12 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

These healthy pumpkin recipes are total crowd pleasers: from dessert recipes like oatmeal cookies to main dishes like pumpkin gnocchi and stuffed shells!

Are you a pumpkin fan? Even if your answer is no, you might enjoy some of these healthy pumpkin recipes! Because pumpkin puree is doesn’t have a distinct flavor, it can be used in many different ways without tasting overly pumpkin-y. It makes a fantastic substitute for egg in our vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies, and a creamy, cheesy pasta sauce in our pumpkin penne. Of course, we’ve also got pumpkin dessert recipes: but not the traditional pumpkin pie! Try our healthy pumpkin parfaits with pecan granola or pumpkin mousse shooters. In all cases, healthy means made with real, whole food ingredients that are full of nutrients.

Related: Gifts for Vegetarians

Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Let’s start with these chewy pumpkin oatmeal cookies,  one of our most popular pumpkin dessert recipes! The flavor is reminiscent of oatmeal cream pies, but a healthier spin. Though they might not qualify as a health food, they can fit into the healthy definition since they’re made with nutrient dense rolled oats and are plant based. Made with coconut oil instead of butter, they’re topped with a powdered sugar icing. Omit the icing if you’d prefer less sugar, and they’re just as good!

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Pumpkin Gnocchi Bake with Goat Cheese

Here’s our personal favorite of these pumpkin recipes: our pumpkin gnocchi bake! It’s got a savory pumpkin sauce made creamy with a little Greek yogurt. Doughy gnocchi pillows are baked in the sauce along with gooey goat cheese. It’s probably one of the coziest comfort foods we’ve baked up, and it consistently gets rave reviews! Last year we served this as a vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe and it very quickly disappeared.

Pumpkin gnocchi bake | Healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Yogurt Fruit Dip

This one’s the simplest of the pumpkin recipes in this list: in just 5 minutes, you can make a killer fruit dip that’s pumpkin spiced! Just stir together Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and some pumpkin spices, and you’re in business! Served with sliced green apples, it’s a tangy and delicious snack. We’ve served it at fall parties and book clubs and it’s the perfect fall treat.

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Penne with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

So remember that pumpkin gnocchi bake? This pasta uses the same pumpkin sauce, but this time pairs it with penne pasta and Parmesan cheese. It cooks up in just 30 minutes and tastes like a sophisticated take on mac and cheese. Said one reader: “You NAILED IT! The whole family loved this pasta dish. So creamy and flavorful!” That’s what we like to hear.

Pumpkin pasta sauce recipe | Healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal

This one is our most popular of these healthy pumpkin recipes: pumpkin baked steel cut oatmeal! It tastes like pumpkin pie—really!—but is made of steel cut oats. Who doesn’t want to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast? It’s also fairly healthy, with a minimal amount of maple syrup as a natural sweetener, it’s a nice gluten-free whole grain option for mornings.

Pumpkin baked steel cut oatmeal | Healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Vegetarian Stuffed Shells

Vegetarian stuffed shells are always a crowd pleaser: especially when they’ve got pumpkin inside! This pumpkin recipe has pumpkin puree mixed with ricotta and fresh sage as the filling for these jumbo shells. Bake them, topped with gooey cheese, in a quick marinara sauce and you’re in business.

Pumpkin Vegetarian Stuffed Shells | Healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze

These vibrant pumpkin scones are made with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spices, making them the perfect flaky, cozy biscuit for cool mornings or tea times! The topping is a maple cream, maple that’s heated until it becomes creamy and concentrated. You can make them without the glaze for a healthier treat, or use the glaze from the pumpkin cookies above.

Pumpkin scones with maple glaze | Healthy pumpkin recipes | Pumpkin dessert recipes

Healthy Pumpkin Mousse Shooters

Instead of pumpkin pie, why not…a pumpkin shot glass dessert? This unique take on pumpkin pie makes the filling into vegan pumpkin mousse made by whipping coconut milk. And let’s just forget the crust: serving the pumpkin mousse in shot glasses topped with pumpkin seeds is cuter and easier!

Healthy pumpkin mousse shooters | Healthy pumpkin recipes | Pumpkin dessert recipes

Pumpkin Parfaits with Pecan Granola

In our list of pumpkin dessert recipes, this one’s a keeper! Greek yogurt that’s lightly sweetened with maple syrup is layered with a pumpkin filling made of pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices and mascarpone cheese. Add a bit of pecan skillet granola, whipped up in just 10 minutes in a skillet, and you’re in business. This one also works as a healthy breakfast or fall brunch recipe.

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Easy Pumpkin Hummus

Have you tried pumpkin hummus? If you’re a pumpkin fan, this one’s worth a try. It takes just a few minutes to whip up, and adding pumpkin puree makes it extraordinarily creamy. Don’t worry, in contrast to some of the other pumpkin recipes this one’s got no pumpkin spices! It’s strictly savory: serve with pita chips for a tasty fall snack.

Easy pumpkin hummus | Healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Spice Fruit and Nut Bars

Speaking of snacks, these pumpkin spice fruit and nut bars are a healthy snack fit for fall. Made of Medjool dates, cashews, and pumpkin spices, they’re full of protein and flavor. Make up a batch and keep them handy for when a craving hits.

Pumpkin Spice Fruit and Nut Bars | Healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Mascarpone

To round out our healthy pumpkin recipes are these pumpkin pancakes! When Alex and I breakfast, we like oat pancakes: they’re made almost fully of oat flour, they’re heartier and more filling than the typical pancake. These oat pancakes are made with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spices, and for a little flair: a dollop of mascarpone cheese mixed with maple syrup. You can omit the topping for a healthier take and go with just a drizzle of real maple syrup: these pumpkin pancakes can hold their own.

Pumpkin pancakes with maple mascarpone | Healthy pumpkin recipes

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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