Pumpkins carved for Halloween

Waste Nothing: Pumpkins

Try our tips and recipe ideas to avoid wasting any of your Halloween pumpkins.

1. Make the perfect pumpkin pie

Our Halloween pumpkin flesh often ends up in the bin, so don’t be spooked by trying something new. Why not try the American tradition of turning your carvings into soups, stews and the quintessential pumpkin pie? The American classic, pumpkin pie, is one tradition we don’t mind coming over. Go sweet with this recipe from BBC Good Food, or test your tastebuds with this more savoury pie!

2. Just stew it

If you don’t have time to cook with your pumpkin scrapings straightaway, don’t fear. Put them in a container and store in the freezer until you’re ready to make a casserole or stew. Squash and pumpkins love chickpeas or butterbeans, along with plenty of spices and kale to make a hearty vegetarian stew. Meat-eaters, why not get some decent local bacon and add that too?

3. Feed a crowd

Add your pumpkins to chilli. Either make a veggie one with kidney beans and plenty of spices, or bulk out a meat chilli. This has the bonus of meaning you end up using less meat than otherwise: good for you and the environment! Again, use the freezer for this one and you could have the perfect warming meal to come home to on Bonfire Night.

4. Soup it up

The classic way to use up any leftover vegetables. Follow a recipe if you like or just add a little of what you fancy. Our suggestions include, crisp-fried sage, chilli oil, crème fraîche, a pinch of mixed spice or perhaps some bacon. You could roast the pumpkin first, maybe with a drizzle of local honey for an even richer flavour.

5. Roast the seeds

In Mexico they call pumpkin seeds “pepitas” and a shop that makes artisan pepita snacks is called a “pepitoría”. One of the most delicious ways of using up your hollowed out pumpkins is by roasting the pepitas with salt and oil. Try them dusted with a little smoked paprika or chilli powder for a fiery kick. Place the seeds in a colander and clean them under cold running water first to remove additional squash flesh.

6. Pick a pumpkin pasta

If you’re after something speedy, try steaming some pumpkin, adding sage or rosemary and topping with parmesan to serve with pasta? Stir a little sun-dried tomato pesto in and top with some toasted pine nuts or walnuts. Or make an autumnal pasta bake with pasta, roasted pumpkin and either some sage or rosemary, garlic, come cream and top with grated cheese, yum! If you’re feeling adventurous, kick it up a notch and challenge yourself to make your own pumpkin pasta, as seen here by Zero Waste Chef!

7. Plan ahead for Christmas

Make a spicy pumpkin pickle or chutney for a Christmas gift this year. If you have a glut of apples too why not try pumpkin and apple chutney to bring a little taste of autumn to the winter months? You can play around with any good chutney recipe according the vegetables you have to us. Follow the basic guidelines for the quantities of veg to sugar to vinegar.

8. Make waffles

OK this is a bit of a wild card, and only one to bother with if you have a waffle iron. Puréed pumpkin, along with wintery spices (like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice) makes an impressive, yet easy breakfast. A drizzle of maple syrup or perhaps some local honey and a knob of butter will top it off nicely.

9. Crack a few eggs

If you’ve got good-quality local eggs, some diced pumpkin, a little garlic and some grated cheese are a delicious addition to an omelette. If you have the time, cook some onions first, low and slow, for a lovely caramelised finish for your omelette. This blog post from Jul’s Kitchen has us drooling.

10. Get stuffed

Cubed pieces of pumpkin mixed with a little chopped onion, herbs, vegetables and maybe some feta makes a great stuffing for all kinds of veg. Try stuffing hollowed out courgettes, marrows and peppers. Top with grated cheese and maybe some herb-flecked breadcrumbs for a little crunch. Why not try this lovely sounding recipe from Food Republic?

Pumpkins are a true autumn staple and whether you pick one up to carve for Halloween or want to give cooking one a shot, we encourage you to challenge yourself and try your best to use every last scrap of it! Let us know of any other good uses pumpkin or squash on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!