Baking pies on Thanksgiving is a fun tradition Americans have participated in for centuries. Less fun is the fact that some recipes call for only a cup of canned pumpkin, leaving bakers with remnants that slowly spoil in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With that in mind, we pulled together a few scrumptious ideas for using up that extra pumpkin pie filling. Some call for canned pumpkin, others for actual pie filling, and there is a difference: Canned pumpkin is pure puréed squash, without any other flavorings; it lacks the sweetness that pie filling—which includes sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger—will bring to a dish. Either way, these delicious recipes ensure that no pumpkin filling goes to waste.
1. Make a festive pumpkin quick bread.
Quick breads don’t need yeast or hours to rise. This festive chocolate pumpkin spice marble bread from Southern Living combines two delicious flavors—chocolate and sweetened canned pumpkin—that go surprisingly well together.
2. Whirl a pumpkin pie smoothie.
To make this delicious drink, simply mix a dollop of pumpkin pie filling with yogurt or milk and ice in a blender. Before you get blending, though, make sure the leftover filling contains no eggs—and if it does, bake the filling in a small dish first and let it cool before making the smoothie. Baking Kneads has tips.
3. Wow holiday guests with a pumpkin cheesecake.
If you baked a pumpkin pie and find yourself with half of a 30-ounce can of pumpkin left over, try this recipe for delectable pumpkin cheesecake from Natasha’s Kitchen, which uses exactly 15 ounces of pumpkin. Light and creamy cheesecake and spicy pumpkin deserve to be combined!
4. Layer pumpkin pie filling between crunchy oat crisp.
With just 15 minutes and half a can of leftover filling, you can pull together this layered pumpkin crisp from I Am Baker and pop it in the oven for a yummy dessert or midnight snack.
5. Flavor overnight oats with pumpkin pie filling.
Oats and pumpkin can help you create a perfect breakfast to enjoy the weekend after Thanksgiving. This vegan maple pumpkin overnight oats recipe from Spabettie is super easy. Make it the night before, leave it in the fridge overnight, and serve in the morning (cold or warmed up in the microwave) for a lazy Saturday morning.
6. Go all out with pumpkin cinnamon crunch bagels.
These pumpkin cinnamon crunch bagels from Chelsea Peach Tree are worth it in every single way. Yes, they require some work and time, but the delicious combo of warm pumpkin bagel and crunchy pumpkin-spice topping will make you forget the labor. Pro tip: Bagels freeze really well. Make a few dozen, and you’ll have extravagant breakfasts all winter long.
A version of this story originally ran in 2021; it has been updated for 2022.