Baked Pumpkin with Garlic Yogurt Sauce ~ Savory Simple

Pumpkin is such an essential fall ingredient but I often get bored with it very quickly. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake but there are so many other options out there! I understand why it’s mostly used in baked desserts but pumpkin also works wonderfully in savory dishes, such as this baked pumpkin with garlic yogurt sauce.

I first sampled this dish, also know as kaddow bowrani, at an Afghan restaurant in Baltimore called The Helmand many years ago. It’s surprisingly easy to make and incredibly addicting. Cinnamon and a touch of sugar balance a warm and tangy garlic yogurt sauce for a unique appetizer that’s both savory and sweet. This is a simple appetizer recipe that is perfect for cozy fall dinners.


Baked Pumpkin with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 sugar pie pumpkin (approximately 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 cup plain full fat or greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  1. With a sharp knife, slice the pumpkin in half and then again into quarters. Scoop out the seeds and use a peeler to carefully remove all of the skin. Slice the pumpkin into pieces that are 2-3 inches in size.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and coriander.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the pumpkin well on both sides for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the pumpkin. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. To prepare the sauce, combine the yogurt and garlic. Add salt to taste. Milk or water can be added to the yogurt to thin it out if necessary.
  6. To serve, drizzle the sauce over the pumpkin. Serve warm.


More Pumpkin Recipes

Savory Simple – Sriracha Maple Pumpkin Seeds
Savory Simple – Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Savory Simple – Pumpkin Pecorino Pasta with Fried Sage
Food 52 – Salted Pumpkin Caramels
Martha Stewart – Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

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  1. What a perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, I love the cinnamon!

  2. Lovely photo.

  3. I’m all for savory pumpkin dishes! I’m actually getting sick of all the pumpkin dessert I’ve been making so this is an awesome change of scenery for me!

  4. what a pretty dish! i love the idea of this as an appetizer!

  5. I love the flavour combinations happening in this sauce! (Bet it’s great right off a spoon too!) :D

  6. Ashley - Baker by Nature says:

    Amazing flavors in this – totally on the to-make list!

  7. Love the flavor combination! This would make a great Thanksgiving appetizer.

  8. That garlic yogurt sauces sounds heavenly by itself, let alone when it’s combined with pumpkin!

  9. Kate@Diethood says:

    mmmmm garlic yogurt sauce… you are speaking my language! :-) LOVE IT!

  10. Garlic yogurt sauce – mmm, yum!

  11. Out of curiosity, how long does it take you to setup the food for the pictures? I attempted it this weekend and I grew a lot of appreciation for your setups. Even if I don’t try all the recipes, I always enjoy the pictures :)

    • honestly, it totally varies depending on the recipe and setup. This one took awhile because I struggled to find a composition I liked. Sometimes I’m done in 10 minutes, sometimes it takes an hour.

  12. I bet that cool yogurt sauce is a great contrast with the warm, toasty pumpkin!

  13. claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    What an interesting idea. :)

  14. Such a fun and different way to cook pumpkin! I love it!

  15. I’ve never seen anything like this… LOVE!!!

  16. Mmm, mmm, mmm. That sounds delicious!

    Natalya @ Ruff House Art

  17. That sounds very interesting. I love pumpkin so I bet this would be a hit in my house.

  18. Karen Marie says:

    OMG! I think I had this dish in that same place in Baltimore. My sister-in-law lives in Baltimore and took us there. I can’t wait to give this a try to see how it compares. Thank you!

  19. Gorgeous plating!

  20. Beautiful composition! Off to check out the recipe!

  21. What a surprising little delight! We so often miss out on great flavor combinations because we are afraid to go beyond certain limits (set unconsciously and often arbitrarily) in our experimentation. Garlic, yogurt and pumpkin. Not an obvious trio, but clearly a perfectly harmonious one. Thanks.

  22. We must agree with Granny’s Parlour… this is a pleasantly surprising combination. Very elegant too.

  23. I love this savory pumpkin dish. It looks really yummy!

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  25. Jen, this looks great. So simple and yummy!

  26. YUM! I love how unique this recipe is. I am so used to pureed pumpkin and using it in smoothies, desserts, and oatmeal so it is nice to see a change.

  27. I’ve been to this restaurant, and recently thought I needed to find a recipe for this appetizer. It is no-joke amazing, Thanks for posting and making my life this much easier. :)

  28. WOW, what an awesome way to enjoy pumpkin!

  29. Woo! Baltimore! Sounds like The Helmand – one of my favorite restaurants!

  30. this sounds wonderful! i love the sweet and savory aspects of it, i’m dying to try!

  31. YUM! It’s great to see something different like this in the world of food blogs. I’ve never been to an Afghan restaurant but I do live near Baltimore so I’d love to go! Do you remember the name of the place?

  32. I made this with Delicata squash for a dinner party last weekend, and it was a big hit. I think next time I’m going to add some Cayenne to give it a kick! Thanks for the recipe.

  33. Helmand!!!! I love that restaurant. I order that dish every time i go there.

  34. I would love to try this – just have to convince my fiance that he would love to try this too!

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