17 ideas to use up leftover Halloween Pumpkin Jack O’lanterns

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Mika's 2015 Halloween Jack O'Lanterns

Happy Halloween everyone!  Halloween has always been my favorite holiday… why?  I think it had something to do with all the candy!  I also like the fun surrounding it – being creative with pumpkins, and coming up with new treats to use up the leftovers.  Pumpkin is food, and I don’t like to waste it!

Normally, the best pumpkins to use for cooking/baking are the smaller sugar pumpkins, as field pumpkins (the big Jack-O’-Lantern pumpkins) tend to be very watery.  If you have a choice, and are specifically buying a pumpkin just to make a pie or to bake with, buy a sugar pumpkin instead.  But if you do have leftover Halloween pumpkins… don’t throw them out – use them!  I make great treats and meals with the leftover pumpkins every year.

This Halloween, I was inspired by the recent film “Jurassic World”, which, IMHO… was probably the best movie I’ve seen in a LOOOONNNNGGGG time (I go to movies to be entertained, not bored!).  It had everything… dinosaurs, meyhem, more dinosaurs… people getting eaten in a predictable order… I loved it.  So this year, I dressed up my dogs as dinosaurs (that’s Maki on the left as a velociraptor and Coco on the right as a stegosaurus).  The costumes stayed on for about 45 seconds… but that counts, right?  At least I got the picture.  Above are the three Jack O’Lanterns I carved: the Indominus Rex (left), Jurassic World logo (middle), and a Velociraptor (right).

So here is my list of 17 things you can do with your leftover Halloween Jack O’Lanterns (the titles are clickable links).  Please note that item 1 on the list explains how to make puree from field pumpkins.   My method of making field pumpkin puree works pretty well (and is not watery), and I’ve had good results using field pumpkin puree in recipes instead of canned pumpkin.  Use the pumpkin puree in any of your favorite pumpkin recipes, or try one of mine listed below.  Also keep in mind that you can shred or grate raw (peeled) field pumpkin and use it in the place of zucchini or shredded carrots in many baked good recipes.

1.  Pumpkin Puree from leftover Halloween Jack O’Lanterns

2.  Pumpkin Butter made from leftover Halloween Jack O’Lanterns

3.  Roasted Field Pumpkin Seeds

4.  Pumpkin Chili

5.  Banana Pumpkin Bread

6.  Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Crumble

7.  Pumpkin Streusel Bread

8.  Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup

9.  Pumpkin Pineapple Pudding Cake

10.  Pumpkin Milk Bread (Shokupan) – substitute pumpkin puree for the carrot puree in the dough recipe

11.  Pumpkin Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

12.  Thai Pumpkin-Shrimp Coconut Soup

13.  Pumpkin Spice Latte

14.  Chocolate Zucchini Cake (you can substitute raw grated field pumpkin for the shredded zucchini)

15.  Fresh Homemade Pumpkin Pie


16.  Pumpkin Pie Mochi

17.  Pumpkin Pie filled cupcakes


  1. Amy says:

    HI Mika ,
    Happy Halloween. Those are very cool Jack O’lanterns you have there. Your dogs are such good troopers to let you put on the costumes, Really cute. I do have to let out a sigh of relief when I read that the costume only stay on for 45 seconds. Sorry, I have a thing about dogs and costume and clothes on them . Hope you have a fun Halloween with lot of treat or trickers. Weird, this year my area is so quiet , nobody show up yet. Maybe that is a good thing because my dogs bark like crazy when the door is ringing

    • Mika Mika says:

      Thank you Amy for your kind words! Yes… 45 seconds tops! If you have ever met a Corgi, they definitely have a mind of their own and won’t do anything that they don’t feel like doing… but they are so cute that they seem to always get their way! The neighborhood I grew up in used to be full of kids at Halloween, but as the neighborhood kids grew up, it’s much quieter in my parent’s neighborhood now. Where we live right now has a lot of families with younger kids, so Halloween is a much bigger affair… I think we passed out about 5 big bags of candy this year! Hope your Halloween was good! :)