By Anna Glavash

Now is the time to consume as many pumpkin spiced things as possible — and we don’t just mean lattes. Here’s a few other things to try that include actual pumpkin. Trader Joe’s sells Organic Canned Pumpkin for only $1.99, which happens to be sourced from a family farm here in the Willamette Valley. Another $1.99 gets you Pumpkin Pie Spice, aka Fall in a Bottle, and you’re set to go. Here’s three dorm-friendly recipes and three fit for a real kitchen.

Pumpkin Dorm Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Pudding

Bubble tea, anyone? This recipe from Bob’s Red Mill uses the same tapioca pearls found in the popular beverage. You can use almond, soy or coconut milk for a vegan version. Top the dessert with whipped cream and chocolate syrup if you’re feeling fancy.

  • Soak ¼ cup tapioca pearls in ½ cup milk overnight in fridge. DO NOT skip this step, it cuts prep time in half!
  • Using a bowl or container twice as big as the amount of all ingredients, stir in ½ tsp pumpkin spice, ¼ cup sugar, a pinch of salt and 1½ cup milk and microwave on high for 6 minutes. Do NOT let it boil over!
  • Stir well, microwave for 2 more minutes, then stir in ¼ cup pumpkin and microwave for two more minutes. Trust me, it’s worth it. This pudding also keeps well in the fridge.

Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese

Have you tried pumpkin macaroni and cheese? Creamy cheese sauce and smooth golden pumpkin were meant to be together. No one said adding more cheese was a bad idea, either…

  • Microwave your favorite easy mac according to the directions (you might want to make more than one). Drain the leftover hot water into a separate bowl.
  • To the hot water, add 2 tbsp of pumpkin per serving of mac, a pinch of salt and the cheese packet(s). Microwave for 1 minute. Stir, add the pasta and stir again.
  • Finally, stir in your favorite cheese (we recommend cheddar, because orange). For an extra topping, try sprinkling on some of the spicy pumpkin seeds from the recipe below.

Pumpkin Butter

What to do with the rest of your pumpkin puree? If you love apple butter, you will be obsessed with pumpkin butter.

  • Combine 1 cup pumpkin in a bowl with 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp sugar (or maple syrup), 1 tsp of pumpkin spice and a pinch of salt.
  • Microwave for 1 minute, stir and repeat.
  • Spread on toast with sliced apple. Add nut butter and more pumpkin spice to taste.
  • Pumpkin butter is also delish on granola or oatmeal, over pancakes or waffles, or mixed into desserts.

Real Kitchen Recipes

Thai Pumpkin Soup

This one’s super easy and so satisfying. All you really need is pumpkin, broth or bouillon, coconut milk and curry. Scale down if you must, but soup makes the best leftovers.

  • Curry paste: choose whichever one you like! I love Maesri, but all the flavors are awesome. Curry powder works here too.
  • Heat 1 can pumpkin, and 1½  cups broth (or bouillon and water) in a medium saucepan. Stir in 1 tbsp curry paste and ½ can coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and enjoy.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, you can add in any number of green veggies or top with scallions or cilantro. For a heartier meal, pour over rice and add in cooked tofu, chicken or whichever protein you prefer. Toasted pumpkin seeds are also great on top.

Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe from is what fall is all about. Though the recipe is slightly more involved, these muffins are SO worth it. Go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees, you know you want to.

  • Whisk 1½  cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt, and 2+ tsp pumpkin spice in a medium bowl.
  • In a large bowl, beat 1⅓ cup brown sugar and 6 tbsp butter until light and fluffy. It helps if the butter is room temp.
  • Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, then add 1+⅓ cup pumpkin and beat again.
  • Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Set muffin papers in a 12-well muffin tin and divide batter evenly into wells. If you like, sprinkle some pumpkin seeds in the center of each muffin.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

The best topping for pretty much anything that needs crunchy flavor bits. They’re also an addictive snack!

  • Just toss some raw pumpkin seeds with a little tamari (or soy sauce) and maple syrup. Use 1 tbsp of each per cup of seeds.
  • Add a dash of cayenne pepper (or leave it off — they’re still so good), and spread on a baking sheet.
  • Set your oven to 350 degrees and toast for 8-10 minutes or until they start to brown.

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