This easy Pumpkin Dip is a seriously healthy Halloween treat! It’s naturally gluten & dairy free. It’s also vegan, paleo, Whole30 and (most importantly!) utterly delicious.
It’s the perfect savoury balance for all the usual sugary Halloween treats.
This recipe originally published in 2017
A quick search for Halloween recipes and you’ll appreciate how much this is THE season for eating sugar.
However this year, as my Pinterest feed fills up with recipe after recipe for sickly sweet bakes, I’ve been turned in the opposite direction.
I wanted to celebrate in a more wholesome, healthy, but no less fun way.
So this healthy pumpkin dip recipe combines vegetables, tahini, avocado oil and seasonings.
And whilst it won’t stop anyone from devouring their own body weight in sweeties, hopefully it’ll help balance out those blood sugar levels.
If only a little! ;)
Prepping your pumpkin for use in a recipe.
You have a few options when it comes to using pumpkin in this recipe…
1/ Firstly, you could use the flesh of the pumpkins you carve this year.
2/ Secondly, you could buy a pumpkin (or butternut squash) specifically to make the dip. Just remove the skin and seeds from your sacrificial pumpkin like I have in the pic above. Dice up the flesh and roast.
3/ However, if you’re in need of a shortcut, you can also buy bags of frozen butternut squash or pumpkin. In this instance you simply chuck it straight into the roasting pan. You don’t even need to let it defrost first.
4/ Finally, you could also try making this recipe with a canned (unsweetened) pumpkin. I haven’t tried this, so if you do, please let us know if it worked for you!
How to Make an Easy Pumpkin Dip
To make this dip with fresh or frozen pumpkin you first need to roast it.
If you’re trying this recipe with the canned variety, the pumpkin is already cooked so you can pick the recipe up at stage 2.
1/ roasting your pumpkin
Once your pumpkin is all cut up, pile it and the garlic cloves into a large baking tray.
Pour in the oil and toss well to coat all the pieces. I used avocado oil, but you could use your favourite cooking oil.
Sprinkle with a little salt, then roast in the preheated oven.
2/ blend your roast pumpkin
Once your pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and let it cool a little.
Tip it into a food processor or blender, along with the roast garlic.
Next, add in the lemon juice and tahini and whizz until smother and creamy.
If you’ve never used tahini before, you can find it in most large supermarkets with ease.
It’s a paste from the Middle East made from ground sesame seeds.
It’s what gives hummus its creamy texture and is absolutely delicious.
3/ dish up and serve
Once the dip is creamy and smooth, scrape into a serving bowl. Keep reading if you want to serve it as Pumpkin Brains!
I sprinkled the top of my dip with a little smoked paprika.
However you could add chilli, chopped spring onions or fresh herbs like coriander or parsley for a different flavour profile.
Disguise your healthy pumpkin dip as Pumpkin Brains!
I don’t really go in for themed holiday recipes, but there’s something about Halloween that brings out my inner 12 year old.
And this bad haired, stroppy 12 year old wants to decorate!
Long-time readers may remember these cute Halloween biscuits I made a couple of years back. Oh boy, they were fun.
And yes, there’s a cookie as big as my head!
If you’re going for the whole Pumpkin Brains look (and honestly, why wouldn’t you?!), you’ll need to buy 2 pumpkins. One for the dip, and one for the ‘bowl’.
Slice the top 1/3 off your fresh pumpkin. Pop it on a plate and place an upturned bowl over the cavity.
Then fill a piping bag with your yummy dip.
Finally, swirl your pumpkin dip round and round.
Voila! One perfectly gory pumpkin brain!
Savoury Halloween food ideas
For my spooky Halloween spread, I cut out little tombstone shapes from cardboard and labelled them ‘Pumpkin brains’.
I might have a got a bit carried away and made up daft names for all the other party foods too!
If you give this, or any of my other recipes a go, please be sure to tag me in any pics you share online!
You can find me pretty much everywhere as @hedgecomber!
It gives me the biggest buzz when I see my recipes made all around the world!
Happy Halloween friends!
- 500 g pumpkin or butternut squash
- 10 cloves garlic cloves separated and peeled
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp tahini
Preheat the oven to 180/350/Gas 4.
Toss the pumpkin and garlic together in the oil in a baking tray, then sprinkle with salt.
Gently roast for 20- 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and lightly golden around the edges. Do not let the garlic burn, remove it from the pan sooner if necessary.
Remove from oven and let cool a little.
Tip the pumpkin and garlic into a food processor. Add in the tahini and lemon juice and whizz until smooth and creamy.
When smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning. If it tastes very sweet, add a little salt.
If it tastes flat, add a little more lemon juice.
Whizz again, then taste again.
When you are happy, tip into a serving bowl, or continue below if you'd like to make the 'Pumpkin Brains'.
Scrape into a piping bag with no nozzle. I used a disposable bag so I had control over how large the piping hole could be. If you only have a fabric piping bag you may prefer to make a disposable one from baking paper.
Pop the dip filled piping bag into the fridge, and let cool for about 20 minutes. This will firm the dip up, making it much easier to work with.
Meanwhile, slice the top 1/3 off of a small to medium sized pumpkin. If there is a large gaping cavity, you may wish to lay a small plate or bowl across the gap and pipe directly onto that as I have done in the photos.
When the dip is nice and firm, pipe onto the pumpkin ‘head’ in long, smooth coils.
Feel free to practise first and scoop any dip back into the bag to pipe properly.
Serve with your favourite crudites, crackers or chips.