Pumpkin meets pesto meets bruschetta is this delicious flavor mashup of flavors. Perfect for fall entertaining!

I have to confess that this month’s Recipe ReDux theme, “Pumpkin”, really threw me for a loop!

Conceived by Gretchen of one of my favorite gluten-free blogs, Kumquat, pumpkin really should be a “no brainer” for a fall themed recipe. But here’s the kicker…

The challenge was to use FRESH pumpkin if at all possible. So, the first step making this Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta, was to find a “cooking” pumpkin…

Off I went to Whole Foods, thinking surely they would have some.  And, they did, but I almost thought they didn’t…

Why is it so darn hard to find fresh cooking pumpkin???

You see, the big thing these days at my local Whole Foods is to have a seasonal and local display at the front of the store right when you walk in.  And, believe me, if the goal of Whole Foods is to get you to buy more seasonal and local produce it works. 

I wish I had photos to show you, but trust me, the displays are gorgeous.  I have tried many a new fruit or veggie from Whole Foods, lured in by their smashing displays.

And, I almost grabbed one of the cute little “display” pumpkins to take home with me when at first I couldn’t find any “cooking” pumpkins.

But, eventually, I discovered these little beauties way in the BACK of the produce section co-mingling with the potatoes, onions and squash.

Step one completed.  Time to move on to step two…How the @**#*(%()#(%*)

Thank goodness for the internet! A quick Google search revealed 26,000,000 results on my query “How to cook a pumpkin.”

Not having the time to go through all them, I narrowed it down to this method.

And, finally, step three…What do I make with fresh pumpkin???

  1. I decided to make a savory fresh pumpkin recipe.
  2. It needed to combine several flavors, including sweet, salty, & tangy, to dazzle your taste buds.

How Does This Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta Taste???

I had three male tasters at my house {my husband and two neighborhood friends} to test my recipe. I’m always a little apprehensive about the reaction I will get when testing a new recipe, but in this case, the reaction was three {well, four counting me} thumbs up!

My test tasting guys seriously inhaled this Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta! And, I got the ultimate compliment from my husband…This one’s a keeper!

Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta

Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta with Goat Cheese

Pumpkin meets pesto meets bruschetta in this delicious flavor “mashup”, Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 1 minute
Total Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
Servings: 50 servings



  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil , de-stemmed & packed tight
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta

  • 2 loaves Gluten-Free Bread, sliced in half on the diagonal
  • 1 roasted cooking pumpkin, directions below
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Pesto, recipe above
  • 6 ounces goat cheese


  • Roast the pumpkin: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash and dry pumpkin, then slice it in half with a very sharp knife. Remove seeds from pumpkin (set aside to roast later if you like), place in a baking dish and drizzle pumpkin flesh with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Then turn pumpkin halves over, flesh side down and roast for 45-60 minutes, or until pumpkin flesh is tender to your touch. Allow it to cool before scooping out the pumpkin.
  • While pumpkin is roasting, prepare pesto by combining all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and ingredients are well combined.
  • Heat olive oil in pan on high heat and add chopped onions. Saute until brown, approximately 5 minutes, the stir roasted pumpkin, plus salt and pepper to taste into onion mixture and set aside.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice bread on the diagonal, and toast it on a baking sheet in the oven for approximately 4-6 minutes.
  • Remove bread from oven then top with pesto, pumpkin mixture, and pesto. Enjoy!


In a time crunch?

Try canned pumpkin! Although the pumpkin pesto bruschetta won’t be as chunky, it will still be delicious!


Serving: 1triangle | Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2409IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Mediterranean, MIND Diet, Vegetarian
Keyword fall recipes, fresh pumpkin recipes
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Pumpkin Pesto bruschetta with Goat Cheese

Let’s Chat! Have you ever cooked with fresh pumpkin before? Do you have trouble finding things at Whole Foods? Will you make this Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta???

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mary Frances @ LOVE - the secret ingredient says:

    I officially cannot wait for Autumn! These are just fantastic

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much Mary Frances! This was one of those recipes that turned out way more delicious than I even imagined πŸ™‚

  2. Jennifer (Delicieux) says:

    What a great combination. I usually stick with tomato bruschetta, but I love pumpkin so I am going to have to give this a go!

  3. Richa@HobbyandMore says:

    the bruschetta looks so good!. i havent baked this season with pumpkin yet.. gasp.. i need to start up on some pumpkin goodies.. i think my fave is my moms sweet and sour indian spiced pumpkin. i need to make that and blog about it soon..:)

  4. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Now that’s a great combination! I love pesto on just about anything but with the addition of pesto it must be out of this world.

  5. Nour Zibdeh, RD says:

    Love it! We went to a fall festival and they send each person home with a small pumpkin. I diced one (not easy I know) and made an Indian curry dish with coconut milk, carrots, pumpkin, and chicken. I’m going to try again with lentils and no coconut and no chicken. I have 2 pumpkins left! Yay for this recipe.

  6. pure genius love this

  7. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says:

    This looks so unbelievably good!! I actually just saw a recipe from The NY Times’ Recipes for Health for quinoa with pesto and sweet potatoes and am planning to make it tonight. I’ll have to make some of these bruschetta too! Can’t wait to try it!

  8. This looks SOOO delicious!!! Thank you for this recipe!

  9. I am in love with this. I love the colors with the green pesto contrasting the orange pumpkin, I’m sure it tastes as amazing as it looks. I am epically in love with pumpkin this month!

  10. EA-The Spicy RD says:

    Thanks so much everyone for all your lovely comments on my pumpkin pesto bruschetta! I really hope you all try it, as it was one of those “surprise” recipes that turned out way tastier than I ever imagined it would πŸ™‚

  11. Gina (The Candid RD) says:

    Nice work!! This looks and sounds fantastic. Who would have thought that a bruschetta recipe would work with pumpkin?! Brilliant! Thanks for sharing the recipe, and thanks for all the other links too. I’m obsessed with pumpkin so I like to hear new pumpkin recipes ideas, whenever possible πŸ™‚

  12. Lauren Slayton says:

    I haven’t cooked a pumpkin but I do lots of squash, I would’ve been thrown off right there with you. I love the taste of pumpkin and adore pesto, I am envisioning pesto and sweet potatoes and can’t imagine the taste, it’s good? I trust you but have to taste for myself, ha ha. In the meantime I want to make those pancakes.

  13. Kristen (swanky dietitian) says:

    Wow, this looks incredible. I love bruschetta and this is just such a fun twist.
    Your dishes never disappoint!! πŸ™‚

  14. diabeticFoodie says:

    This looks amazing! I’ve been experimenting with fresh pumpkin too – so much better than the stuff you get in a can. Made a yummy salad with roasted pumpkin, goat cheese (of course!) and lentils. Also made some tasty pumpkin & pineapple muffins. I’ll be posting these recipes during Halloween week. I also made some pumpkin & avocado salsa that was less than overwhelming πŸ™‚

  15. Emma Stirling says:

    Yummo, I LOVE bruchetta….and still find it strange that you don’t think pumkin as a savoury veg. We eat it regularly at my house in Oz…roasted in salads, in risotto and more. I suppose that’s what makes the Redux so perfect!

  16. Junia @ Mis Pensamientos says:

    i love the idea of a nice delicious blob of roasted pumpkin on bruchetta! and i totally got enticed by the pumpkin display at whole foods as well. hahahaha. πŸ™‚ and you know its a keeper when the guys in your life inhale it!

  17. What a great idea! Love pumpkin this time of year and it seems to go well with spicy, sweet, savory, and everything in between. Stuffing is my favorite way to make squash.

  18. These would make a wonderful appetizer for my Halloween Party!! Thanks for sharing.


  19. Nicole, RD says:

    Your photos are breath-taking! And that combination sounds divine!!

  20. Katie @katiecaputo says:

    I know what I’ll be making for appetizers on Thanksgiving πŸ™‚ Awesome idea EA!

  21. Regan @ The Professional Palate says:

    Oh I love so much! I was sooo close to doing a pumpkin crostini with about the same flavors as my ravioli. Great minds think alike, right? πŸ˜‰

    Beautiful as always!

  22. Danielle Omar says:

    You are so creative, EA! I love your ideas and your pictures are incredible. Will definitely keep this bruschetta in mind for an October party appetizer.

  23. I love that you challenged yourself to cook a whole pumpkin and just when I thought I’d seen every pesto version, this is a new one and looks wonderful. I’m a bruschetta fiend – definitely going in my “to make” recipe pile.

  24. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    The bruschetta looks very tasty and unique! Beautiful colors and great flavor combo! I roasted a few pumpkins last year for soups. I’ll have to do that again!

    Have a great weekend!