All sorts of winter squashes and sweet potatoes are native to the Americas and figure prominently in the cuisines of North and South America and the Caribbean. Though not closely related botanically, sweet potatoes and pumpkin-y squash do have similar colors, textures, and flavors—and their uses often overlap.
Blow some fresh life into your autumn/winter table with the following recipes from Mexico and Latin America in general.
01 of 07
When a pumpkin or other winter squash is cut up in Latin America, these seeds are used in any one of a number of delicious ways, from savory sauces to sweet desserts. In Mexico, the most common use for these seeds (called pepas or pepitas) is as a salty snack. They can be oven roasted or stove-top toasted, in-shell or out. Learn to make basic pepitas snacks, candied pumkin seeds, or roasted pumpkin seeds 3 ways.
If you get a little more ambitious, try Pepita Brittle or Pumpkin Seed Brittle.
02 of 07
The most Mexican of all ways to serve pumpkin (or similar winter squash) is candied— that is, cooked and served with a brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange juice syrup. Eaten as a snack, dessert, or breakfast, Calabaza en Tacha is one of the most traditional dishes for the Day of the Dead celebration an all through November.
03 of 07
Fancy dinners in Mexico often start with a cream soup, and this is one of the best ones. Full of the rustic flavors of the main ingredient and the herb epazote, this smooth, creamy sweet potato soup is pure comfort food.
04 of 07
What could be more Latin American than empanadas? Enjoyed all over the American continent and spiced up with regional variations, few foods can beat empanadas for flavor, soul, and portability. Make some of your own with this recipe for Baked Pumpkin Empanadas or Halloween Butternut Squash Empanadas.
If you have apples (or apple pie filling) on hand, try Apple Empanadas.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
06 of 07
Flan came to the Americas with the Spanish conquerors, and it has become a favorite dessert in the New World, with versions of it prepared in all Western Hemisphere countries. It was only natural that this beloved dish would be combined with local ingredients such as pumpkin. Don’t go another day without trying Pumpkin Flan, Pumpkin Maple Flan, or Gluten Free Pumpkin Caramel Flan,
07 of 07
Causa Rellena, a dish of mashed potatoes and a meat or seafood mix is one of Peru´s most beloved entrees. Switch the traditional white or yellow potatoes for sweet potatoes and add some condensed milk, nuts, and cranberries, and you come up with this wonderful version—Causa de Camote—that works deliciously as a first course or a dessert.