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Friday, November 23, 2012

What to do with leftover canned or cooked pumpkin

You know how it is, you buy the large can of pumpkin, use some of it for a pie, but there's all this leftover pumpkin still. What can you do with it?

If you have just a spoonful:

  • stir it into a bowl of oatmeal with maple syrup and cinnamon
  • stir it into some applesauce with a sprinkling of brown sugar
  • add it to a bowl of chicken noodle soup
  • add to a smoothie -- vanilla or plain yogurt, banana, blueberries, honey/sugar to taste and pumpkin
  • whisk into eggnog
  • add to cheese sauce when making mac and cheese
  • add to white sauce for casseroles

If you have several spoonfuls:
  • make a batch of Pumpkin Praline Granola (1 batch uses 1/2 cup of pumpkin)
  • bake a batch of Pumpkin Scones (1 batch uses 1/3 cup of pumpkin)
  • add to a batch of vegetable based soup
  • make pumpkin milkshakes -- ice cream, milk, pumpkin and nutmeg
  • make Pumpkin Pie Spice Syrup for Pumpkin Spice Lattes (1 recipe uses 1  1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin)
  • add to muffin batter as part of the wet ingredients
  • add to pancake batter as part of the wet ingredients
  • bake some Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Buns (1 batch takes 6 tablespoons pumpkin)
  • stir into vanilla pudding, add nutmeg and cinnamon to taste

If you have a cupful or more:
  • make a pumpkin chiffon pie (only takes 1  1/4 cups pumpkin)
  • make pumpkin bread (2 loaves takes 1 cup pumpkin)
  • make a pot of Pumpkin Soup (1 recipe calls for 2 cups of pumpkin)
  • bake soft pumpkin cookies (1 batch takes 1 cup pumpkin)

If you can not use your leftover pumpkin within 5 days of opening the can, scoop into small containers and freeze for future use.

And if using home cooked pumpkin for these recipes, strain in a mesh sieve for 30 minutes to an hour, to thicken (but save that liquid in your stock container in the freezer).


  1. These all sound like great ideas, Lili. I like pumpkin too. The other day we stopped in at Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Chattanooga. They had the Pumpkin Spice doughnuts that day, so I picked up one to try it and they were so good. I have three cans in my pantry that I need to use up, so thank you for this list. It is a good starting point.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Oh yum! That donut sounds delish! Have you ever made donut-style muffins? Bake mini muffins (and yes, they can be pumpkin-spice flavored!), in a tin without the papers. Then dip in melted butter and roll in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. These taste remarkably like donuts.

  2. Great tips! I'd also add that leftover sweet potatoe casserole can be used this way as well. I have often substituted it for pumpkin in baked goods with excellent results!

    1. We don't go in for pumpkin in such a big way over here in the UK: I've never seen canned pumpkin, so the sweet potato substitute is useful to know.

    2. Carol, great idea with the sweet potato casserole. Sometimes there's just that one last spoonful that nobody wants to eat. The best pancakes I've ever had were sweet potato pancakes, with hazelnut butter and maple syrup.

      Sarah, you can also use leftover mashed winter squash in place of pumpkin or sweet potatoes in muffins, soup, milkshakes, sauces, pancakes and oatmeal. I guess pumpkin really is a New World food.

  3. I'm glad I have one pumpkin left to cook as these are great ideas. I never thought about adding it to oatmeal, but now I have to try it!


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