Growing up, the sights, sounds, and scents of fall marked my favorite time of year. Scolding summer beach days melted into cool mornings at the bus stop. These were quiet mornings aside from crunching leaves and the subtle yawns of tired neighbors. But for me, autumn evenings hold the most nostalgia. Warm cinnamon air floating through the scarecrow-lined threshold of our house, the clanking of pots and pans in the kitchen, and a fresh-made pumpkin pie on the table.
When pumpkin and squash appear on any menu, pantry, or refrigerator, it’s a sign that the season of giving has begun. From butternut squash soup to hot takes on pumpkin pies, we’ve compiled a list of recipes that will have you transfixed on these traditional autumnal ingredients. Unhook your apron, open the kitchen window, gather your spices, and lean into the season with these pumpkin and squash centered recipes.
9 Pumpkin & Squash Centered Recipes
For many, the start of fall anticipates the warm, comforting taste of a pumpkin spice latte. But often, these lattes can leave us wanting. This traditional Cuban carajillo from Nathan Foster enhances the classic by blending smooth espresso rum and Irish cream topped with a dollop of whipped cream. We suggest adding a little orange zest or Woodster’s Orange Biters for a sweet, citrusy undertone.
Pumpkin pie is a tradition on the Thanksgiving table, but sometimes tradition can use a little tweaking. Nashville chef, Vivek Surti of Tailor, combines a traditional thin-crust chess pie with fall pumpkin flavor, giving the pie subtle Southern flair with its rich, buttery taste. A tip for some added smokiness: swap your traditional vanilla for Bourbon Barrel Foods’ bourbon-based vanilla extract.
Charleston chef, Kevin Johnson, pairs salty ricotta cheese, smoky roasted pumpkin, and a savory squash romesco with sweet dried fruit and a citrus lemon vinaigrette in this salata. Add some texture with some salted almond slices and an extra dash of olive oil!
This decadent pumpkin custard is a new essential on the Southern holiday dessert table. All the rich pumpkin flavor, but without the pie crust. To save a little time, skip the homemade caramel and opt for a spoonful of Catbird Salted Caramel Sauce or flavorful cinnamon apple butter to make this dessert effortless.
New Orleans chef Nina Compton shares her personal staple side dish: jerk delicata squash. With earthy spices and a hint of sweetness, this Caribbean-style jerk squash makes for an unexpected side dish this season. To turn up the heat, we recommend topping it off with Tennessee Jerk Fine Grind made with Caribbean and African peppers and topping with Zorro Pecans’ Georgia-roasted pecans to compliment the pickled raisins.
This creamy butternut squash soup from Ali Ramee has earthy undertones, elements of nuttiness, and a touch of crunch. Dairy free and vegetarian, this soup makes for a nourishing and vitamin-rich pick me up on a cool autumn evening. Top with hot harissa, crispy dukkah, pepitas, and crushed pistachios.
Santiago Guzzetti of small-town Italian restaurant Ilda in the mountains of North Carolina shares his popular recipe for candy roaster squash cavatelli. Candy Roaster squash has similar tasting notes to pumpkin and Guzzetti cooks theirs in the embers of a fire, adding a hint of smoke. Serve the cavatelli—or as Guzzetti pens “gnocchi’s little cousin”—the Italian way topped with tomato confit and sharp pecorino cheese.
Versatile and delicate by name, this squash salad makes a simple side dish for a family gathering or a quick and easy weekday meal. The salad, from farm-to-table chef Michelle Weaver, incorporates a robust, sweet flavor with its maple vinaigrette dressing. Citrus undertones are also prevalent with lemon juice and blood oranges. For a bold take on this vinaigrette, incorporate Bourbon Barrel Foods’ aged maple syrup.
Chef Brian Mooney of Tre Luna Bar & Kitchen in Hoover, Alabama shares this approachable recipe radiating with fall flavor. This decadent and creamy pumpkin risotto features a hint of nutmeg to deliver earthy autumnal spice paired with a lightly seared scallop. To add an extra element of sweetness, we like to drizzle a teaspoon of Edisto Gold Pumpkin Spice Honey over the scallops while searing.
Enhance the flavor of any cocktail with Woodster's Smoked Orange Bitters! These bitters are crafted by smoking whole oranges over pecan wood, resulting in a perfect combination of smokiness, fruity essence, and spice. Whether you're savoring a warm Old Fashioned or a refreshing Manhattan, these bitters will be your ideal companion.$15.00
Catbird's Salted Caramel Sauce is an organic and cane sugar blend that is matched with pure cream, butter, and a pinch of sea salt for a blast of flavor that is great on anything from ice cream to fruit.$12.00
Try Bourbon Barrel Aged Madagascar Vanilla Extract from Bourbon Barrel Foods for all baking needs. The vanilla extract is aged in bourbon barrels that are directly from Kentucky’s best distilleries. Aging in the white oak barrels results in a flavor that is rich, sweet, and aromatic in vanilla with a hint of bourbon. The best part is that it reflects some Southern heritage and charm of the Bluegrass State. Bourbon Barrel Aged Madagascar Vanilla Extract is a great addition to your baking shelf’s ingredients. Use it to liven up the classic pecan pie with a rich vanilla to compliment the savory pecans. Don’t forget to add some whipped cream to pies and desserts. This vanilla extract will add a hint of bourbon to the fluffy treat to make a delectable topping for anything. Or, just eat it off the spoon…yummy! Put a dash into the holiday eggnog to sip and get a taste of Kentucky’s bourbons. Bourbon Barrel Aged Madagascar Vanilla Extract from Bourbon Barrel Foods is one of many products they create that makes a great gift. All items are handmade in Louisville, Kentucky, and infuse bourbon essence in some way. Why? Because Bourbon Barrel Foods wants you to be able to “Eat Your Bourbon.” Take the spirits drink out of the glass and put it onto your plate with the famous Bluegrass Soy Sauce and Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt. Or, read recipes from the “Eat Your Bourbon” cookbook where owner Matt Jamie shares some of his favorite ideas from breakfast to dessert to drinks.$25.00
9oz OU Kosher Certified Non-GMO Project Verified Almonds are one of the most nutrient dense tree nuts and are considered to be one of the world's healthiest specialty crops. Feridies source their jumbo almonds from the Mediterranean-like climates of central California where they shell the almonds, roast them with their skin in-tact and give them a light dusting of salt to produce this delicious snack that’s high in antioxidants and vitamin E.$25.00
The first product in Jack Rudy’s Perfect Pantry collection, this fruity and versatile olive oil can be used for grilling, sauteing, salad dressings, or as a finishing oil.$26.00
Seasonings & Spices
This 1.5-ounce shaker of Olde Virden’s Tennessee Jerk Fine Grind is handcrafted and blended locally in Knoxville, Tennessee. Unlike other fine grinds that Olde Virden’s makes, this one uses Caribbean and African peppers instead of chilies to give it a unique flavor and extra kick. This Tennessee Jerk Fine Grind tastes amazing and will have you sweating through your shirt in no time. Use it as a dry rub for any type of meat or put it on huevos rancheros, pasta, or fresh gumbo to give your meal a hot punch. It is sodium free, additive free, and preservative free to make for the freshest and tastiest fine grind you could keep in your pantry. Beside, The Tennessee Jerk Fine Grind combined with Chili Pepper Blend Gift Box also can be a great gift for your family or friends. Olde Virden’s was started by Knoxville, Tennessee local Chris Virden. The idea struck Chris as he was enjoying a slice of pizza hundreds of miles in the air, nearing the peak of Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He noticed that almost every pizza joint that he had ever been to use the same flat bottle of red pepper flakes, and was sure that there had to be a better tasting option. After his trip, he came back to his home in Tennessee and started researching the best alternatives for red pepper flakes. After a number of months of testing different peppers and spices, he finally chose his five favorites. Shortly after, he opened up a small family-run facility in Knoxville where the local fresh chilies are dehydrated, ground, and packaged to be shipped.$8.00
Four 8oz. bags of Zorro's roasted Georgia pecans These beautifully roasted and lightly salted are straight from the farm, and whether you're using them to cook or snack, you'll notice the superior taste of Zorro's golden pecans.$50.00
OU Kosher Certified Non-GMO Project Verified Feridies California Pistachios are gently roasted and salted then naturally split open so you can enjoy these delicious treats straight out of the can with minimal effort.$25.00
The Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup is the perfect topping for pancakes and french toast. This certified-organic syrup is made in Louisville, Kentucky, aged in white oak barrels that once held the finest Kentucky bourbons. The process of aging the syrup in these barrels matures the maple syrup flavor adding a unique smoky, white oak taste to complement with the maple for a sweet treat. Take Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup beyond the breakfast table. Mix it in cocktails or an old fashioned for a complex drink with a sweet note. Or, top your ice cream with it to put a twist on the classic ice cream sundae with some of the bluegrass states’ best flavors. We wouldn’t judge if you ate it right off the spoon. This syrup is one of many products a part of Bourbon Barrel Foods’ “Eat Your Bourbon” initiative. Owner Matt Jamie started out of his home on a mission to make soy sauce that would stand out from the rest. Bourbon and bourbon barrels were his answer creating the world famous Bluegrass Soy Sauce. Passionate about making bourbon more than a drink, he began to make dishes that infuse and use bourbon in all kinds of ways, which led him to create Bourbon Barrel Foods. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can have the essence of the drink all day long and finish with a glass of bourbon. Try making these recipes yourself from Jamie’s “Eat Your Bourbon” cookbook that suggests dishes and drinks that use various Bourbon Barrel Foods products.$19.00
You could spend hours laboring in the kitchen – coring apples, waiting as they slow cook throughout the afternoon – in an attempt to resurrect your grandmother’s apple butter recipe. Or, you could turn to a jar of Charleston Favorites Cinnamon Apple Butter for the immediate taste and scent of fall in your kitchen. Rich and creamy, the addition of cinnamon brings a warming spice reminiscent of apple cider and stewed apples to this delectable cinnamon apple butter. The Food for the Southern Soul brand comes from chef and gourmet foods creator Jimmy Hagood. A former insurance advisor, Hagood changed courses to pursue his passion for cooking and sharing Southern food through restaurant businesses, catering, and gourmet snack retail. His brand delivers classic foods and flavors of the Lowcountry, Appalachia, Tidewater, and the Gulf to your table. In addition to the Cinnamon Apple Butter, the Charleston Favorites collection offers other pantry delicacies inspired by the historic city’s renowned culinary traditions. From coarse, stone-ground grits to barbecue sauces and benne wafers, there’s a meal, ingredient, or snack for every occasion. Ways to Love Cinnamon Apple Butter Spread over a sturdy slice of toast or settled into the crannies of an English muffin, this Cinnamon Apple Butter adds instant elevation to any piece of bread. And its utility goes well beyond breakfast. Dress it up for dinner with apple butter-glazed pork chops, Pickled Green Beans, or add it to your favorite hot buttered rum recipe for an autumn-heavy twist.$8.00
Edisto Gold Honey celebrates the fall season with pumpkin spice flavored honey. Each jar is harvested straight from hives on the shores the Lowcountry of the Edisto River. Available in 8-ounce jar. Ingredients: raw honey and organic pumpkin spice. Put on biscuits, put it in coffee, or eat it by the spoonful. Do not feed honey products to infants under 1 year of age.$15.00
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by Hannah Lee Leidy
- by Hannah Lee Leidy
- by Hannah Lee Leidy