Carving a pumpkin tonight? Make the most of it by using up the insides, with our quick ideas for how to use up leftover pumpkin. If you don’t get round to carving your Jack o’Lantern, there are even more things you can do to transform a pumpkin into a delicious dinner.
Once you slice open the top of your pumpkin, it’s going to be messy inside. You’ll scoop out a mix of stringy bits, seeds and pumpkin flesh, depending on the pumpkin and your designs on it. Pile it up in a large bowl as you get creative and once you’ve got your scary pumpkin lit up in the window, turn your attention back to the insides.
Throw the very stringy bits into your compost or food bin, but save the rest.
Roast the seeds
Rinse any stringy pulp from the seeds then pat dry with kitchen towel. Toss the seeds with a little oil and salt, then bake them in the oven at 180C for around 10 minutes, or until the seeds are lightly golden brown. Experiment with mixing in different herbs and spices before you roast the seeds to make a flavoured snack. Store them in an airtight container so you can come back to them as a snack, sprinkle over a salad or stir into a yoghurt with granola.
Make pumpkin pie
Carving pumpkins tend to have a higher water content, which makes them perfect for pureeing. This pumpkin pie recipe needs 500g pumpkin flesh, which is steamed and pureed to make the spiced pie filling. Store the pumpkin flesh in a sealed container in the fridge so you can make the pie the next day.
Try pumpkin soup
This easy pumpkin and sweet potato soup recipe uses up 700g pumpkin flesh, but it can be topped up with butternut squash or even carrots if you don’t have enough flesh leftover.
Bake a pumpkin cake
Staying in this weekend? Use your pumpkin leftovers to make a cake, like this autumnal pumpkin cupcake with maple icing recipe, which uses 200g pumpkin flesh – you’ll easily have enough from a carved pumpkin. The best thing about vegetable cakes is that the veg often replaces part or all of the butter to make a healthier bake, which is more nutritious.
If you don’t get round to carving your spooky pumpkin, the possibilities are endless! They are in season from October to December so there’s plenty of time to go back for more. Take a look through all our pumpkin recipes, from James Martin’s pumpkin casserole to pumpkin cupcakes.
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