It’s October. That means I can officially put on my favorite boots without feeling like I’ve given up too early on summer. It also means that pumpkin makes its way onto my table in lots of forms. There’s pumpkin pie, of course, but pumpkin deserves to be used in a variety of ways.

Here are five recipes that use pumpkin in not so traditional ways for me (and you) to experiment with this fall.

  1. Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce – Rich, creamy and screaming “this dish is for fall,” pumpkin puree (canned or fresh) is added to a traditional alfredo sauce for a twist on a this classic that makes for a quick weeknight meal.
  2. Pumpkin Chai Smoothie – Pumpkin, bananas, chia seeds and dates go into this sugar-free smoothie.
  3. Pumpkin Hummus – Pumpkin, chickpeas, yogurt and parmesan cheese are the basis for this autumn-flavored hummus. Sounds like a great football-watching snack, doesn’t it?
  4. Pumpkin Quesadilla – One of my favorite local restaurants serves a pumpkin and goat cheese quesadilla that I love. This one uses cheddar cheese, but you can certainly choose whatever cheese you want.
  5. Pumpkin Fritters with Rosemary and Cheese – Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with pumpkin and cheese, these deep fried fritters would make a good side dish or a tasty snack.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

5 recipes for pumpkin
Of course this seasonal favorite makes an awesome pie that’s everyone’s favorite, but feel free to branch out and explore pumpkin’s versatility with these