Thanksgiving Thursdays #5: Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip


Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip

The story of this dip is that I went to Williams Sonoma last month to buy a gift (we never go there for ourselves, amIright?) I had Owen with me, and as soon as walked in the store, we headed for the checkout counter.

We did this because I had called to have them set the gift aside for me…and because of their array of samples. Owen blew kisses at the ladies behind the counter while I tried the first sample: some kind of pumpkin cream cheese dip that came with its own pretzel chip.

Pumpkin - Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip

The sample I tried was probably 1 teaspoon’s worth. My mouth really would have preferred a 1/2 cup. However, I couldn’t play that game where I take six laps around the store, trying to blend in and sneaking over to the sample counter every few minutes because…well, like I said, Owen had been charming the ladies behind the counter. By that point, I was highly and regretably recognizable.

So, I did the next best thing. I looked at the pricey jar of pecan pumpkin butter sitting next to the samples, made a quick mental note of what other flavors had been in my thimble-sized sample, payed for our item, and headed home.

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip Ingreditents

The minute I walked in the door, I wrote down what my tongue could recall. Cream cheese. Definitely in there. Some kind of green onion or chive. Yup. Bacon crumbles? I think so. And after a scan of the pecan pumpkin butter’s ingredients online, I thought: I can make that.


And so I did. But from scratch. Pumpkins easily roast and pureé like any other squash. After some googling of various pumpkin butter recipes, I came up with a combination that felt right to me, and for the first (but certainly not the last) time in my life, made pumpkin butter. Then I ate a third of the butter with a spoon. You will too, trust me. But it’s okay because you don’t need all of the pumpkin butter to make the dip. So…win!

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip

I knew this dip had to be featured for Thanksgiving Thursday. Eric and I ate about half of it immediately after we were done photographing it. #truth
The pumpkin butter tastes like it’s been BFFs with fall since birth. It gets mixed with creamy cream cheese, salty bacon, toasted pecans, and some green onion for a little kick. Paired with some salty dippables – like pretzels – you may find yourself surrpetitiously circling your house, trying to blend in with your cousins, as you take your fifteenth helping of this dip. I won’t tell if you won’t.

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip

(recipe by Carpé Season)
(yields 2 1/2 c. of dip)
After tasting this dip at Williams Sonoma, made from their Pecan Pumpkin Butter , I decided to make my own from scratch. This sweet & savory dip makes for a great fall appetizer with hints of pumpkin butter, salty bacon, toasted pecans, and cream cheese. Goes great with a salty dipping tool - like pretzels - but also good with apple slices.
I made my own pumpkin butter, which in and of itself, is fabulous. Note that the pumpkin BUTTER recipe makes about 2 to 2 1/2 cups, but I only used 1 1/2 c. (or around 8 oz.) of pumpkin butter in the actual dip. (And will eat the rest of the pumpkin butter smeared on my morning toast. Win!)


Pumpkin Butter:

app. 2-lb. (or medium-sized) pie pumpkin (prepared as described below) OR 2 c. pumpkin pureé*

1/8 c. apple juice

scant 1/2 c. brown sugar

2 tbsp. maple syrup

1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

pinch salt (or few grinds sea salt), to tase



1 c. pecans - toasted, chopped

4 slices bacon, cooked crisped & crumbled

1 1/2 c. (app. 8 oz.) pumpkin butter

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 green onions

pinch of salt (or frew grinds sea salt), to taste


The 2.2-lb. pumpkin that I used - once seeded, roasted, peeled, and blended - yielded about 3 c. of pureé.I set aside a scant 1 c. of the pureé and used 2 c. (or around 13 oz.) in the pumpkin butter.


Roast & Pureé the Pumpkin:

Preheat oven to 325*. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Cut the pumpkin in half, lengthwise, and use a metal spoon to clean out all of the seeds and strings from the inside. Spray the cut sides of the pumpkin with cooking spray. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side-down on the baking sheet.

Roast the pumpkin 30-45 minutes or until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Once cool, peel off the skin (or scoop out flesh using a spoon). Pureé flesh in a blender or food processor (this goes better when pumpkin is still warm).

Prepare Pumpkin Butter:

Mix or use your food processor to blend the 2 c. of pumpkin pureé, apple juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and salt together until smooth. Try not to eat all of this with a spoon then and there.

Prepare Dip:

To toast the nuts, heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Pour in your nuts, stirring VERY frequently for about 3 minutes until nuts are fragrant and turning slightly golden brown. Remove to a plate to cool. Chop once cool.

Use the same skillet to cook your bacon crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Crumble when cool.


Mix or pureé together 1 1/2 c. of pumpkin butter, cream cheese, green onions, pecans, and crumbled bacon until smooth.


You can make this a day ahead of time and let the flavors get to know each other in the fridge overnight. Allow dip to warm up to around room temperature before serving. Serve with pretzel, pretzel chips, or other small dippable goods (something salty is recommended, but this might also be amazing with apple slices.)

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16 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Thursdays #5: Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip

  1. How about secretly taking an iPhone out of your pocket and taking a photo of the ingredients list?!:) I always do that and look around after.
    I laughed at your story, Liz. This is so me! I would never shop at W & S except for a gift, and it’s always me with 2 kids hanging on me and I run… I should call them ahead next time LOL.
    And I love this dip! So different. Going to pin.

  2. Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing! I’ve never roasted a pumpkin before, but I think I have to try this dip! My mouth is watering reading the ingredients and looking at your pictures!

  3. Don’t you hate it when our kids ruin sample time for us? ;)

    Seriously, I may get hate mail for this, but I am SO OVER the the sweet pumpkin dips during the holidays. They’re good, but highly overrated if you ask me. This, though, I doubt would even make it to the pretzel dipping stage!

    • The funny thing, Heather, is that I may be the only food blogger out there who is NOT in love with pumpkin. Had I seen this recipe (without tasting my tiny sample), I probably would have passed it over as another – meh – pumpkin recipe :) But the savory aspect saved it for me!

  4. Mmmmm … I want to be BFFs with this pumpkin butter! Confession … when we have something yummy (like apple butter) with dinner, and I go to put the spoon in the dishwasher, I usually take out a heaping spoonful and eat it. I can totally see that happening with this pumpkin butter. And I won’t feel a bit bad. :)
    And then the dip?!? Oh come on now! Is it wrong to just eat it plain? No, no thank you, I don’t wish any pretzels. Or pita. Or anything. Mind if I just sit over here with the entire dish?
    Seriously awesome recipe! And totally perfect timing – this might just be coming along with me to Thanksgiving!!

    • Can’t say I didn’t take a few fingerfuls of the dip by itself :) Glad to hear I’m not the only one taking spoonfuls of things when I should be cleaning up :)

  5. Just wondering..if you didnt have time to roast the pumpkin, could you use canned pumpkin instead? If so, how much would you suggest?

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