Halloween is the favorite holiday of millions of Americans. Costumes, candies, and Jack-O-Lanterns guarantee an unforgettable atmosphere every single season. Yet, once the spookiest day of the year is over, there are some pumpkins you need to deal with.
In fact, people have been trying to come up with what to do with pumpkins after Halloween. Instead of just throwing them out, we have come up with a creative approach. Plus, reusing your squash will save money fast and get you busy on some quite exciting projects.
Keep reading and discover our cool 17 ways to deal with leftover Jack-O-Lanterns after Halloween 2019.
Table of Contents
- 1 Make Pumpkin Puree
- 2 Cook Pumpkin Soup
- 3 Try A True Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 4 Bake Pumpkin Pie
- 5 Roast The Seeds
- 6 Plant The Seeds
- 7 Bake Pumpkin Bread
- 8 Make Pumpkin Jam
- 9 Cook Pumpkin Stew
- 10 Turn Them Into Beauty Products
- 11 Compost Them
- 12 Plant Flowers In Them
- 13 Make A Birdfeeder
- 14 Feed Your Livestock
- 15 Bake Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
- 16 Use Them As Decoration
- 17 Bury Them
- 18 Dealing With Leftover Halloween Pumpkins – Bottom Line
Make Pumpkin Puree
Whenever you wonder what to do with Halloween pumpkin, puree should be your first thought. You can go two ways here. The first option is to use the flesh of the pumpkin to make a plain puree. Put differently, just cook and mash the squash. The second option is to add seasoning of choice if you plan to use the puree for cooking.
To make the puree, you will need to roast the squash for about 45-60 minutes. Then, remove the skin and mash the guts, no seeds. Once prepared, pumpkin puree can last for nearly a week in your refrigerator.
Cook Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin soup is a classic dish, especially great for cold winter months. This is our favorite pick among tens of carving pumpkin recipes because it’s simple and delicious.
To cook this dish, you need a peeled and chopped pumpkin, onion, garlic and broth. Put all ingredients in a pot with water and boil for 15 minutes. Put them in a blender until you get a smooth and creamy soup. Season to taste and add milk or cream if that’s your thing.
Try A True Pumpkin Spice Latte
All you need is Jack-O-Lantern puree, pumpkin pie spice, milk, brewed coffee, and sugar to create a real pumpkin spice latte! This hot drink is among the most popular holiday drinks in Starbucks each winter season. Thanks to your leftover Jack-O-Lanterns, you can make it yourself and enjoy it with your friends and family. Homemade pumpkin spice latte saves money and tastes better!
Bake Pumpkin Pie
This list wouldn’t be complete without the famous pumpkin pie. Among the most delicious things to cook with pumpkin for Halloween, this dessert is everyone’s favorite. Unlike pies from canned produce, those from fresh products have a much stronger and memorable flavor.
Besides your fresh-made puree, you will need evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and a pinch of salt to get the filling. The pie crust is made from flour, salt, shortening, and cold water.
Within an hour, you’ll have a tasty holiday dish.
Roast The Seeds
Always remember to scoop the seeds and save them for eating. Put the seeds in a bowl with water to wash them from the attached flesh. You may need to use your fingers to clean them nicely before you roast them. There are several ways to roast pumpkin seeds, both sweet and savory.
Place the seeds on a baking sheet, spray them with oil, add salt, and roast them for about 45 minutes. You can eat them like that or add them to salads or other cheap dishes. Alternatively, you can bake the seeds with cinnamon and honey if you have a sweet tooth.
Plant The Seeds
In case you’re not into the mood to roast the seeds, there’s no need to throw them out. You can instead repeat the process of cleaning them and place them on a towel. Handpick the best-looking seeds and store them in a paper bag. Wait for a month and then remove any rotting seeds. Keep the rest until the spring, when you can plant them and make sure you have fresh pumpkins for next Halloween.
Bake Pumpkin Bread
A great way to deal with leftover Halloween pumpkins is to bake pumpkin bread. This delicious recipe takes about an hour and a half to prepare. It’s the closest cousin to banana bread and will spice up your dinner nicely.
To make this bread, you need the following ingredients:
- Pumpkin puree;
- Baking Soda;
- Baking Powder;
Make Pumpkin Jam
Pumpkin is one of the gifts that keep on giving even after Halloween. Those who love sugary food should make pumpkin jam this season. It’s so good, people say they eat it plain, out of the jar with a spoon.
Making this dish takes no more than an hour, usually about 30 minutes. You just put all the ingredients into a large pot and cook until you get the jam-like texture. Besides the fresh pumpkin puree, which you already know how to make, you’ll need orange juice, nutmeg, ginger, sugar, salt, cloves, and nutmeg.
If you store the jam in decorative jars, you can even give it away as a holiday gift to your friends and family.
Cook Pumpkin Stew
Stew is among our favorite things to cook with pumpkin for Halloween. This generous meal will feed your entire family and keep you warm during the cold winter days.
Unlike the other pumpkin dishes, stew doesn’t require any special preparations. Just put your cut squash with sliced carrots, chopped onion, beef stew meat, and cut potatoes. Add seasoning to taste and cook until done.
Some people even serve the stew poured into a pumpkin. Yet, this may not be an option if all your leftover Jack-O-Lanterns are carved.
Turn Them Into Beauty Products
Do you prefer all-natural cosmetics? Are you a fan of hand-made beauty products? If so, then stop wondering what to do with pumpkin after Halloween 2019 right now!
You can use the leftover squash to make it into puree first. Then, use the puree to make your own, eco-friendly, and natural cosmetic products. Here are our favorite ideas to consider:
- Body butter – add coconut oil to the puree, and you’ll have a smooth body butter for your next shower;
- Facial mask – pumpkin puree, honey, yogurt, and brown sugar are the secret ingredients to a simple facial mask for all skin types;
- Sugar scrub – mix the puree with olive oil and sugar to get a perfectly fine body scrub;
- Hair mask – yogurt, honey, and puree can also be used for creating a hair mask that will make your hair shiny and healthy;
- Hand lotion – mix the puree with olive oil or almond oil and honey to get a beautiful hand lotion.
Are you into composting? Would you like to create your own nutrition-rich compost for your soil? Well, you can do this with the help of your leftover pumpkin.
Compost feeds the soil, protects against droughts, and has many other positive benefits. To compost your Halloween Jack-O-Lantern, you need to cut it up to speed up the process.
Just make sure to remove the seeds before putting in into the compost. These can germinate and sprout new pumpkin plants, which won’t do your compost any good.
Plant Flowers In Them
When talking about cool things to do with pumpkins for Halloween we must mention using them as plant pots. That’s right, you can remove the top of the squash alongside its guts to create an adorable pumpkin pot.
You should also dip it in a vinegar solution or spray it with hair spray to slow down the decay process. Another thing to remember is putting a burlap inside to prevent any soil spoilage. Once these steps are completed, you can fill your Jack-O-Lantern with appropriate potting soil.
The final step is to add the fall plant of your choice. Great options for fall plants include dahlias, mums, celosia, and pansies. You can even give these compositions as gifts to your friends who adore fresh flowers.
Make A Birdfeeder
Are you tired of all ideas about what to do with pumpkins after Halloween being cooking related?
Well, aside from using it for cooking, your Jack-O-Lantern can be a great craft project for you too. More precisely, you can use it to make a birdfeeder out of it. In fact, this process can turn into a party for the whole family.
Making a birdfeeder is very simple. Just remove the top part of the pumpkin and then fill it up with bird feed. You can then position it somewhere easily reachable for your feathery visitors. Alternatively, you can hang it on a tree as well.
Feed Your Livestock
If you have second thoughts about consuming old pumpkin, your livestock won’t have that issue. Leftover Halloween pumpkins are a real treat for most animals. Chickens, rabbits, and squirrels will enjoy them, and no special preparations are needed either. Just chop them, and you’re good to go. This idea won’t necessarily save you money, but it surely is better than wasting food.
Bake Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
Besides delicious pumpkins dishes for you and your family, you can use leftover Jack-O-Lanterns for baking dog treats too. Baking these dog biscuits is easy, but they’re also healthy for your pet. There are actually many different recipes you can try to test which one will be your doggo’s favorite.
For example, the simplest biscuit is made from whole wheat flour, eggs, cinnamon, coconut oil, and baking soda. Another recipe, besides the pumpkin, includes peanut butter and whole wheat flour. If your dog dislikes these, you can try adding some beef stock into the mix.
Use Them As Decoration
Not every idea for your funny Halloween pumpkins is food-related. On the contrary, there are lots of cool things to do with pumpkins for Halloween. One of those is to use them as decoration. Here are just a few top ideas to consider:
- Thanksgiving decoration – take out the flesh entirely and keep the skin only. Use the pumpkin to stock inside some leaves and fresh flowers. In a breeze, you’ll have the perfect decoration for your Thanksgiving dinner;
- Porch upgrade – you can carve your house number on the pumpkin or simply put it on top of leaves to instantly upgrade your porch. Don’t forget to spray it with hair spray to prevent it from rotting;
- Fall-themed home decoration – dedicate a corner in your house to your favorite season. Put the pumpkin alongside some leaves, sticks, and flowers for the perfect fall-themed decoration;
- Candy container – remove the upper part of the squash and take out the flesh. You should get a bowl-like form, which you can use as a candy container for some time;
- Flower vase – give your Jack-O-Lantern a vase-like shape and varnish it or even paint it. Then, you can use it as a unique flower vase during the entire season.
If nothing from this list catches your eye, you can still make two smart decisions regarding your Jack-O-Lanterns.
The first option is to donate the pumpkins after Halloween. Other people may love to try one of the creative ideas mentioned before. You can even include this list so those who take the pumpkins can choose what to do with them.
The second option is to bury them. Instead of just throwing the pumpkins into the trash, it’s always better to put them into the ground. They will decompose and cultivate the earth. You can later plant something there as a reminder of the good times your Jack-O-Lanterns gave you.
Dealing With Leftover Halloween Pumpkins – Bottom Line
The mystery has been solved, and there’s no need to wonder what do to with pumpkins after Halloween anymore. These fresh ideas and Halloween freebies will help you save money and, at the same time, cook delicious dishes. Plus, by reusing Jack-O-Lanterns, you take the eco-friendly approach instead of wasting food and creating garbage.
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10 thoughts on “What to Do With Pumpkins After Halloween”
Pumpkin pie is super tasty!!!
Yeah! Happy Halloween, Liza!
Fantastic article on what to do with your old Halloween pumpkin. I happen to love Halloween and everything about it. Dressing up my kids, taking them trick or treating and shopping for costumes. What I don’t love is the aftermath of dealing with a used Halloween pumpkin. With enough planning, these ideas are definitely an awesome way to round out your holiday season and ramp up for fall, especially by making dog biscuits.
We’ve got 3 dogs ourselves and I’ll definitely be trying out the Halloween pumpkin biscuits next year! Thanks for the awesome Halloween ideas!.
Thank you very much, Tylina!
Wow! So many things to do with Halloween pumpkins that I never would have thought of…I definitely will make those Pumpkin Dog Biscuits next year for my two dogs. Plus, my wife can’t wait to try the Pumpkin Spice Lattes – she wrote the recipe down right away and bought two pumpkin mugs to do with them. Thanks for the excellent Halloween pumpkins tips!
You’re welcome, Jeff. I guess the next Halloween will be the best for your family 🙂
I loved eating roasted pumpkin seeds when I was little! But that’s about all we did with them until it was time to toss out the jack-o-lantern. I also love all kinds of squash, so I’m excited about the pumpkin soup and stew recipes. Not much of a sweet tooth, but the non-sweet pumpkin recipes sound delicious!
Thanks for sharing your experience, Terri!
While I didn’t buy and carve a pumpkin this year, I still love all these delicious ideas! The jam, stew, and composting really stuck out for me. These Halloween pumpkin ideas actually gave me another idea as well: next year when they all go on sale right after Halloween is over, I could grab a few at a discount for some cheap meals!
Thank you, Kitty!