Whether you're carving it, picking it, or sitting in it at the stroke of midnight, pumpkins are everything right now. But what do you do with those green ones, rectangle ones, and every oddball in between? Channel your inner Martha Stewart and turn your decorations into dinner (or dessert, I won't tell) in under an hour.


pumpkin, pasture, apple, vegetable, squash
Jennell Johns

Pumpkins are the easiest to pick out. They'll look and feel same as what you've carved as a kid, just much smaller in size.

If you want to roast your own pumpkin, cut it in quarters, scrape out the seeds, and throw it on a baking sheet for 45 minutes at 400 degrees in the oven. Of course, you could just snag a few cans off the shelf at your local supermarket (just be sure to get pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin filling.

Whatever you choose, be sure to show off to your friends and family with these Swirled Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars. Be warned: these might turn into a seasonal staple when you see how easy these are to make.


squash, gourd, vegetable, pumpkin, pasture
Jaye Lind

Squash vary a large amount with cook time, color, and size. Many are available all year-long, but the ones currently in season are vibrant, lined with yellows and greens, and offer extremely different flavor profiles.

For a spin on a stuffed pepper, try stuffing an acorn squash instead. The buttery texture and natural sugars will fill you up much more than a watery pepper. My (current) favorite filling is sausage, mushroom and walnuts topped with Gruyère cheese. Hosting a vegan dinner party? Switch out the meat and cheese for farro and breadcrumbs!

rice, sweet, pumpkin, vegetable, squash, acorn squash
Kendra Valkema

For my fellow sugar addicts, try the Delicata squash. Since this oblong squash flies heavily under the radar, it's one of the cheapest squashes out there.

Simply slice it in half (like a hot dog bun), scoop out the seeds, and cut into slices. Toss the squash in olive oil or butter, place on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and pop it into the oven at 400 degrees. After 25 minutes, flip to color the other side. You can even finish it off with a drizzle with maple syrup if you're feeling extra sweet.

Baking Delicata caramelizes the natural sugars inside, giving it a rich taste around the edges. The slices will have a crisp outside and a smooth, sweet interior, making for an impressive and unexpected quick snack or side dish. 


squash, gourd, pasture, pumpkin, vegetable
Lauryn Lahr

I know what you're thinking: what about those funky, bumpy ones? These are known as gourds and are the outcasts of the fall food community. They're edible, but only barely — they're more bitter than your ex.

Your best bet is to use them as decorations as long as is socially acceptable, then throw them to the yard to decompose or join your compost or fertilizer pile. 


Getting creative in the kitchen isn't only good for your Instagram! It can open you up to a new favorite food and gives your body a quick dose of vitamins and minerals from a new source. Oh, and it definitely saves you some cash to get yourself that gift you've been eying this holiday season!