Time to celebrate the first day of fall with pumpkin queso!
I mean, let’s be real, I should say the OFFICIAL first day of fall. Because I’ve technically been celebrating the first day of fall in my secret brain since mid-August. I just can’t help it when it’s my favorite season. It can’t come soon enough and I never want it to end.
This means that now, I find it totally acceptable to share pumpkin recipes. I’m not super into sweet pumpkin things right now (though I do have one coming your way…), but savory pumpkin? I am ALL OVER IT.
If you own a copy of The Pretty Dish, then you may recognize this recipe. It’s a riff off of my butternut squash queso which may be one of the most popular recipes in the entire book. It is seriously incredible. You adore it, I adore it, we all adore it.
I took that recipe and swapped a few things, adding pumpkin and turning it more into a queso fundido with chorizo. Since I’m not a huge sausage fan, it takes a lot for me to share a recipe with chorizo. Sometimes I make a dish with sausage for Eddie because he loves it, but other than that, I’m out.
Unless of course it’s queso fundido, because who can say no to that? And who can say no to a fall version, when fall makes you feel all cozy and warm and spiced and happy?!
Yesterday I decided that I want to be like fall. I want to make people feel cozy and warm and spiced and happy. You know? Be the human version of fall to others.
Now let me tell you a secret.
This pumpkin queso? It’s even smoother and creamier than my butternut queso. I attribute that to the fact that I used canned pumpkin puree, which is silkier and smoother than my own roasted and blended pumpkin. When I make the butternut queso, I almost ALWAYS roast and puree my squash; it’s a bit thicker and even has a little texture to it sometimes. I don’t mind at all, ever. In fact, I love that it’s a little thicker because you can almost used it as a sauce of sorts on other recipes.
However, after having this super creamy and smooth pumpkin version? OH MAN. Be still my beating autumn heart. This is addictive.
P.S. I did scrape out the seeds inside of this little pie pumpkin to use as the serving bowl for the queso. That is totally up to you! It’s a fun presentation, but it’s not necessary for the recipe. Unless you use the insides to make your own puree.
And do not fear: it’s very savory. It doesn’t taste like pumpkin bread or cake (I mean, I’m not a monster) and it tastes very much like a fall hug on a chip.
Or on a potato.
Even on top of your scrambled eggs.
Or drizzled on your broccoli.
Pumpkin Queso Fundido
Yield: 6 people
This pumpkin queso fundido is the perfect indulgence for fall. Warm pumpkin queso topped with chroizo, pepitas and jalapeños. It’s delish!
- ½ pound chorizo sausage, removed from casing if needed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
- ½ sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 ½ cups half and half, divided
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 16 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 8 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons roasted, salted pepitas, for topping
- cilantro, for topping
- jalapeno pepper sliced, for topping
- cotija cheese, for topping
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add the chorizo. Using a wooden spoon to break it apart, cook until it is browned and in small crumbles, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the excess grease.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Stir in the peppers, onions and garlic. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook until the onion softens, about 5 to 6 minutes. Slowly stream in 1 cup of the half and half, whisking the entire time.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup half and half and cornstarch until no lumps remain to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the saucepan and cook for a minute until the milk thickens. Reduce the heat to low.
Stir in the grated cheese, one small handful at a time, until melted. Stir in the pumpkin until combined. Transfer the mixture to a crock, larger bowl or a small crockpot with the heat on low.
Spoon the chorizo on top of the queso, along with the pepitas, cilantro, peppers and a sprinkling of cotija cheese. Serve immediately with chips!
Cheese quota for the month? Met.