Pumpkin Dip Recipe ♥

Pumpkin Dip vy A Veggie Venture
An easy-easy recipe for pumpkin dip, just cream cheese, pumpkin and spices. As dips go, unusually healthy with a high proportion of pumpkin to cream cheese and sugar. Low carb.

~recipe & photo updated 2010~

October 1, my hometown farmers market makes a magical transformation: the row of farmstands becomes a pumpkin patch playground, the perimeter lined with hay bales. Little ones play bumper tractors as the moms and grandparents look on, often recording the squeals of delight. Out front is a pile -- more of an engineering feat, really -- of many-sized pumpkins, minis to mammoths. When my Lady Dog was a puppy and teaching me to heel, the farmers market water spigot was a frequent destination. During that first October, as we approached, she would warily eye the pumpkin pile, the bulbous shapes, the alarming color, sensing I always figured, the frightening faces of the pumpkins' inner jack o' lanterns. Mustering bravery, she would bark -- furiously, wildly -- pulling at the leash to attack the vicious orange creatures. Isn't October grand?

I thought about Lady's fear of pumpkins while throwing the ingredients for this easy-easy pumpkin dip into the food processor -- wishing I'd taken the time to roast a whole pumpkin. But then, tasting the dip -- it's delicious! -- I was just as happy to use the oh-so-convenient canned pumpkin.

The recipe comes from Margie, one of my OCHER-Yaya friends, who suggests serving it with Granny Smith apples and ginger cookies. Me, I'd love it schmeared onto a bagel or a slice of my forever-favorite recipe for pumpkin bread. I even stirred a spoonful into my morning oatmeal: excellent! Unlike some pumpkin spreads I've tasted, this one really tastes like pumpkin, that's a good thing!


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Makes 3 cups

16 ounces canned pumpkin
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Powdered sugar (or another sweetener, see NOTES) to taste

In a food processor, mix the pumpkin, cream cheese and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Add sugar to taste until desired sweetness is reached.

Be sure to get 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix which is already spiced and sugared.
For cream cheese, I nearly always choose the lower-fat neufchatel (how to pronounce neufchatel). It's a winner, there's no telling the difference. (To my taste, the no-fat cream cheese is gummy and vile and is to be avoided at all cost!)
Pumpkin pie spice is a common spice blend but it's so easy to mix your own, there's really no reason to shell out the money. For this recipe, I used 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ginger.
The original recipe called for 2 whole cups of sugar, which would have made this sweet-sweet-sweet and almost an icing; it also explains why the original recipe also called for thinning the dip a bit with orange juice. Margie recommended using less sugar so I started with just 1/4 cup of sugar. I'd have been happy to stop here but my taste testers asked for another 1/4 cup -- this makes it slightly sweet but lets the pumpkin flavor itself come through. 2010 Update: I used sorghum as the sweetener, maple syrup would work too.

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Looking for healthy ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous Alphabet of Vegetables. Healthy eaters will love the low carb recipes and the Weight Watchers recipes.

© Copyright 2008

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I've been making this recipe for years (with more powdered sugar, but not orange juice), and I love to dip gingersnaps on it. The hard crispy kind you buy at the store, bot the softer homemade kind. So yummy.

  2. I just made this very same dip this morning! I used a little bit less pumpkin because I was using leftovers from another recipe but it was delicious spread on a hot english muffin.

  3. Can't wait to try this! Great idea :D

  4. Looks great, I'm always looking for more pumpkin recipes.

  5. Oh wow!!

    I have never heard of this recipe, and I think I will be a better person for having seen this!

    I will definately be trying this soon.

  6. I bet that takes apple wedges to a whole new dimension!

  7. This looks great!

    I have to find a way to do it dairy-free. Maybe Tofutti cream cheese or I might try silken tofu. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Janelle ~ Love the idea of gingersnaps, great idea. You inspired me to try the dip with my molasses cookies, yumm!

    Maris ~ So funny! This would be great on a breakfast bread, since it's not so-so sweet.

    Lenora ~ Let me know how it goes!

    Sara ~ Pumpkin is cheap and healthful, so the more recipes the better.

    LadyLiriel ~ Ha, a better person indeed.

    Sylvie ~ Fall apples + fall pumpkin = New Dimension. Yes!

    Maggie ~ Ah yes, a vegan version, let me know what you come up with.

  9. I bought all the ingredients, plus apples and I may make ginger snaps. Thank you!

  10. I thought the picture looked familiar!

    My kids love this dip too, and enjoy it on the sun porch when they visit Grandma.

    Thanks for the reminder to dip the can of pumpkin out from the back of the pantry!

  11. Holy cow what a great recipe! I'm so making that this weekend.

  12. This looks awesome! Can't wait to try it!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna