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Fall is a great time of year with it’s warm days, chilly nights and and wonderful harvest of versatile vegetables. In recent years, pumpkin has seen a rise to fame equal to possibly only bacon, and the fall season is overrun with pumpkin flavors of every sort. Pumpkin however isn’t just for dessert, and fall’s other hard squashes also make for a tasty dish. Here are some great recipes form local Pittsburgh chefs highlighting the best that the season has to offer.

Bill Fuller
1150 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 201-5656

As Executive Chef of Big Burrito Restaurants, Bill Fuller works to create the wonderful flavor profiles in his menus using fresh, local ingredients. His restaurants, including Eleven, Mad Mex, Kaya, Umi and Soba, have won numerous awards and accolades. Bill has also been named Restauranteur of the year by Pittsburgh Magazine. Bill works with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to bring fresh and healthy food to those in need as well as consulting for the culinary program at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Ribollita, My Way, With Big Anchovy Croutons

Although pumpkin is the most popular squash of the fall season, this hearty Ribollita soup brings together fall flavors in a fantastic way using butternut squash.

  • ½ C. olive oil
  • 1 C. onion, diced
  • 15-20 cloves garlic sliced thinly
  • 2 C. carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 C. celery, diced
  • 2 lbs. white potatoes, diced large
  • 2 C. butternut squash, peeled and large diced
  • 2 qt stock (chicken is good, but if you want to use pork, that is good too.)
  • 2 lbs. chicken breast
  • 1 lb. loose Italian sausage, spicy or mild, you pick, rolled into meatballs
  • 1 bunch. rapini, stems sliced thinly and leaves chopped
  • 1 C. white beans, cooked and drained
  • ¼ C. picked oregano
  • 2 C. good tomato sauce/puree
  • Another ½ C. olive oil
  • 4 ea. 1” thick slices of stale bread
  • 2 ea. salted anchovies
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chunk of parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes
  1. Place a little olive oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and brown lightly. Add 2/3 of the sliced garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes and squash. Cover with stock, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Heat a wide skillet over high heat. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and brown on both sides until cooked. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly. Slice and reserve.
  3. While chicken is cooling, return pan to heat. Place olive oil in pan and brown off meatballs. Remove.
  4. When vegetables are soft, add chicken, sausage, rapini, beans, oregano and tomato sauce. Return to a simmer and cook as long as you want.
  5. When ready to serve, heat second half cup of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Place anchovies and remaining sliced garlic in the pan. Lay in the slices of bread and brown on both sides. Be careful to brown bread while not burning anchovies or garlic. You will be tempted to eat this toasted bread on its own, and I say go ahead. Just toast more!
  6. Place croutons in the bowl. Pour soup over. Shave lots of Parmesan cheese atop everything.

Delicata Squash Empanada With Creamy Apple Cabbage, Pepper Slaw And Apple Butter

This sweet and savory dish combines the earthly flavors of the delicata squash with apples and a sweet and spicy slaw.

  • 2 ea. delicata squash
  • ¼ – ½ C. fresh goat cheese
  • ¼ C. grated hard cheese (parmesan, etc.)
  • Empanada wrappers
  • 2 ea. tart apple (granny Smith, etc.)
  • 1 ea. sweet red pepper
  • ½ hd. napa cabbage
  • Salt and pepper

Creamy Slaw Dressing

  • 1 C. apple butter – home-made is best, all natural is almost as good
  • Ancho chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. butter salt and pepper
  1. Split delicata squash lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Lightly oil cut faces, season with salt and pepper and place face-down on a baking sheet. Roast in a 350º oven until the thickest part of the squash is soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Scrape delicata meat into a bowl. Add chevre and cream cheese. Mix well. Taste and add hard cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Note: Variations in size of the squash may necessitate changing the amounts of the cheeses. Go with your heart!
  3. Place empanada wrapper on table. Place approximately 2 tbs. filling in the center. Fold over, crimp with fork. Lay empanadas on a tray to the side. Finish all empanadas.
  4. Julienne thinly apple, pepper and cabbage. Toss with dressing. Set aside.
  5. Place apple butter in a small pot with ancho chili butter. Bring to a simmer. Adjust sauce consistence with a touch of water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in butter to finish. Hold warm.
  6. Heat oil to approx. 350°. Fry empanadas 1 or 2 at a time, placing on paper towels to finish. When all are fried, plate with slaw and apple butter.

Hubbard Squash Risotto With Sage, Arugula And Pear

This dish is made from tasty, roasted hubbard squash and combined with the flavors of toasted pumpkin seeds.

  • Approx. 1 qt. chicken stock, brought to a boil and kept hot
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • ¼ C. minced white onion
  • 2 C. arborio rice
  • 2-3 C. diced, roasted hubbard squash (see below)
  • ¼ C. butter ½ C. parmesan cheese Salt and pepper
  • ½ lb. arugula
  • 2 ea. orange
  • Segmented sage leaves
  • Torn pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
  1. Heat oil in a wide, heavy pot over low heat. Add onions and sweat until soft.
  2. Add rice and cook, stirring to coat the grains with butter, until opaque, 3 to 5 min.
  3. Add ½ C. hot stock to rice and stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding in this fashion until the risotto is creamy, but the rice continues to have a little tooth.
  4. Add squash, butter and cheese.
  5. Adjust salt and pepper.
  6. Place arugula in bowl. Sprinkle juice from orange segments into arugula. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss to lightly dress. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spoon risotto onto plates. Top with salad. Sprinkle with sage and pepitas.

Roasted Hubbard Squash

  • 2 ea. large hubbard squash, halved and de-seeded
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Lightly coat squash with oil. Season exposed flesh with salt and pepper.
  2. Lay exposed side down on a sheet pan. Bake in a 425° oven until soft. Allow to cool and scrape from the skin.

Related: Best Pumpkin Treats In Pittsburgh

Brad Cannon
IKEA Pittsburgh
2001 Park Manor Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
(412) 747-0440

As leader of the kitchen team at IKEA Pittsburgh, Brad oversees the creation of a customer favorite, Swedish Meatballs, as well as many other Swedish inspired dishes. Brad enjoys bringing seasonal flavors into the IKEA restaurant for special events and creating easy recipes to make the Swedish food staples more accessible.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding

  • 6 IKEA Cinnamon buns with icing (day-old buns are even better!)
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 3.4 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs butter
  1. Tear cinnamon buns into small pieces and place in a large bowl
  2. In a separate bowl, combine milk, pudding mix, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla and pumpkin
  3. Pour mixture over buns and refrigerate for 15 minutes
  4. Place mixture in a well greased glass baking dish
  5. Top with small pats of butter
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
  7. Serve warm, preferably with ice cream

Swedish Pancakes With Pumpkin Filling

  • 6 IKEA frozen Swedish Pancakes
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 16 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  1. Bake frozen pancakes on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, allow to cool to handling temperature
  2. Whip together cream cheese, pumpkin, condensed milk and spice until light and fluffy
  3. Fill each pancake with filling and roll.
  4. Serve immediately or chill.

Related: Best Pumpkin Dishes In Pittsburgh

Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at