Find the easiest ways to use up a can of leftover pumpkin you may have left from cooking or baking. Find recipes for pumpkin cookies, muffins, cupcakes, smoothies, oatmeal, and more.
Leftover Pumpkin Ideas
I know firsthand how irritating it can be to buy a can of pumpkin, use some in a recipe, then not be sure what to do with the rest of it. Which is why this list is here to help. Included below are recipes that use less than a full can of pumpkin puree (or that work with leftover homemade pumpkin puree) so you have easy ideas at the ready to use the pumpkin up.
Recipes for Pumpkin Puree
All of these recipes use less than a cup of pumpkin puree so they’re a perfect way to use it up if you have some left. (Especially great for during Thanksgiving week when you might have extra.)
Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal
Start the day on a nutritious and totally delish note with this super easy Pumpkin Oatmeal. It has all the spice you expect from a pumpkin recipe but requires just 5 ingredients and about 10 minutes (or less!) of cooking. Win!
You can make this in about 15 minutes on any morning, or make the whole recipe ahead and simply warm right before serving. See the Notes for variations to make it with other types of oats.
Favorite Pumpkin Smoothie
If you find yourself wanting to serve up a delicious pumpkin treat that packs serious nutrition, try this Pumpkin Smoothie. It’s creamy, indulgent, and is a nice way to serve up a veggie for breakfast! And it’s a perfect way to finish up leftover pumpkin puree you may have from baking.
This creamy Pumpkin Smoothie has delicious pumpkin-pie-like flavor and is a delicious meal component or snack. This makes two toddler-size servings, or a smoothie to share for a parent and toddler. You can freeze any leftovers into a freezer pop!
Healthy Pumpkin Bars Recipe
You can quickly stir together this Healthy Pumpkin Bars recipe (with oatmeal and low added sugar) for breakfast, snack time, or even dessert. The method is so quick and easy and the result is moist and full of pumpkin goodness. Win, win!
These bars are tender when warm out of the oven, so do be sure to let them cool completely before slicing.
Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
With a simple stir together method, and just sweet enough flavor, these mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are a yummy fall treat to share with the kids. Plus, they store so well!
Healthy Pumpkin Mini Muffins
With just a handful of nutritious ingredients, these Healthy Pumpkin Muffins are a treat that we love to make and enjoy each fall for breakfast, snack time, or as a simple side dish for dinner. And it’s easy to adjust for allergies as needed!
Use a gluten-free flour blend or whole wheat depending on what works best for your family. This recipe has very little flour—that is not a mistake. They bake up wonderfully, so have faith! Adapted from Against All Grain.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
Make these healthy (and so easy) Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins to share with the kids for breakfast or snack—with or without chocolate chips!
These store well in the fridge so you can make them a day or two ahead if you prefer—or bake and serve warm from the oven. These taste like a cross between baked oatmeal and a traditional pumpkin muffin (they don’t have any flour, so they’re a little denser than a traditional muffin, but still super moist!).
Whenever a holiday comes around, I feel like the internet explodes with ideas that always look a little too complicated for me. With three kids usually in close proximity, I’m more of the “give me the easiest thing possible!” mentality. Which brings me to: Halloween quesadillas!
Have fun with Halloween dinner in just a few minutes—and get the kids fed before the festivities—with this easy pumpkin quesadilla. (It also works for lunch too!)
Sheet Pan Black Bean Quesadillas
Learn how to make a big batch of quesadillas for the family all at the same time with these easy oven-baked Sheet Pan Black Bean Quesadillas. They’re flavorful, straight-forward, and so delish!
These easy quesadillas can be made with pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree, or butternut squash puree. You can also skip it and just go with beans and cheese! I make these as half moon shapes since it helps contain the mess a little when feeding these to kids.
Pumpkin Chocolate Baked Donuts
If you’re looking for a fun and easy breakfast for the littles come fall, these Baked Chocolate Pumpkin Donuts are a yummy option. Plus: They’re flourless, nut-free, packed with protein, and so easy to make!
Share a batch of flourless chocolate baked donuts for breakfast, snack time, or dessert. They’re easy enough that the kids can help make the batter!
Fluffy Pumpkin Cookies
These soft-baked cookies taste like mouthfuls of the most delicious pumpkin bread, in cookie form. They are made with just a few ingredients and are so perfect to share with the kids. I love this as a component on a cookie platter, a Thanksgiving dessert, or just something to bake (a few times!) during the fall.
These Fluffy Pumpkin Cookies are soft and delicious, and they almost melt in your mouth. They take only 20 minutes to make and are perfect for Thanksgiving or winter holidays—or any time you have a craving. They’re particularly pretty with a sprinkles on top!
Healthy Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips
These Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies are so impressively soft and light—and have a surprisingly small amount of added sweetener for how good they taste. Plus, the batter simply stirs together, so this is a recipe that even your little kids can help you cook!
These fluffy cookies are not super sweet, so you can add 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar to the batter if desired. (We like them just fine as is with the chocolate chips for sweetness!)
Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
With a simple stir-together method, these easy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are a perfect fall dessert to share with the kids! They have less sugar than similar cupcakes, yet deliver big time on both texture and flavor.
I like to frost these soon before serving. You can make the frosting ahead, transfer it to a zip top bag, and store in the fridge until ready to add to the cupcakes.
How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Puree
Transfer leftover pumpkin to a storage container and store in the fridge for up to a week. Or, transfer to a freezer bag, press flat, and freeze for up to a year. It’s best to measure out a common amount you may use in a recipe—so ½ cup or 1 cup—so you can thaw it in the fridge and use it in a recipe easily.
You can also freeze pumpkin puree in an ice cube tray, then freeze for 24 hours. Transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze. You can then add the frozen cubes directly to hot oatmeal and stir in to thaw. Or to Pumpkin Smoothies.
Best Tips for Success
- Transfer leftover canned pumpkin puree to a storage container to keep in the fridge or freezer.
- If freezing, freeze in an amount you plan to use in a future recipe (so in ½ or 1 cup amounts) to ensure it’s easy to use.
- Use this method and recipe ideas with canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this post or know your favorite canned pumpkin recipe, so please comment below.