Fall obviously brings certain things to mind: cooler weather, changing leaves, and (of course) pumpkins. While “pumpkin flavor” has undergone a renaissance over the last decade, the pumpkin itself is often banished to the porch to rot. But people who disregard the pumpkin are missing out, both on flavor and nutrition! While there are plenty of delicious desserts that feature pumpkins, there are just as many savory dishes that do this gourd justice. So this week, as you ooh and ahh over the carved pumpkins all around you, consider setting a whole one aside for one of these delicious and savory pumpkin recipes.

White Bean Soup With Ham, Pumpkin, and Chard

This recipe, featured on Simply Recipes, is an adaptation of a basic White Bean and Ham Soup. The author points out (correctly) that the more colorful a food, the more nutrients it has, so she loaded up this basic soup with vibrant vegetables like pumpkins, Swiss chard, and tomatoes. The prep time for the recipe is only 20 minutes, and then you get to enjoy the smell as it cooks to perfection for 2 hours. Pair it with a crusty baguette and a glass of red wine on a chilly evening – you won’t regret it!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The next time you’re carving pumpkins with the kids, don’t just toss that glop – save the seeds and roast them for a delicious snack! Besides being a tasty treat, pumpkin seeds are incredibly healthy. They are full of iron, magnesium, fiber, zinc, potassium, and protein – which means they’re also really filling!

Pumpkin-Leek Soup

With a total cook time of 45 minutes, this pumpkin-leek soup makes a great, easy side for your fall and winter dinners. Pair it with a lighter entrée, or make it the focus by serving it in a bread bowl with a salad on the side. If leeks are hard to find in your area, you can substitute green onions instead.

Baked Pasta With Roasted Pumpkin & Bacon

This recipe is a little too complicated for a weekday dinner, but is so wonderfully delicious and nourishing that you’ll want to make the effort for a Saturday feast. If you’re worried about the inclusion of bacon, don’t be – the recipe calls for just 6 slices, which are cooked and then crumbled throughout, while 1 and ½ teaspoons of the drippings are added to infuse flavor. Plus, that smell!

So there you are – 4 savory pumpkin recipes to get you started! Bon appétit!

Image Credit: Mike Baird