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6 Festive Pumpkin Recipes That Won’t Spike Your Sugar

Updated: 9/18/23 2:00 pmPublished: 10/25/21
By Lindsay Modglin

Fall is almost here, which means there's no shortage of pumpkin-flavored goodness in the air. These dishes can help keep your wellness goals on track and leave you satisfied when cravings hit.

Diabetes Friendly Pumpkin Mug Cake

In recent years, pumpkin spice products have arrived on shelves with such fervor that they truly seem to merit their own season. And while there are countless ways to indulge in all things themed orange squash – pumpkin spice bone broth and pumpkin spice potpourri, anyone? – you may wonder if there is a way to enjoy this fall-craze without spiking your blood sugar.

The good news is that there are plenty of healthy pumpkin recipes for people with diabetes. Below are six suggestions that will not only help you stay on track with your health and wellness goals, but they'll also leave you feeling satisfied when the craving hits.

1) Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

The perfect combination of pumpkin pie and chia seeds, this high-fiber recipe is healthy enough for breakfast, yet delicious enough to enjoy as a post-dinner treat. Dietitian Jen Hernandez, founder of Plant-Powered Kidneys, shares this simple recipe featuring antioxidant-rich chia seeds and pumpkin.

Recipe Details: Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Diabetes Friendly Pumpkin Chia Seed PuddingActive time: 20 minutes

Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Makes: 1 serving


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend, or to taste
  • Sweetener of your choice


  1. In a small bowl, combine milk with chia seeds. Stir in canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice blend, and sweetener of choice to taste. Mix well.
  2. Transfer to a jar or cup. Place in the fridge to allow pudding to set, at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.

2) Pumpkin Pancakes

Start your morning off right with this delicious, high-fiber pumpkin pancake recipe compliments of Mary Wirtz, registered dietitian, and consultant for Mom Loves Best. Made with banana for some extra sweetness, this satisfying breakfast will leave you energized for the day ahead.

Pumpkin PancakesRecipe Details: Pumpkin Pancakes

Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Makes: 1 serving


  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup finely ground almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Dash of vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Cooking spray
  • Low-sugar Greek yogurt, berries, or melted almond butter, for serving


  1. Transfer all ingredients to a blender. Process until evenly mixed, 20 to 30 seconds (do not overmix).
  2. Meanwhile, heat a griddle or a medium to large nonstick skillet on medium heat and spray with olive oil pan spray.
  3. Ladle about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the batter onto the skillet and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter and more cooking spray as needed.
  4. Serve with low sugar Greek yogurt, a few berries, or a drizzle of melted almond butter.

High-Protein Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

This quick and easy recipe, which comes from Lauren Harris-Pincus, dietitian and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook, is the perfect snack to enjoy on a busy afternoon. It’s not only nutritious but is also naturally gluten-free.

Recipe Details: High-Protein Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

Active time: 5 minutes

Diabetes Friendly Pumpkin Pie Mug Cake RecipeTotal time: 7 minutes

Makes: 1 mug cake


  • 1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 packet stevia or other sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour, coconut flour, or other gluten-free flour
  • 3 tablespoons egg whites
  • 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (can substitute with other milk options)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips, divided


  1. In a wide mug, combine protein powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, stevia or other sweetener, and flour.
  2. Mix in egg whites, pumpkin, almond milk, and applesauce; whisk until well combined, ensuring there is no powder left at the bottom of the mug.Stir in 1 teaspoon of chocolate chips.
  3. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until the top of mug cake is no longer wet and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Top with remaining 1 teaspoon of chocolate chips. Serve immediately.

4) Foolproof Pumpkin Chili

This colorful chili from Mary Wirtz features rich, savory flavors without the added sugar. Not only is it packed with taste, but it’s also quick enough to become a weekly fall staple in your household.

Recipe Details: Foolproof Pumpkin Chili

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 medium green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 packet low-sodium chili seasoning
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese and low-fat Greek yogurt, for serving


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large heavy pot, then add the ground turkey or chicken. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, breaking up any clumps of meat with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  2. Stir in the onions and red and green peppers. Add in the packet of chili seasoning, stirring until spices are well mixed and vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree as well as enough water to reach your desired thickness.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45-60 minutes.
  5. Serve in bowls alongside extra sharp cheddar cheese or low-fat plain Greek yogurt for an additional boost of protein.

5) Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Jen Hernandez shares a recipe that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth craving: a smoothie that tastes just like your favorite pumpkin pie, only with a protein boost.

Recipe Details: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Active time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 smoothie


  • 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground clove
  • 2 to 3 ice cubes


  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

6) Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Not only are these pumpkin cookies delicious, but as a bonus they will also fill your home with the sweet scent of fall. This recipe is compliments of New York City dietitian Theresa Gentile of Full Plate Nutrition.

Recipe Details: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Makes: 13 cookies


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 a 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup low-sugar or sugar-free chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin, banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Add the pumpkin and banana mixture into the flour and oats. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Photo credits: iStock

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About the authors

Lindsay Modglin is a nurse, writer, and digital marketing expert for the healthcare industry. She holds a professional certificate in Scientific Writing from Stanford University School of Medicine. As a... Read the full bio »