You only need 4 ingredients to make this easy pumpkin pudding – the perfect sweet and easy taste of fall you need!
Why you’ll love it: It’s so easy and tastes a bit like pumpkin pie. It makes a great lunchbox treat.
How long it takes: 5 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: mixing bowl, whisk
Servings: 4 (but it’s really easy to make a double batch)
Is Labor Day too early for pumpkin recipes?
Or a better question, do I care? Nope! I love pumpkin and could literally eat it year-round. And I really love fall. Everything about it. Pumpkin, the smell of falling leaves, the slight chill in the air, sweaters, crisp red apples. Even football.
Sorta kinda. Don’t tell my husband.
This easy pumpkin pudding recipe is a quick recipe that will satisfy both your sweet tooth and your craving for fall.
About this easy pumpkin Dessert
There are only four ingredients in this easy pumpkin pudding. Really, it’s jazzed up instant pudding (but don’t tell anyone!) You should be able to whip it up in just five minutes but do allow enough time for it to chill, about an hour in the fridge.
You’ll find complete instructions and nutrition information on the printable recipe card located near the bottom of the post.
What You’ll Need
So…..drum roll….the four ingredients are:
- Instant Vanilla Pudding: Make sure you buy instant pudding and not the kind that needs to be cooked.
- Pumpkin Puree (i.e. canned pumpkin): This is pure mashed pumpkin, not the canned pumpkin pie filling that already has spices and sugar added.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of spices. I usually make my own and keep it in the pantry. You can buy a mix at the store, too. It contains cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Pumpkin pie spice is what makes plain ol’ pumpkin taste like delicious pumpkin pie.
- Milk: Pretty much any type of milk works, dairy or non-dairy.
How To Make This Recipe
Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. A bowl with a pouring spout works well because it’s easier to pour the pudding into dessert bowls.
Notice the word “whisk”. Doesn’t whisking sound faster than stirring? Just saying. Be sure to use plain canned pumpkin–don’t buy pumpkin pie filling which contains lots of sugar already.
Pour the pudding into cute serving dishes and chill for an hour (if you can wait that long).
Make it fancy! Garnish the dessert with pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Toasted pepitas with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice is really good! A dollop of homemade whipped cream with dash of spice or a sprinkle of granola makes a good garnish, too.
For kids, plain graham crackers or teddy grahams are a perfect side for this easy pumpkin pudding. Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies go well with it, too.
Yes, sort of. J-ello makes a pumpkin spice flavored instant pudding mix which doesn’t have a bit of real pumpkin in it. It contains cinnamon and ginger, along with a lot of artificial colors and flavorings.
Canned pumpkin puree is made from fresh pumpkins that are cooked down, strained, and pureed. You can make your own pumpkin puree but don’t use the same kind of pumpkins that are used for Jack O’lanterns because they tend to be very stringy and fibrous. Use a pumpkin that’s intended for eating purposes or even a winter squash such as butternut or kabocha.
I’m so glad you asked! This recipe calls for a half cup of pumpkin puree, so you’ll have just a bit less than one and half cups left over from a 15 oz. can.
Pumpkin puree can be kept in the fridge for up to a week or frozen in small containers for up to 6 months for later use.
Use pumpkin puree to make pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin pancakes. Make pumpkin breakfast cookies or pumpkin pie smoothies. Add it to your oatmeal. Make pumpkin soup or add it to chili (no one will ever know and you’ll be adding loads of Vitamin A). I have lots of pumpkin recipes below for you to try!
Make It Your Own
- Make pumpkin pie: Pour this easy pumpkin pudding into a pre-made pie shell, either pastry or graham cracker, and chill. How easy is that! Perfect for Thanksgiving.
- Substitute another flavor of pudding for the vanilla. Try cheesecake or butterscotch flavored instant pudding. Use pumpkin spice flavored pudding and omit the pumpkin pie spice in the recipe.
- Pour the pudding into snack-sized containers and add them to lunchboxes.
- Rather have pudding that doesn’t come from a box? Try homemade vanilla pudding or chocolate pudding.
Pumpkin pudding will keep in the fridge for two to three days. Cover the dishes with plastic wrap.
More Pumpkin Recipes
We love everything pumpkin! Try these delicious pumpkin recipes this fall (or any time!):
- Mini pumpkin tarts – no bake, seriously easy!
- Pumpkin streusel bread
- Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
- Pumpkin curry soup – healthy, delicious, and only takes 20 minutes to make!
- Pumpkin breakfast cookies
- One pan pumpkin mac and cheese – just give it a try, you’ll be surprised how good it is
- Pumpkin pie muddie buddies
- Mini pumpkin doughnuts with cider-rum glaze – baked!
- Pumpkin cheddar muffins
- Pumpkin poke cake (with real pumpkin, not canned!)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée (plain canned pumpkin)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup milk
- 1 pkg. (3.4 ounce) instant vanilla pudding
- optional: whipped cream and/or pepitas for topping
- optional: graham crackers for dipping
- In a medium-large bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, milk, and instant pudding. Whisk until there are no lumps. Pour into individual dessert dishes. Makes 4 half-cup servings.
- Chill for about an hour or until firm.
- Garnish with pepitas and/or whipped cream. It tastes great scooped up on a graham cracker as well!
- Use plain canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Any type of milk can be used, including non-dairy.
- For lunchbox treats, pour the pudding into snack-sized containers and refrigerate.
- If you don’t happen to have pumpkin pie spice, either make your own blend (it’s easy!) or substitute 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.