3-Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pudding Tastes Like Heaven

©. Melissa Breyer

This easy recipe makes a plant-based pumpkin pudding that is rich, creamy, healthy, and delicious.

First of all, the secret ingredient in this sublime dessert isn't actually pumpkin; it's butternut squash. But since canned pumpkin is often actually butternut squash, I'm going with "pumpkin" here. Secondly, this isn't exactly pudding, but it's not exactly mousse either. It tastes kind of like the deliciously confused child of pudding, mousse, and pumpkin pie – but since pudmoupie doesn't sound so great, I am sticking with "pudding."

The whole thing came about by accident. I made a vegan butternut squash soup that I hadn't thinned enough, and the next day, straight out of the fridge, it was thick and sublime and reminded me of pudding; just savory and spicy instead of sweet. So I made it again and revamped it with dessert in mind and here's what we got. My family is going nuts over it and I kind of want to eat it for every meal of the day.

About making homemade butternut or pumpkin puree

I made the recipe so that a 15-ounce can of pumpkin (air quotes) puree could be used, but I love the flavor that roasting coaxes from winter squash and recommend that route.

See: The best way to roast butternut squash.

Butternut squash and pumpkin equivalents:

  • One 3-pound butternut yields 30 ounces roasted/skinned squash which makes a bit more than 3 1/2 cups of puree.
  • One 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree is just under 2 cups.


There are three main ingredients, along with salt and spices (pantry staples are usually excluded in recipe ingredient counts, hence the three ingredient title).

  • 2 cup roasted butternut squash puree, or one 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1⁄4 cup maple syrup
  • A pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (or any combination of warming spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, et cetera – you have on hand; more or less depending on taste)
  • 1. Place squash in the bowl of a food processor, add maple syrup and begin to puree. Add coconut milk slowly to get the right texture – a more watery squash will require less coconut milk – and you want it thick, but smooth. Note that you can also use a strong blender or an immersion blender.

    2. Add seasonings to taste. (Here's how to make your own pumpkin pie spice blend.)

    3. You can eat it right away, but it gets thicker and more delicious after having been refrigerated.

    4. For garnishing, I reserved a little coconut cream from the milk and whipped it. It is also extra delicious with some chopped candied ginger.

    Yield: 3 cups, or 4 3⁄4-cup servings. Calories: 200 calories per serving. Yes, the coconut milk adds a lot of saturated fat, but each serving also comes with loads of fiber, vitamins A and C, and other plant-based goodness!