Pumpkin season is here! From savory pasta dishes to slurp-worthy smoothies, there are tons of ways to incorporate the versatile squash into family meals this fall. Read on for some autumn inspiration. (Be warned—you’ll want to run to the grocery store for supplies ASAP!)

The Best Pumpkin Bars

Ring in the season by making these amazing pumpkin bars from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts. The bars are topped with a sweetened cream cheese mixture—delish! Click here to get the recipe.


An Autumnal Pasta

This awesome pasta dish from Cooktoria is sure to be an instant hit with your crew, thanks to its delicious sauce made with pumpkin, parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. If your kids aren’t into mushrooms, you can sub in Italian sausage. Get the recipe by clicking here.

BBQ Meatballs

The pumpkin in this barbecue meatball recipe from The Pretend Baker is actually quite subtle—it gives the barbecue sauce a hint of sweetness. The pumpkin-laced barbecue sauce is also added to the meatballs themselves. To get the recipe, click here.

Mac & Cheese, Please

We’ve discovered the ultimate in comfort food, thanks to Life Made Sweeter. This pumpkin macaroni & cheese is perfect for chilly fall nights, and it comes together in less than 30 minutes. Click here to grab the recipe.

Kicked-Up Oatmeal

You can’t beat a bowl of old-fashioned oats to fill hungry tummies on a crisp fall morning. This recipe from Damn Delicious will remind you how quick and easy oatmeal can be. Set toppings out the night before on the kitchen countertop and watch the breakfast magic begin as your little ones fill up on healthy fiber with a pumpkin kick. Get the recipe here.

Penne Piled with Pumpkin

Pumpkin isn’t just for sweet treats—we love incorporating it into savory dishes like this penne pasta recipe. The sweet pumpkin contrasts beautifully with the tangy goat cheese to make a drool-worthy meal. To grab the recipe, click here.

Pie for Breakfast

If you’ve got any leftover canned pumpkin on your hands, this smoothie recipe from Dishing Delish is the perfect way to use it up. It’s the next best thing to having a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast. To get the recipe, click here.

A Super Soup

Let the kids help make this tasty Caribbean-inspired soup from Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram. It’s easy to throw together using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Click here to get the recipe.

Swoon-Worthy Gluten Free Donuts

Gluten-free eating can be a challenge this time of year when all the baked goodies look and smell so tempting. Pop these easy-peasy pumpkin mini donuts from Knead to Cook in the oven and your clan will clamber to your side on Sunday mornings. Get the recipe here.

Your Autumn Munchies

After you carve your pumpkins, don’t throw out the seeds! It’s so easy to make roasted pumpkin seeds, and they’re sure to be a family favorite, whether they’re sprinkled on a salad or packed in lunches. To get all the details, click here.

Muffins for Your Minions

They’ll love a sweet muffin surprise in their snack bag. You’ll love that these beauties from Celebrating Sweets are filled with apples, carrots, pumpkin and flaxseed and topped with delicious cream cheese frosting if you please. Make a double batch and freeze half so kids can grab and go in a pinch as the busy holiday season arrives. Click here for the recipe.

photo: Jane Maynard

Pizza Night with a Twist

You’ll use a real pumpkin to pull this one off, but no worries! Mom of three and food blogger Jane of This Week For Dinner always has busy parents in mind with her recipes. Try her great kitchen tricks to make the prep easy. Pizza night just got a whole lot more interesting! Get the recipe here.

Gooey Pumpkin Perfection

Haven't tried the pumpkin and chocolate combo craze yet? Go! Get in the kitchen ... now! We promise you'll be stuck on these Pumpkin Nutella Cookie Bars from Crazy for Crust this fall. Serve 'em warm and ooey-gooey with a tall glass of milk.  Get the how-to here and get baking!

We Love a Latte

Hosting a holiday party this year? You’ll love how this easy, delicious Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Thriving Home Blog fills your house with that I’ve-been-baking-all-day smell. All you need is a crock pot and a few ingredients, nothing artificial here. Get the recipe.

Pumpkin Cookies with a Healthy Twist

You don’t have to feel guilty about whipping up a batch of these cookies from This Healthy Table. Made with oats and whole wheat flour, they’re a little healthier than your average sweet treat. An optional powdered sugar drizzle gives them some extra oomph. Get the recipe by clicking here.

Take the Chill Out of Fall

Is there anything as easy and warming as a bowl of chili? This award-winning chili from Tatertots & Jello has a hint of pumpkin sweetness that sings in your mouth. Just brown the meat and onions, dump ingredients in the crock pot and voila! Dinner is done! Try milder spices to please budding taste buds, or make this one when hosting. Football and chili anyone? Get the recipe here.

Yummy Pumpkin Blondies

We can’t resist a blondie, and this pumpkin version from Friday Is Cake Night is sure to be an instant hit with your crew. The one-bowl recipe is a breeze to make, and you can round up the kids to do the mixing. Click here to get the recipe.

Comfort Food in a Pinch

Start with a package of frozen ravioli. Stir together a few simple ingredients to make a decadent sauce. The smooth, rich flavors of this ravioli with pumpkin alfredo from Taste and Tell come together so quickly, you'll wish you'd invited company over for dinner. Get the recipe here.

The Nuttiest Treat of All

Peanut butter cup fans, take note. This fun twist on the classic from Anya’s Eats is surprisingly easy to make. And with a mix of almond butter, pumpkin and spices, it’s perfect for fall. To snag the recipe, click here.

Pancakes They'll Flip For

Everyone deserves dessert for breakfast sometimes! The yummy combo of pumpkin, cinnamon and icing will transform Saturday morning into a celebration. Serve Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes from Number 2 Pencil with warm maple syrup or drizzled cream cheese glaze. Yum! Click here to get the how-to and get flipping.

Skip the Crust

For an after-school snack that satisfies a sweet tooth without being unhealthy, you’ve got to try this pumpkin pie pudding from My Life Cookbook. It comes together in the blender in less than 10 minutes, and tastes great topped with coconut cream or whipped cream. Find out how it’s made by clicking here.

photo: Tasty Kitchen

A Classic They'll Fall For

Breakfast time, lunchtime, or snack time—anytime is the right time to savor a perfect slice of pumpkin bread. Our freezer-friendly recipe serves up some zing with all the festive fall flavors of nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

One Minute, Pumpkin

You have all the ingredients in the house right now. Savor a sweet treat just for mom and dad after the kids go to bed, or have kitchen sidekicks help put these together for an after-school play date. Just a minute in the microwave and dessert is served! Click here to get the recipe from The Frugal Foodie Mama.

photo: Toddler Cafe

A Pocket Full of Pumpkin

What kid doesn't love pasta? These easy-to-make pasta pockets start with store-bought wonton wrappers and end with butter, parmesan and smiles. Try this recipe from The Playful Pantry as a unique way to use up that can of pumpkin and add a nutritious twist to their usual pasta plate.

— Susie Foresman & Cherie Gough



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Feature photo: Natalia Y via Unsplash

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