The Gorgeous, 2-Ingredient Fall Appetizer I Bring to Every Potluck

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Hummus
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Credit: Christine Byrne

The holiday season always catches me off-guard. One day I’m complaining about never-ending summer and trying to figure out the best weekend to go apple picking, and the next I’m nursing a Halloween hangover and cursing myself for not booking Thanksgiving flights further in advance. I’m not complaining: The season is basically two months of holiday parties and twinkly lights, which is why it flies so fast. How could you not love that?

But as a food writer, I often feel some pressure to deliver when it comes to BYO-Dish holiday parties. There’s nothing wrong with showing up holding a tray of store-bought babka or a good bottle of wine — when I’m hosting, I love having those things in the mix. But food (and cooking) is my actual job, so it feels like a cop-out. Still, fall is busy, and I don’t have spare hours to bake yule logs, piece together complicated hors d’oeuvres, or make a huge mess in the kitchen.

So I turn to pumpkin hummus. It’s an easy, impressive-looking super fall-themed appetizer that wows guests and calls for just two ingredients. All you need are the two namesake ingredients: a pumpkin, and some hummus.

I love the earthy, mild flavor of roasted pumpkin, and I know that people love serving dips in raw pumpkins for Halloween. So, a few years ago, I decided to roast a whole pumpkin and see if I could use it as both a hummus mix-in and a serving bowl. I cut the top off, scraped out the seeds, and roasted a small pumpkin until the insides were soft and the skin was wrinkled. Then, I scooped out just enough flesh to blend into some store-bought hummus, poured the smooth contents back into the roasted pumpkin skin, and brought the whole thing to a party alongside some pita chips. 

To put it bluntly, the pumpkin hummus was the hit of the party. Everyone wanted to know how to make it, and was surprised at how easy it is. Now, I make it at least a few times a year. If you’re ever in need of a fast dish for a holiday party or potluck that can really impress folks, I suggest giving it a try.

This easy recipe is nearly foolproof. If you want to make it even fancier, roast some of the seeds while cooking the pumpkin, and toss them back on top as a garnish. The ingredient quantities and weights below are guidelines, but know that it’s okay to tweak them based on the size of your pumpkin.

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Hummus

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    small pumpkin, buttercup squash, or kabocha squash (2 to 3 pounds)

  • 2 (10-ounce) containers

    plain or garlic hummus

  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Cut the top off of the pumpkin, then use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds and set them aside in a bowl. Roast the pumpkin base and top until the flesh is soft and the skin is slightly wrinkled, 50 to 60 minutes. Spread the seeds out on a sheet pan and toss them with a pinch of salt. Bake them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (while the pumpkin cooks) just until they start to brown. Let the pumpkin and seeds cool for 10 minutes.

  3. When the pumpkin is cool, use a spoon to scoop out about two-thirds of the flesh, leaving enough so that the skin stays intact and the pumpkin stands upright. Combine the scooped pumpkin and hummus in a food processor, and blend until smooth.

  4. To serve, pour the pumpkin hummus back into the roasted pumpkin, and garnish it with a few seeds. (You’ll have lots of leftover seeds, which you can eat later!) Serve the pumpkin hummus with pita chips, pretzels, raw veggies, or whatever else sounds good to you.