6 Ways to Use Up a Can of Pumpkin Purée

The versatile veg can satisfy cravings both sweet and savory.

5 min read

Pumpkin purée is a popular ingredient in many autumn recipes, however, more often than not, recipes such as pumpkin muffins or pumpkin bread call for only a fraction of the container. Instead of throwing out the rest of the can, try one of these six quick and healthy ways to use leftover pumpkin puree. 

Note: All of these recipes use pumpkin puree, which is different from pumpkin pie filling. The latter contains added sugar and spices such as cinnamon. The best way to tell the difference? Look for the term “puree” on the packaging. 


Pumpkin Spice Syrup 

Bring the flavors of the coveted PSL to your home coffee bar. Unlike the OG-version (which doesn’t actually contain pumpkin!) this simple syrup is made by combining 4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. No need to stir, as the heat will dissolve the sugar all on its own. Store in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, in the refrigerator for up to a month. This quick recipe makes about 2 cups of syrup.

Pour this delicious syrup into your morning coffee, onto pancakes, or even over ice cream.


No-Bake Pumpkin Protein Balls 

These fall-inspired pumpkin protein balls are packed full of healthy fats and fiber. In a bowl combine ⅓ cup of nut butter (almond is a personal favorite), ⅓ cup of maple syrup, and ⅓ cup of pumpkin purée. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir in 1½ cups of old-fashioned oats, 2 servings of your favorite vanilla protein powder, and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls and refrigerate until the mixture sets up, about 30 minutes to an hour. Store these on-the-go snacks in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months. 


Pumpkin Brownies 

All you need for this chocolatey pumpkin recipe is a box brownie mix, 2 eggs, a teaspoon of pumpkin spice, and 1 cup of pumpkin puree. Simply mix all four ingredients in a large bowl and bake in a prepared pan according to the box instructions. For something really autumnal, serve these fudgy brownies with pumpkin spice syrup to add that extra fall flair. 


Pumpkin Pancakes 

Pumpkin pancakes are one of the coziest breakfast recipes you can make. Combine 2 cups of your favorite pancake mix with ½ cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup milk, and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until incorporated. If you want thinner pancakes, throw the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the batter onto a preheated griddle or nonstick pan lightly coated with vegetable oil. Cook until the edges have started to solidify and the batter is puffy and bubbles have formed all over the pancake. Flip and cook until golden brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup. 


Pumpkin Pie Smoothie 

In a blender combine three tablespoons of pumpkin puree, a banana, ½ cup vanilla yogurt, 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite milk (almond, oat, etc.), a squirt of honey, a pinch of cinnamon, and ice. Blend to your liking and enjoy while watching another rerun of “Gilmore Girls.”


Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal 

Baked oatmeal is a fun (and simple) way to enjoy whole grains. In a bowl combine 1¼ cups rolled oats, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, ½ teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of salt, ¾ cups milk of your choice, ½ cup pumpkin puree, and 1 tablespoon of honey. Feel free to add any mix-ins you have on hand including raisins, walnuts, or even chopped apples. Pour into an oven-safe dish and bake at 350°F until fully cooked, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and while still hot, top with chocolate chips.


  • Photographer: Paul Quitoriano

  • Stylist: Mary Rupp

  • Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros