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3 Savory pumpkin recipes

As program host of QVC’s popular cooking and dining show "In the Kitchen with David," David Venable offers a diverse and unique viewership experience with features such as product information, cooking demonstrations, on-air guests, celeb...

'Tis the season for pumpkin

It's that time of year when pumpkin takes over the kitchen. These savory pumpkin recipes will satisfy all your seasonal cravings.
David Venable
Savory pumpkin recipes

'Tis the season for pumpkin

It's that time of year when pumpkin takes over the kitchen. These savory pumpkin recipes will satisfy all your seasonal cravings.

Pumpkin breads are dense and sweet. Pumpkin ice creams are smooth and spicy. And, pumpkin pies are the epitome of all things American (they even trace back to colonial times, for Peter Pumpkin's sake!). But pumpkin can add delicious depth to savory recipes — not just sweet. An added perk is that pumpkin puree is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

Consider this: A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin (which is exactly what you find in the canned food aisle at your supermarket) contains more than 200 percent of your daily recommended serving of vitamin A, which does wonders for your eyes. It also contains 3 grams of fiber (and just 49 calories) per 1-cup serving, helping you feel fuller longer.

If you're not a fan of using canned pumpkin, go to your local orchard and ask for a pie, cheese or sugar pumpkin. All three are smaller than your average jack-o'-lantern variety and have thicker, sweeter flesh. To prep the pumpkin for cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Halve the pumpkin, remove the seeds and place both halves flesh-side-down on a cookie sheet. Bake for about an hour or until fork tender. Then, when it's cool enough to handle, remove any remaining seeds, peel the flesh from the skin and puree the flesh in a food processor.

Craving more pumpkin? Check out our 29 favorite pumpkin recipes >>

1

Pumpkin-bacon sauce with stuffed shells recipe

3 Savory pumpkin recipes

If desired, use turkey bacon to significantly reduce the amount of fat and calories in this sauce. You can lighten this dish further by using low-fat milk. Try this sauce on whole grain pasta, chicken breast or roast pork.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 24 frozen stuffed shells
  • 1 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 cup small diced onion
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups grated Fontina cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the shells in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium-size saucepan, saute the bacon until browned, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Remove some of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving about 1/4 cup. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the flour then add the chicken stock and the milk.
  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it thicken, stirring constantly. Add the pumpkin puree, rosemary, thyme, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture back up to a simmer.
  6. Pour the sauce evenly over the shells and top with grated Fontina cheese.
  7. Place the pan on the middle rack in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until bubbly and browned on top.
2

Coconut-pumpkin soup recipe

3 Savory pumpkin recipes

As is, this soup is gluten-free. To make it a dairy-free recipe, omit the fresh cream and add in more coconut milk. Garnish the soup with toasted pumpkin seeds for a pretty presentation and additional nutrition boost.

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1–1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a medium-size pot. Add the garlic and onion and saute until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the pumpkin puree, chicken stock, coconut milk, curry powder and dark brown sugar. Stir until fully combined.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes. Finish the soup with the cream, salt and pepper.
3

Pumpkin risotto recipe

3 Savory pumpkin recipes

Be sure to use Arborio, basmati or another type of long-grain rice for this recipe. Short-grain rice won't absorb enough of the liquid.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Bring the chicken broth to a slight simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low to keep the broth hot.
  2. Add the olive oil to a deep-sided skillet or saute pan and set the heat to medium. Saute the onion for 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the rice and stir. When the liquid has completely absorbed, add another cup of liquid. Do not stop stirring. Repeat this process until you've used all (or most of the broth) and the rice is tender and creamy-looking, but still al dente, about 15-20 minutes total. During cooking, check and adjust the heat, as needed, to maintain a steady simmer.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin puree, Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, butter and sage. Continue to cook until the butter has melted and the ingredients are well combined.

David Venable is QVC's resident foodie and cookbook author.

More pumpkin recipes

Mini gluten-free pumpkin tarts
Two-ingredient pumpkin cookies
Pumpkin brown butter macaroni and cheese

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