Pumpkin Risotto

My Favorite Pumpkin Comfort Food Recipes


Hi Sweet Friends,

Can you feel it? The air has a little bite, the wind is stronger than it was last week—winter might be coming, but fall is here. There’s something magical about the first nights that are cool enough to light a fire and the sea of jack-o-lanterns flickering throughout the neighborhood. The coziness of fall is a great time for soups, stews and all varieties of warm, delicious comfort food.

Speaking of magic, I’m thrilled to let you know about Oprah’s upcoming Super Soul Sunday episode featuring Mark Nepo, plus my Super Soul Short Original Film and Soul Food chats (they’ll be sprinkled throughout the show!). Tune into the OWN Network or watch on Livestream on Sunday, November 10th at 11am PT/ET. Watch sneak peeks of the show and learn more details here!

Okey doke, back to our regularly scheduled pumpkin program…

Cooking has a special place in my heart. Making good food is a way to honor my heritage and my self. It’s a legacy from my grandma, and one of the ways I share my love for the sweet peeps in my life. There’s a sacredness in cooking that goes deep, deep down. When the food is healthy, wholesome and prepared with love, it feeds us on spiritual level. We literally tell our cells and our souls that we matter. I can’t think of a kinder fall message. Which is why this blog packed with seasonal recipes to nourish your wonderful self.

Choosing a healthy, yummy recipe is exceptionally easy when you add the seasonal staple: pumpkin. Whether or not you have a mystic Great Pumpkin experience (a la Linus), these squashies are magic in the kitchen. They can be savory or sweet, warm or cold, and come packed with all the vitamin A you could ever hope to eat, plus vitamin C, calcium and iron. Nutritious & delicious, for real!

When it comes to trusty recipes, I turn to Chad Sarno, my cohort and collaborator for Crazy Sexy Kitchen (and cooking smarty behind Rouxbe’s plant-based online cooking courses). Let’s dig into the incredible pumpkin-packed recipes that talented Sir Sarno has created for us. Thank you, Chad!

Roasted Winter Squash with Maple Bourbon Glaze

Winter squashThis recipe is a total twofer. The technique can be used to roast any winter squash with success, and the glaze is a punch of side dish perfection.

Pumpkin Bisque

Pumpkin BisqueVelvety, warming and simple. A filling bowlful of bisque takes the bite out of winter nights. I’d serve this with a big, colorful green salad.

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin RisottoHello, fancy. Risotto is like rice on its way to the prom. Dolling up the starch of rice with the vitamins and fiber of pumpkin makes this dish nutritious as well as impressive.

Raw Pumpkin Mousse with Coconut Cream & Candied Pecans

Pumpkin MousseSays Chad, “Pumpkin when eaten raw typically is quite starchy and depending on the hard squash used can also carry a bitterness. Many raw pumpkin pies out there actually use carrots, or sweet potatoes due to the starchiness of raw pumpkin. This is why I like to marinate my pumpkin prior to blending into the mousse. When you marinate overnight, it allows the starchiness to fade away and break down slightly. This also works great as a pie filling.” Sold!

Bonus! A pumpkin pie smoothie from the smoothie superiors over at Vega.
Pumpkin Smoothie

I hope these gems warm your kitchens, bellies and souls.

Tell me in the comments: what does “comfort food” mean to you? What foods make you feel most nourished, body and spirit?

Peace & pumpkins,

Kris Carr

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38 responses to My Favorite Pumpkin Comfort Food Recipes
  1. The pumpkin pie smoothie link doesn’t work :-/

  2. “There’s a sacredness in cooking that goes deep, deep down. When the food is healthy, wholesome and prepared with love, it feeds us on a spiritual level. We literally tell our cells and our souls that we matter”. THAT is a beautiful quote that I think I am going to be framing and putting in my kitchen as a Kris Carr original. I needed to hear that. Beautiful words…

  3. “Comfort food” for me is a make-over of those foods that were rich, decadent, and yummy into healthy, nutritious, and energy-packed wonders by choosing good substitute ingredients. I’m a big fan of saying no to deprivation! If something comes out of my diet (or my life) that is not supportive of me — I make sure to add something in that is. This sends a signal to me — body, mind, and soul — that says “I love you and care for you big-time, sweetie” and what I call true nourishment!

    I actually posted a recipe on my own newly emerging site/blog of one of these make-over recipes — a comfort food soup!

    I can’t wait to try Chad’s soups. Thank you so much Kris!

    ♡Joy♡ @ http://www.kindnessville.com

  4. Pumpkin smoothie link doesn’t work!

  5. I love anything pumpkin! I was wondering whether canned pumpkin would work in some of these recipes? Preparing pumpkin, or other winter squash can sometimes be a bit too labor intensive, although on the other hand it can be rather Zen-like.

  6. Comfort foods remind me of my mom’s warm soft hugs. She was a large woman and I always felt so safe wrapped in her arms. so comfort foods to me are warm and soft. it doesn’t matter if it is mashed potatoes or warm bread or pastries as long as they are warm.

  7. Can you tell us more about the Crazy Sexy Miracles even on 1/17/14? Thanks :)

  8. Thank you for the amazing recipes! I cannot wait to make the Raw Pumpkin Mousse with Coconut Cream & Candied Pecans for my guests at my next dinner party! I bet you it would go really well with a glass of chilled champagne :)

  9. Wonderful recipes! I scoped out that pumpkin risotto recipe, but there is no pumpkin in it. It’s butternut squash. Do you just sub pumpkin for butternut?

    • Good eye, Stephanie! These have been updated per Chef Chad. Pumpkin it is!

      Elizabeth, Managing Editor at kriscarr.com

    • Thanks for asking this question and thank you to whoever updated it. I’m making it this weekend and was reading the recipe going wait there’s no pumpkin in it! I came back to the page looking to see if anyone else noticed and commented on it and ask if not! Thanks!

  10. THANK YOU!!! yum!!!

  11. the rissotto sound deelish!

  12. I love these recipes Kris!:) My favorite comfort food is muffins:) It reminds me of childhood when my Dad would bake them for me, so to this day, my favorite comfort food to make are blueberry muffins in his memory:) Though I must say, pumpkin muffins have made quite the appearance in my kitchen of the late:) Thanks for these recipes:)

  13. hello!

    something seems odd with the recipe for the pumpkin puree (recipe in today’s newsletter)
    1. the sea salt in mentioned twice. just a typo, I assume :))
    2. the proportions of the liquid and the pumpkin seems odd: 2 1/2 cup of liquid (water + milk) for only 1/4 cup of pumpkin …. its seems to me way to much liquid or just too little steamed pumpkin…

    Can you please check the proportions? Many thanks!

    have a good day

  14. Comfort food to me is the food my mom used to make when I was little. I am thousands of miles away from my family back in Ukraine, so making and enjoying my family’s traditional recipes with friends warms my body and soul, especially during colder months and holiday season. Unfortunately, Ukrainian and Russian food is not always the healthiest food on earth, so I do have to make some adjustments to the original versions, but when it comes to Borsch, my mama’s original recipe is hands down the best and does not require any altering! :-)

  15. These look incredible, Kris! Can’t wait to try them all…. Hmmm…which to start with…. Pumpkin love and hugs, Aimee xx

  16. “Tell me, in the comments: what does #ComfortFood, mean to you? What foods, make you feel most nourished, body and spirit? ~Peace & pumpkins”

    If the Human Need for Certainty (the sense, that what we’re doing, is moving us, away from pain, & towards pleasure), can be described, as the Need for “Predictability & Comfort”, then for me, “Comfort Food”, is that, which gifts my physical being, with Joy & Pleasure, & that has come to include, my daily dose, of Oranges & Bananas (which Nourish my whole/holy/holistic SiMBa~Spirit, Mind, & Body)…

    When I’m experiencing “Emotional Pain”, #Empathy (figuratively speaking), is my “Comfort food”, & NOW that I think about it, #Meditation (figuratively speaking), is my “Comfort food”, when my Spirit, is in need of Predictability! Thanks for the questions, I’m noticing a lot of #Satori moments! (btw, the Pumpkin Risotto, looks pretty tasty) 😉

    Emaste’ (Emaho+Namaste’), SiMBa 😉

  17. Most of the comments refer to their mothers cooking, and although I have several of my mothers dishes in mind which are comforting. I realized what makes me most comforted is nourishing MY children. Mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy is one of our favorites, but knowing they hum mmmhhh while snuggling themselves is truly what comforts my soul.

  18. Uhggg pumpkin is WHY I love fall…thanks for posting these Kris!!!!

  19. Fab recipes. Currently detoxing to bring myself back to life. Love to receive your emails to keep me inspired. Much love xx

  20. Love this recipe! Thanks! What do you think about Raw food though? As a Raw Cafe, we’re always asked “why raw?” so I tried to answer it here :) http://atsumirawcafe.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/what-is-the-point-of-raw-food/

  21. Thank you for these recipes! I am most excited for the pumpkin mousse. I agree that cooking is one of the best ways to say I love you to yourself and others.

  22. Pumpkin Risotto is delicious! And pumpkin is sooooo comforting

  23. Looks great!! Can’t wait to try the pumpkin risotto recipe:)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  24. Hello I want to do the pumpkin smoothie but I’m wondering how to prepare the purée ??

  25. thanks for the marinating tip, and great job there!

  26. I love this kind of recipe.. So nutritious :)