One of the hardest parts about Whole30 in the fall is that it is also pumpkin season. The air seems full of all of the autumn spices – hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
People are passionate about pumpkin – especially in their coffee.
But you can still enjoy these Autumn delights AND find your food freedom. Just whip up one of these paleo pumpkin recipes. They’re festive, delicious, and definitely Whole30 compliant.
Pumpkin pie spice
Where fall begins and the holiday season ends. Pumpkin pie spice is not just for lattes and sweet treats. You can also sprinkle it over roasted kabocha squash or use it in your next morrocaan lamb stew. And the good thing about making your own is that you can vary amounts of each individual spice. Or add your own twist, like a bit of ground cardamom.
Paleo pumpkin curry
If not pumpkin spice, then curry. Curry – and the spices associated with a traditional curry – pair beautifully with the subtle sweetness of pumpkin. This include flavors from coriander, cumin, and turmeric.
One of the best parts of a curry is the sauce. Be sure you have something to spoon your curry over, like a bowl of cauliflower rice. Perfection!
Pumpkin cream chicken casserole
Baking spices plus a little onion and garlic, this casserole layers saucy pumpkin chicken on top of cauliflower and spaghetti squash. Delicious, right? Like most casseroles, it’s a full meal with protein, fat, and plenty of starchy veggies.
If you’ve got an itch for something green, serve it alongside a handful of spinach or top with kale chips for a little textural excitement.
Pumpkin turkey paleo chili
A one pot meal that’s freezer-friendly too. What’s not to love?
Chili is all about those deep and rich flavors. So, when browning your meat, be sure to break it up slowly over high heat so that it has a chance to develop flavor and caramelize – rather than simply stew in its own juices.
If you’re the sort that likes to grind your own cumin, quickly toast it in a dry pan first. Then grind. And to further enhance those deep, smoky notes try this little trick: add one ounce of unsweetened dark cacao.
Savory herbed cashew pumpkin dip
If you’ve never cream-ified anything with cashews, you’re in for a treat. When blended, cashews are rich and thick. And while soaking them before blending is always a good idea, it’s not necessary to achieve that smooth velvety texture.
This herbed cashew dip calls for nutritional yeast and lemon, giving it an almost cheesy tang. Scoop it up with raw veggies – like carrots, cucumber, and celery – or use it as a spread across lettuce leaf and with some deli meat for a quick sandwich.
Creamy paleo bacon pumpkin soup
What do you get when you add pumpkin and bacon to homemade chicken stock? All the cozy, wonderful feelings of autumn…in a bowl.
Using canned pumpkin and assuming you’ve already made your chicken stock, this pumpkin soup recipe comes together quickly. It also freezes well and reheats fabulously.
Spicy pumpkin spiced pepitas
Remember the pumpkin pie spice recipe from above? This is one place where you’ll want to use it.
A sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice tossed over ghee-coated pepitas. In the oven for 10 minutes and voila – sprinkle your delicious pepitas over salad, soup, chowder, and curry. Or eat them straight from the pan.
Thai pumpkin curry with salmon and shrimp
Thai curries tend to be a bit sweeter than their Indian cousins. That’s where the pumpkin comes it. As a starchy gourd – did y’all know gourds are considered a fruit?? – pumpkin pairs well with the little bit of heat found in this Thai curry paste.
If you’re into awesome nutrition and like taking care of the environment, make sure your salmon and shrimp are wild caught.
About Emily Montes
Emily Montes is the co-founder of RealPlans.com. She's also an acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese medicine, a published author, and a mom of two. Emily loves making meal planning easier and inspiring families to share more meals around the table.