructions on the pancake mix box to make batter, replacing each egg with 1/2 cup pumpkin purée. Add optional spice for extra flavor.
  2. Use a batter dispenser to drop batter on the griddle.
  3. Cook until both sides are golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Top pancakes with syrup and diced pear or apple for the full fall treatment.
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Pumpkin-Oatmeal Bites

These no-bake oatmeal orbs are super-fast to make.


  • 2 cups uncooked oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey


  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl together until smooth.
  2. Shape dough into small balls and chill for one hour.
  3. Store bites in the refrigerator, packing a few in snack containers for a quick work nosh or after-school treat.

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Make a velvety sauce for macaroni by mixing pumpkin purée with cheese.


  • 1 pound pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk (whole or low fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 8 ounces cheddar or Swiss cheese, coarsely grated


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling water; drain and pour into a 3-quart nonstick pan.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, whisk in flour and cook for a couple minutes until the mixture is lightly colored.
  4. Slowly mix in milk, stirring constantly so no lumps form. Continue cooking until sauce thickens and bubbles, coating the back of a spoon. Mix in salt, pepper and mustard.
  5. Add pumpkin purée and most of the cheese, leaving about 1/4 cup. Stir until smooth and melted, then pour cheese sauce into prepared pan with pasta and mix well.
  6. Top with reserved cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden on top.

Pumpkin Soup

This incredibly simple and satisfying canned pumpkin recipe only requires a few steps.


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups pumpkin purée
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup light cream or milk
  • Toasted pepitas or sesame seeds to garnish


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except milk and garnishes. Cook on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.
  2. Stir in cream or milk; simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Garnish with pepitas or sesame seeds.

Pumpkin-Pecan Muffins

This recipe swaps pumpkin purée in for butter as a healthier fat (with better texture, to boot). Pumpkin purée also ups the fiber content of the recipe, and adds a gorgeous orange hue to the batter and muffins.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 milk (low fat or skim)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup each chopped pecans and dried cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except nuts and cherries); mix until well blended.
  2. Add wet ingredients to dry ones; mix until combined.
  3. Fold in nuts and cherries.
  4. Pour batter into a 12-muffin tin; bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

Want more fall-inspired deliciousness? Check out our guide on roasting pumpkin seeds, our best pumpkin spice latte recipes, and David Burtka's pumpkin seed bar mix.


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