Make a Savory Pumpkin Vinaigrette

This is the season when everyone tries to eat as many pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored foods and drinks as possible. It’s fun. It’s festive. This is getting a little out of control. Although this is normal. Pumpkin Mania doesn’t show signs of dying – at least as long as Trader Joe is alive – so we might as well accept it. Why not make pumpkin vinaigrette? Why not pour them over a salad of bitter greens, roasted zucchini and pumpkin seeds? Why not live?

Making pumpkin vinaigrette is easy—all you need is a couple tablespoons of canned pumpkin, which you probably have left over from any number of fall baking projects. Mix it with a little neutral oil (olive oil can conflict), apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon and a few baking spices, and you have a dressing as bright as a fresh autumn breeze.

If the phrase “bake spices” confuses you, don’t worry too much about it. There’s just enough tangy cinnamon and nutmeg to complement the pumpkin, and just enough vinegar that it doesn’t read like “watery cake.” It’s wonderfully balanced, not cloying at all, and goes great with shaved Brussels sprouts.

Spicy pumpkin vinaigrette


  • 1/4 cup neutral oil such as vegetable or canola
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of white pepper
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)

Add all ingredients to the jar and shake vigorously to emulsify them all. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or spices if needed, and top it all over with a large pile of greens—preferably one that also has zucchini or chopped apples.


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