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
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
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
Add to Recipe Collection
Like this recipe?Sign up for my newsletter & get new recipes and nutrition tips delivered straight to your inbox. SIGN UP!

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???