There are so many reasons for dips in the fall. Maybe you are watching sports, maybe entertaining, or maybe just need something quick to throw in kids’ lunches. This Savory Pumpkin Dip is a wonderful addition to your dip list!
While you can start with canned pumpkin for this dip, I recommend trying it with a whole small pie pumpkin. The flavor is more concentrated and while it takes more time, it’s not more work really.
You can dip SO many things in this pumpkin dip so it’s kind of a choose-your-own-adventure.
Whatever you choose though, this dip will go fast!
Cooking the Pumpkin
I always keep a few cans of pumpkin puree in the house and you can absolutely use them for this dip if you are really crunched for time, but let me make the argument for a real, whole pumpkin.
Here it goes.
First, roasting a pumpkin is about as easy as it gets. Cut the pumpkin in half and place it on a baking sheet, cut side down. Poke some holes in it and pop it in a 350˚F oven for about an hour.
The benefit of roasting a pumpkin like this is that as it roasts, it condenses all the water in the pumpkin flesh and you’ll be left with a much more flavorful pumpkin.
Second, I like to add some roasted garlic and shallot to this dip so you have to roast those anyway. Might as well toss a pumpkin in the oven!
What kind of pumpkin to use for this dip?
Cooking a pumpkin is easy, but be sure to buy a pumpkin that is, well, cookable. A huge pumpkin that you use for carving isn’t a good idea. The flesh gets too stringy as the pumpkins get that big and you’ll have a hard time fitting it in your oven anyway!
Instead go for a smaller pumpkin. These are usually labeled as pie pumpkins for hopefully obvious reasons, but you can also use them as savory pumpkin dip pumpkins.
How to roast the garlic and shallot
This is an easy step, but gives this dip a really special, savory flavor. Cut the ends off of the garlic cloves and a few small shallots and drizzle them with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Wrap them tightly in foil and roast them for about 30 minutes. You can do this while you are roasting the pumpkin.
When the aromatic ingredients come out of the oven, they will easily slide out of the wrappers and you can toss them in the blender to finish the dip.
Directions for this pumpkin dip
Once you have the pumpkin roasted, let it cool for a few minutes and then scoop out the pumpkin seeds (save those for roasting again, separately).
To make the dip really creamy, I like to start with cashews as a base for the dip. Soak unsalted cashews in warm water for 30 minutes and then add them to a blender or food processor with the roasted garlic, shallot, and some water. Blend that until it’s in a creamy and smooth paste.
Scoop the pumpkin flesh into the blender and continue to blend. You can add any spices you like at this point, or see the substitution ideas below, but you can also just keep it simple with salt and pepper, to taste.
What to eat with this dip?
In short, anything crunchy! Tortilla chips are okay, pretzel chips or pita chips are amazing. Bagel chips are also great. Any sort of cracker works well or even a toasted baguette would be nice.
If you want to get more adventurous, you can use this dip as the base on wraps and sandwiches! It tastes great with cheddar cheese, herbs, and even lighter deli meats, like turkey.
Substitution ideas for this recipe
My recipe below is a starter point for this savory pumpkin dip, but dont’ let it hold you back. Here are some ideas!
- Change out the squash! Try it with a butternut squash or acorn squash.
- Amp up the spices. I topped my version with some Garam Masala but you could use cayenne pepper, fresh herbs, or sweet spices like nutmeg to change it up.
- Make it sweet! Add some lemon and honey to the dip for a sweet twist on the dip.
- Change up the base. Instead of cashews, try some chickpeas or cannellini beans as a good base for the dip that will make a creamy pumpkin dip.
Savory Pumpkin Dip
- 2 cups roasted pumpkin flesh
- 1 whole bulb roasted garlic
- 3 shallots roasted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted cashews, soaked
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Garam Masala, garnish
- Sesame seeds, garnish
- Chips, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cut small pie pumpkin in half with a large knife and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Poke a few holes in the skin of the pumpkin.
- Cut the tips off of shallots and garlic bulb and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Wrap tightly in foil.
- Roast the garlic and shallot for 30 minutes and the pumpkin for up to an hour until it’s very tender. A fork or knife should easily go through the pumpkin with no effort.
- Let roasted ingredients cool.
- In a strong blender or food processor, add soaked cashews and half cup of water. Blend with roasted garlic and shallot until smooth.
- Add pumpkin flesh (measured out) and continue to blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Serve savory pumpkin dip garnished with sesame seeds and garam masala and serve with crunchy chips.