By Amber Pankonin

Monday, October 26, is National Pumpkin Day! In addition to pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin bread, there are so many other ways to enjoy pumpkin throughout the fall season. Pumpkin is incredibly nutritious and easy to incorporate in many fall dishes such as soups, casseroles, and desserts. Not only is pumpkin easy to cook with, but pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A, potassium, and fiber which can be good for digestive health, immune support, and healthy skin and eyes.

When cooking with pumpkin, I prefer using canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is affordable, shelf-stable and you don’t have the labor and mess of working with fresh pumpkin. Pro tip: Be sure to use read labels on canned items and purchase “pure canned pumpkin” and not “pumpkin pie filling” unless you’re actually making a pumpkin pie.

1. Pumpkin Chili

If you use canned pumpkin for baking, chances are you might have some leftovers especially if you bought in bulk. Leftover canned pumpkin can easily be incorporated into a fresh pot of chili! This is a great way to add extra fiber and nutrition.

2. Overnight Oats

If you’re busy making apple crisps or other desserts that require grains, chances are you might have oatmeal on hand. Oatmeal combined with canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg is the perfect base for overnight oats! Add a little milk, place in the refrigerator overnight and the next morning breakfast is ready to go.

Photo by Amber Pankonin

3. Pumpkin Dip

If you find yourself homegating this fall or entertaining a small group of friends or family, you might be looking for a dip to impress. I love adding pumpkin to Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar as this makes a great dip for apples, graham crackers and pretzels.

Pumpkin Dip Recipe:


  • 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine all ingredients and serve.
  2. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice if desired.

Amber Pankonin is a Registered Dietitian, Podcaster, and Culinary Student. You can find her recipes at and listen to her podcast at