Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta with Creamy Goat Cheese

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

Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta with Goat Cheese

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…

Fresh 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 1 vote
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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

Check out all the other delicious fresh pumpkin recipes my Recipe ReDux friends are cooking!

Cherie Schetselaar – Grain Crazy    Fresh Pumpkin Risotto
Alexandra Caspero- Delicious Knowledge   Pumpkin Enchiladas
Katie Hamm – Healthy & Happy Hour    Pumpkin-Bacon Penne
Alysa Bajenaru – Inspired RD    Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Fries
Everyday Tastiness    Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Dr Barb, Nutriton Budgeteer    Pumpkin Chili Chicken Pizza
Elizabeth Jarrard- Don’t (White) Sugar Coat It   Vegan Pumpkin Soup
Kristen Bourque- Swanky Dietitian    baked pumpkin oatmeal
Marie Spano    Cream cheese Pumpkin muffins
Regan @ The Professional Palate    Pumpkin Ravioli in a Walnut-Sage Cider Sauce
Danielle Omar – Food Confidence RD    Pumpkin Goulash
Emma @ The Hearty Heart    (Vegan) Cocoa Pumpkin (Whiskey) Mousse
gretchen – kumquat    baked mini pumpkins
Emma Stirling – The Scoop on Nutrition    Recipe Redux Chermoula Chickpea & Pumpkin Sliders
Janel Funk: Eat Well with Janel    Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Nicole @ Whole Health RD    Kaddo Bourani – Candied Pumpkin with Yogurt and Meat Sauce
Yuri – Chef Pandita    Pumpkin Apple Soup
Lisa @ Healthful Sense    Pumpkin Cream Pie Filling & Pudding
Jessica Fishman Levinson – Nutritioulicious    Recipe Redux: Pumpkin Pancakes
Jane Schwartz, RD   Pumpkin Coconut Soup
Kat Lynch – Eating The Week    Pumpkin yogurt dip for waffle sticks
Katie Caputo- East Meats West    Pumpkin Stuffing
Serena @ Teaspoon of Spice    Whole Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin
Kristina @ Love and Zest    Pumpkin Mash
Carrie Miller – Nutrition Know How    Baked Stuffed Pumpkin & Pumpkin Orange Muffins
Ann Dunaway Teh – Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish     Kara Lydon – Peace, Love, and Food    Pumpkin Yogurt Dip
Stephanie Howard – Give Them Something Better    Fall Harvest Chili
Karman Meyer-Nutrition Adventures    Pumpkin-Potato Breakfast Hash
Ayla Withee- Eat Simply    Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds
Heather Calcote – Dietitian on the Run    Pumpkin Rosemary & Mushroom Quinoa
Jill Melton-The Relish Dish    Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin
EA-The Spicy RD    Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta
Liz Weiss & Janice Newell Bissex – Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen    Ghoulishly Good Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin
Diane Welland – Eat Well, Eat Clean    Pumpkin Cranberry Scones
Rebecca Noseworthy – It’s a Savoury Life    Fall Pumpkin Chili 

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???