Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette

Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette - An amazingly delicious, vibrantly-hued dressing that pairs well with so many ingredients. It's also spectacular in a simple salad of fresh greens.

Several weeks ago, I shared a recipe for Pumpkin Crumb Muffins. There’s been tons of response – from people who want to make them (they’ve already had over 11K pins) and also from readers who’ve made them and loved the results. One interesting comment I got went like this…

“Looks delicious – but what to do with the balance of the can of pumpkin?”

Do you ever have this problem? A recipe calls for a cup (or sometimes even less) of pumpkin puree and you’ve got a decent amount left in the can that’s too good (and too expensive) to toss out. Lot’s of times when I’m shopping, the only size available is the huge 29-ounce can. Yikes, that really leaves me with a lot leftover!


Libby’s (the experts here in America on all-things-pumpkin), say that the puree is good in the refrigerator for up to a week. They also say it can be frozen up to 3 months although I think it tends to not be as smooth after freezing.

Other ideas? I thought you’d never ask. I’ve got lots of them – like these Baked Pumpkin Buttermilk Donuts. They’re one of most delicious recipes that’s ever come out of The Café kitchen and my seasoned taste-testers have attested to this.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts - crazy good, always rave reviews when these guys are served. Better than the fried versions!

Another idea is this Pumpkin Buttermilk Pound Cake. It’s a real crowd pleaser and seems to get better and better (if you have any left, that is!).

Pumpkin-Buttermilk-Pound-Cake - this one needs to go on the "must-make" list. With warm fall flavor and a to-die-for caramel icing, it will be a highlight of the season!

Want something really fun and crazy-pumpkin-delish? Try this Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup, it makes a great lunch or a delicious light dinner and it’s super healthy too! It can also be made without the chicken and served in pretty little bowls as an appetizer soup. I add a tiny scoop of rice and a sprig of fresh cilantro.

Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup with Chicken and Jasmine Rice - a delicious, low fat, healthy soup that shouts with vibrant fresh flavor.

But do you want to know my latest favorite pumpkin recipe?

Oh man, you’re stealing my thunder, I bet you’ve already guessed, right? If you’re thinking it’s this vibrant-hued Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette, you hit the nail right on the head. We’ve been enjoying all sorts of salads with a splash of this amazing dressing over the last week and one evening I drizzled it over grilled chicken for a delicious fall flavor feast.

Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette - An amazingly delicious, vibrantly-hued dressing that pairs well with so many ingredients. It's also spectacular in a simple salad of fresh greens.

The star ingredients are pumpkin puree and pure maple syrup. A clove of garlic, a squeeze of Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar enhance the simple combination. A slow drizzle of extra virgin olive oil is all that’s needed to emulsify and finish it off.

Oooops! I almost forgot something really important! Lots of fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped, add a freshness and an extra layer of of fabulous flavor.

Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette - An amazingly delicious, vibrantly-hued dressing that pairs well with so many ingredients. It's also spectacular in a simple salad of fresh greens.

There you have it. Try this dressing with simple greens like arugula, butter lettuce or leaf lettuce. It goes great with apples, pears, grapes, dates, raisins, figs and pomegranates. I love to pair it with walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, pepitas, almonds, goat cheese, Feta, Parmesan,Gorgonzola and all sorts of other things. I can’t wait to hear how you serve it!

If you’re looking for a delicious way to celebrate fall, whip up a batch of this Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette. It won’t take more than 5 minutes and I have a feeling once you taste it, you’ll be opening up a can of pumpkin just for this! (don’t worry, remember I’ve got lots of ideas for the rest of the can…).


Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette

Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette

5 from 4 reviews

An amazingly delicious, vibrantly-hued dressing that pairs well with so many ingredients. It’s also spectacular in a simple salad of fresh greens.

  • Author:
  • Category: Salad Dressing


  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Combine pumpkin puree, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium size bowl or a glass jar. Whisk well to combine.
  2. Add olive oil slowly, in a thin stream, whisking continually. (It’s important to add the oil very slowly or the dressing will separate.)*
  3. Add the fresh thyme and stir well. If you like your dressing a little thinner, add the water and stir until incorporated. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


*Don’t skip the mustard, even if you’re not fond of it. Mustard is important in a dressing like this as it acts as an emulsifier, meaning it helps hold the dressing together and keep it from separating. You can read more about how emulsifiers work here.


30 thoughts on “Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette”

  • This is a wonderful dressing, that we really enjoyed on a salad of spinach, toasted pecans, goat cheese, red grapes and honeycrisp apple slices. Thank you for a delicious and different way to enjoy salad

  • Thank you for getting back to me so quickly on my question. This dressing was amazing! I made it for a salad on Thanksgiving: mixed greens, pomegranate, pears, apple, craisins, bleu cheese, bacon, flax seed, toasted pecans, then tossed the turkey right on top. So delicious and so much lighter than the typical Thanksgiving sides. I will be making this dressing again for sure, and I am usually an EVOO/lemon juice girl. Can’t wait to try your other recipes!

  • Where have you been all my life??? I just made this pumpkin vinaigrette and immediately made another batch! Yes, its that good!! I am making salmon tomorrow night for Sunday dinner and this would make an amazing sauce/glaze to go over the top. I cant wait! Thanks for sharing:)

  • Wow Chris this dressing sounds so unique. I will definitely try this with some leftover pumpkin I have. Great idea plus lots of creative recipes. I dont recall seeing your pumpkin muffin recipe but will check it out.

  • Oh, man, you are making my Life very difficult. Today I made a Tea Bread for a cooking club to which I belong. I chose to make this recipe because I would have a cup of pumpkin purée left over. With my leftover cup of pumpkin purée, I am going to make the Pumpkin Muffins. Now you make my Life difficult by posting the many other alternatives. And, of course, I’ve never turned my back on a good doughnut. You know what? I love anything with pumpkin. Pumpkin Purée is not an expensive item so I am just going to go crazy and make what I want when I want. (I do agree, frozen canned pumpkin purée is not wonderful.)

  • We are pumpkin fans all year round, and I’m loving all the pumpkin ideas that come this time of year!! I’ve never thought to put the pumpkin in a vinaigrette… but how good would this be over a salad with roasted butternut squash?? And quinoa?? Oh …!! I’m intrigued!!

  • I always have leftover pumpkin in my fridge this time of year! I’ll have to give this a try…sounds luscious! I’ve made pumpkin muffins with streusel topping before…they are a wonderful breakfast treat! No wonder they are so popular!

  • Hi Chris, I had to drop by to say hi and compliment you on your amazing vinaigrette recipe. Of course I’m going to pin & try it! I just love fall & trying new recipes. But, have to admit I don’t like pumpkin pie, so anytime I see pumpkin in other recipes I’m all for it. PS. that curried pumpkin soup looks pretty yummy too!

  • OK, you’ve convinced me that I must make your pumpkin muffins. And I love the sound of this salad dressing…the perfect mix for a fall salad 🙂 Always something yummy happening in the cafe!!!

  • It’s going to be a bit over 82 degrees here on a beautiful Saturday morning. With summer nearly here, it’s tough to think of pumpkin until I see these delightfully American goodies. Then all I want is to crank up the oven in spite of the heat and start baking.

  • I just made something that only used a quarter cup of pumpkin so this is VERY timely for me! Thank you. I love the vibrant, rich color of your vinaigrette, Chris. It looks and sounds absolutely delicious.

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