Not a fan of the PSL? Then say good-bye to pumpkin spice as a sugary coffee flavor or muffin streusel topping and venture into its savory side. Once you try these Thai-inspired soup and salad recipes, you’ll wonder why you ever thought pumpkin flavor was best served at Starbucks.

But before you begin cooking, you have to cut the pumpkin — which is not the easiest task. I recommend putting the whole pumpkin in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes to let it slightly soften. To prep the pumpkin, cut it in half, scoop out and reserve the seeds and guts, and slice each half into 3 or 4 wedges, depending on size.

Now let’s get spicy.


1. Pumpkin Curry Soup


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


2 cups roasted pumpkin

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife

1 tablespoon red curry paste

1/2 can coconut milk, light or full fat

1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Salt and cayenne pepper


1. Drizzle pumpkin wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 400 degrees until tender, 20-25 minutes.

2. Remove wedges from oven, reserve half for salad recipe (or another use). Remove skin on remaining wedges, scraping pumpkin flesh into a bowl and mashing it.

pumpkin spice

Photo by Jackie Maloney

3. Heat coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, sautéing until translucent, about 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic, chile paste and ginger (if using), and let cook for 2-3 more minutes.

5. Add the pumpkin, thoroughly coating with the onion/chile mixture and breaking up the larger pieces.

pumpkin spice

Photo by Jackie Maloney

6. Before anything starts to stick to the pot, add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne, and stir to combine. Reduce heat, cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Turn off the heat and pour the soup into a blender (work cautiously, in batches) until smooth.

pumpkin spice

Photo by Jackie Maloney



2. Pumpkin, Kale and Grain Salad with Miso Curry Dressing


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


1 teaspoon miso paste

1 teaspoon red curry paste

1/2 of a lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 small bunch of kale, steams removed and roughly chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 to 1 cup of cooked grains (quinoa, brown rice, farro, etc.)

1/2 roasted pumpkin with skin removed, cut into cubes or left in wedges

Handful of pepitas, toasted

Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. Make the dressing. Combine miso, red curry paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir with a whisk until combined. Drizzle in the olive oil.
  2. Combine kale, grains and pumpkin in a bowl. Mix in dressing, and top with pumpkin seeds and cilantro
  3. Optional: Finish with a dollop of Greek yogurt, feta or goat cheese to help balance out all that marvelous pumpkin spice.
pumpkin spice

Photo by Jackie Maloney

Now all that’s left are the seeds. To make them chile-roasted, add some chile powder, salt and lime juice and place in a 400-degreeoven for 10 minutes. All of these recipes also happen to be vegan, leaving no excuse not to eat pumpkin for every meal of the day.

Still craving something sweet? Don’t worry, pumpkin spice pancakes and cookies will always be in style.