23 Ways to Use Up Leftover Pumpkin Purée

Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity.

Last year Lynn gave a wonderful tutorial on how to make your own pumpkin purée. Whether you make your own or use a can, it seems you’re almost guaranteed to always have just a little bit left over. And, nobody likes to waste any precious pumpkin purée.

Today’s post is all about ways to use up that little bit of extra pumpkin so you can squeeze every last drop out of pumpkin season.

If you’re anything like me you like to find as many recipes as possible to help use up that last half a cup (or less) of pumpkin purée. I wanted to compile a list of recipes and ideas for doing just that and I thought I would share it with you. Make sure to tuck these ideas away for reference later. If you save them for that little extra, you’ll have something to look forward to and no reason to get bored of eating pumpkin the same way over and over.

Sometimes it makes sense to simply freeze the leftovers (especially when using canned purée) but if you already thawed your own pumpkin purée, you probably don’t want to stick it back in the freezer.

Here are a couple of ideas (and some recipes too) that use half a cup or less of pumpkin purée.

Stir it Into Your Favorite Beverage

It seems that this time of year, recipes for Pumpkin Spice Latte’s abound. But don’t limit it to just latte’s. Stir some purée into your favorite hot chocolate recipe, make a milkshake or smoothie, add it to some hot apple cider or even a cup of spiced tea. Just don’t forget to add some Pumpkin Spice!


Use it in Sweets and Baking

Not all sweets use a large amount of pumpkin. If you find a recipe that interests you, and uses a small amount of pumpkin, make note of it so you can reference it later.

Make sure to include it in some of your tried and true favorites as well. Stir some into rice pudding, frozen yogurt or ice cream, vanilla pudding or substitute it for some banana in banana bread.


Photo by the craving chronicles

Serve it Up for Breakfast

Mix it with cream cheese and spread it on a bagel, stir it into oatmeal or your favorite pancake recipe. Breakfast is the perfect vessel for including small amounts of pumpkin. Try mixing some into yogurt and layer it with granola to make a parfait or turn it into a spread and eat it with toast.


Use it for Dinner

Pumpkin isn’t only for sweets, it has it’s place on the dinner table too. Stir some into risotto or a creamy pasta sauce. Add it to soup to give it some body and warmth or use it as a substitute for squash to switch up an old favorite.

Don’t forget about mashed potatoes! Give them a well-buttered look by adding a few tablespoons of pumpkin purée in while mashing. Delicious!


With a little bit of creativity no pumpkin need go to waste. Have fun experimenting and if something doesn’t turn out, don’t sweat it. That’s all part of the fun of experimenting in the kitchen.

What do you do with the little bit of pumpkin leftover?

About Cheri

Cheri is a mother of two and a Canadian expat living in Norway. With a passion for quick and simple food, Cheri shares recipes, tips and tricks on her food blog, KitchenSimplicity.com.

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  1. Love all the ideas! I have some pumpkin sitting in my fridge that needs to be used ASAP.

    Leftover pumpkin makes a great mix-in for cornbread muffins–makes them nice and moist. How much pumpkin to add depends on the amount of batter. I included a chart in this post:

  2. Rebecca ~ Sweet Baby Yams says

    This is a great collection of pumpkin recipes. I really want to try the Pumpkin Spice Latte & the Super Mac & Cheese recipes.

  3. What a great idea to assemble all of the ways to use up extra pumpkin. Seems I always have some left that I don’t know what to do with. Thanks for linking to my maple pumpkin pie breakfast parfait. I’m anxious to try many of these other recipes. I love all things pumpkin. 🙂

  4. This is just what I needed. I was wondering what to do with my leftover pumpkin. Awesome!

  5. Baked oatmeal — that’s our favorite – takes 3/4 C pumpkin puree (or sweet potato puree): http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweet-potato-baked-oatmeal.html.

    We also enjoy:
    Pumpkin Muffins (1/2 C) –

    Pumpkin Spice Granola (1/2 C) –

    Pumpkin Spice Bagels (1/2 C) –

  6. Wonderful ideas thank you !

  7. Love these ideas!

    My kids love it in pumpkin bread (http://stayathomefoodie.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/pumpkin-i-mean-squash-bread/) which has a good deal of pumpkin in it.

    I also love pumpkin ravioli this time of year. If anyone has a recipe, I’d love it.

  8. Love this! Small amounts of ingredients are kinda my thing 😉 Thanks for including me in the roundup–I’m honored!

  9. I love my version of Starbucks Cream Cheese Muffins. But I’ve also made the super mac-n-cheese (so good), enchiladas w/ pumpkin sauce & pumpkin breads!

  10. These are all great ideas. Thank you so much, I have pumpkin out the ying- yang right now 🙂

  11. Great roundup! There are some uses I would never have thought of. Thanks for including me 🙂

  12. Love all the ideas.. I usually throw in a spoon or two in my latte, have it in a smoothie after my workout or even in a pancake! The possibilities are endless 😀

  13. Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

  14. I really love pumpkin soup before i always make this soup..hank for sharing i am craving to pumpkin..

  15. Feed the pets! Pretty much all dogs, and at least some cats, love any mashed winter squash.
    In addition to nutrients, it’s full of fiber, so it keeps things moving along, useful for some critters.

  16. Such great ideas! Thanks for featuring my Pumpkin Pie Blizzard!

  17. We love this pumpkin waffle recipe:


    The apple citer syrup is totally worth the extra effort; the apple and pumpkin flavors complement each other so nicely.

  18. Lots of good ideas! Thanks for including our cookies!

  19. My favorite is probably pancakes. Just mix about 1/3 cup of pumpkin into any pancake recipe.

    Sourdough pumpkin pancakes –

    Curried Pumpkin and lentil soup-

    Pumpkin pound cake-

    Pumpkin chunkies- my boys love these especially!

    • I tried pulling up the recipes you posted and it says closed..available by invite only. 🙁 was really curious as to what pumpkin chunkies were LOL…..

  20. These all sound yummy! Most could also be used with butternut squash puree we usually have a ton of it from our garden so we use it in everything. I have found that the two are pretty interchangeable just a bit of a different taste.

  21. i just made pumpkin mac & cheese & i always have pumpkin frozen in ice cube trays to pop out and blend with greek yogurt for pumpkin pie “ice cream.” i also loooove pumpkin “souffles” in the microwave or foodsofapril’s whole meal pumpkin pie!

  22. Thank you for all of these recipes to use up the last of my pumpkin purée; they’ll come in handy! And thanks for including one of my own as well!

  23. My kids are fond of using pumpkins as decors for Halloween. I have been searching other uses for its leftovers aside from pies. I am really grateful for your suggestions and tips. I am excited to give them a try especially adding them to a latte.

  24. Also can be used as baby food! All of my kids liked to eat pumpkin straight out of the can/jar. Those little leftover bits are perfect for this.

  25. Emily @ Random Recycling says

    thank you! I’ve got a cup in my fridge leftover from Pumpkin Waffles. There are so many new ideas here. Yum.

  26. Chelsey Anderson says

    For this holiday season I’m using my leftover pumpkin puree to make pumpkin spice french toast! yum…..! Just dip the bread in the puree and eggs and spices and fry like normal.

  27. Adding it (or carrot puree) to Trader Joes Organic Mac and cheese (instead of milk) gives it a nutrition boost for the kiddos.

  28. Thank you for this great compilation! I’ve already used 2 of these recipes last night and that was with the limited ingredients I had in the house! It was so easy to just click through these and find recipes that I could make without a trip to the store.

  29. You can also used it as a face mask. Add whipping cream and honey. Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, which is healing to the skin and is essential to maintain and repair skin tissue. It also helps reduce lines and wrinkles. Honey is a humectant. The cream moisturizes and helps soothe flaky skin.

  30. I faced the pumpkin gut dilemma yesterday! Roasted the seeds, then made soup, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin smoothies! Check it out:

  31. Great list! Thanks for including our pancakes! One of my favorite breakfasts, for sure. 🙂

  32. Love it! Thanks for sharing!

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