Butter Pecan Pumpkin Souffle ~ if you put nothing down on the dinner table but this light and fluffy, sweet and crunchy casserole I wouldn’t feel slighted in the least. As long as you let me have seconds 🙂
This Butter Pecan Pumpkin Souffle is fluffy, sweet, crunchy, earthy, and utterly irresistible. I guarantee it will be a huge hit at the holidays. but honestly I love it so much that I make it for special dinners throughout the fall. Why would we want to save something this good for only one or two nights a year? That’s insane.
One of the things that makes this side dish so incredible is that it starts from a whole pumpkin. The whole darned thing goes into the oven for an hour and comes out soft and ready to be pureed into the fluffy base for this souffle. Could you use canned pumpkin? Probably, but you’d miss out on some great flavor, and the drama of roasting a whole pumpkin.
For an alternative, try doing this with butternut squash, or sweet potatoes, either the orange or the yellow variety: Butter Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole.
The easiest (and healthiest) way to cook any winter squash
This unorthodox method is super easy and hands off, just the way we like it during the holidays!
- Preheat your oven to 375F
- Place the whole squash on a baking sheet
- Pierce the squash in several place with the point of a paring knife
- Roast for about an hour or until tender: until the the paring knife slides into the flesh easily. Small squash might take less time, larger squash will take longer.
- Let it cool slightly, then slice the squash open into wedges and scoop out the seeds. (Save them to roast ~ here’s how.)
- Peel off the skin (it comes off easily) or scoop out the flesh with a large spoon, and the squash is ready to use.
So I know it looks a little scary when you’ve got the whole pumpkin splayed out on the baking sheet like this, but trust me, the seeds etc scoop out super easily and you’re left with perfectly cooked flesh, it’s pure gold. This process is SO much easier than trying to peel, chop, and boil a rock-hard winter squash. PLUS it’s much healthier: all the nutrients stay in!
To assemble this butter pecan pumpkin souffle I begin by pureeing the pumpkin with some brown sugar, buttermilk, eggs, and my secret ingredient (freshly grated nutmeg, what else?) Then the fun, i.e. the butter pecan topping, begins…
I admit that once you top the pumpkin casserole with the decadent butter pecan crumble it does veer into the dessert lane. That’s ok, the holidays are only here once a year, so go for it. And if you want to healthify it, just halve the volume of crumble.
I’m crazy about this side dish, guys, I hope you try it this year. I have a feeling that if you do, it will become part of your holiday routine going forward, it’s that good.
the Great Island kitchen recommends
a classic 1.5-3qt oval gratin baking dish
I love the graceful shape of oval baking dishes, I use them for fruit crumbles, gratins, stuffed peppers, and side dishes of all kinds, like this pumpkin souffle. Don’t stress too much about the size, I go for anything between 8×10 and 9×12.
more holiday side dishes
- Green Beans Almondine
- Favorite Green Bean Casserole from scratch!
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter
- Broccoli Cheese Casserole (the ultimate make ahead recipe)
- The Creamiest Creamed Corn
- How to Cook Honeynut Squash
Butter Pecan Pumpkin Souffle
- 1.5 quart casserole or gratin dish
- 1 1/2 lbs cooked pumpkin
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup buttermilk, or half and half
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, more if you love it
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, don’t pack it down
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- Set the oven to 350F
- Put the pumpkin in the bowl of a food processor and add the eggs, brown sugar, buttermilk, and melted butter. Pulse about 25 times, and then run the machine for an additional few seconds to completely puree the mixture. A little texture is ok, don't over-process. Season with the nutmeg, and pepper. Note: if you use unsalted butter, add salt to taste as well.
- Turn the pumpkin puree into a gratin dish and spread out evenly.
- Blend the topping ingredients together in a bowl, tossing with a fork or your fingers until crumbly. Make sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Crumble the mixture evenly over the souffle.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes. If the topping browns too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.
Questions and Reviews
I used what I had available: plain, wholefat yogurt instead of buttermilk, grated panela instead of brown sugar, and ground walnuts instead of pecans. It is delicious all the same. Creamy and light.
Love your resourceful substitutions Blanca 🙂
Please, can you tell me exactly what size gratin baking dish you used for this? Thanks
This sounds yummy but I’m not sure what makes it a soufflé since there isn’t any egg whites. Is the pumpkin mixture airy and fluffy or smooth and creamy. My favorite food of all time is pecans, I eat them in snacks, desserts, savory dishes or by the handful. With that said, does the weight of the buttered pecans keep the soufflé from rising?
This isn’t a souffle in the classic sense, DJ, you’re right, it doesn’t contain whipped egg whites and it doesn’t puff up. The texture is more smooth and creamy.
Thanks for the clarification. I’m roasting my pumpkin now (it smells amazing) in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Thanks for this new addition to our table.
Have a wonderful holiday and I hope everyone loves the dish. There’s nothing like roasting pumpkin, is there? I can smell it now 🙂
I made the butter pecan souffle tonight and loved it, really enjoyed making and eating. Couldn’t find buttermilk so used cream. It worked for me.
I’m so glad you liked this Meera, I could seriously eat it for dessert!
I am dying to try that topping! This looks right up my street!
The topping is EVERYTHING Angie 😉
We might have to fight over the second helpings of this fabulous pumpkin souffle!
I’ve got my fork drawn!
Wow I love this spin you’ve put on this beautiful side dish – and yes I would be happy just to eat this too! Holiday cooking at it’s best 🙂
Thanks Tricia, I really love this dish., The pumpkin, which isn’t naturally sweet, is the perfect base for that topping 😉
Such a lovely veggie side dish, but I would be perfectly happy to call this dinner, too 🙂 Would make a great addition to the holiday table.