If you’re looking for easy Fall Appetizer ideas, you’ve got the check this one out. Canned pumpkin and tangy goat cheese with sweet caramelized onions and crunchy pecans for one great cracker spread. This easy pumpkin goat cheese appetizer is truly a treat.
About This Recipe and Why it Works
It’s always fun to celebrate Fall foods. Grilled burgers are replaced with soups and stews, and suddenly vegetable casseroles are filling those serving bowls instead of pasta salads.
And of course, before we know it, we’re obsessed with everything pumpkin.
This easy fall appetizer recipe was given to me by a friend years ago. She served it at a holiday gathering and I truly felt it was one of the ultimate appetizers for Fall.
It’s rather on the decadent side, earthy and savory with pumpkin, creamy, sweet and toasty with caramelized onions. It’s a pumpkin appetizer that will charm your guests.
Once those onions are caramelized this comes together in a flash. Let’s take a look.
What Goes Into This Recipe
- Raincoast Crisp Crackers: Any flavor of these chewy wonderful crackers will work here, but the saltier the better. Try their date and almond flavor.
- Caramelized Onions: Yellow or Spanish onions work very well for caramelizing.
- Canned Pumpkin: Plain canned pumpkin for this recipe. Not the spiced or flavored canned pumpkin that some people buy to make pumpkin pies.
- Goat Cheese: Plain flavored goat cheese. I like to buy Kirkland Brand at Costco for the cost factor. And that tangy flavor is spot on.
How to Make This Pumpkin Appetizer
We’ll start with the onions.
Caramelized onions take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to turn golden and caramelized.
- Caramelize the onions: Place the sliced onions, along with one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon oil in a large skillet.
- Heat the pan on medium low heat and once the onions start to cook keep that heat on medium low and stir often. Once the onions are soft and golden in color they’re done.
- Deglaze the Pan: There’s a lot of flavor on the bottom of that pan. Push the onions to one side of the pan and add vinegar. With a spoon scrape and stir to incorporate all of that flavor into the vinegar. Move the onions back into the vinegar mixture and stir. Remove the onions and set aside.
- Mix Well: Place all ingredients (except crackers and honey) in a large mixing bowl and with the back of a fork mix until well blended.
- Cream Cheese: If you’re not a fan of goat cheese you can substitute cream cheese. However, the overall flavor will be milder.
- Crackers: Of course you can substitute any brand and flavor of crackers. Triscuits are a good choice here, as they’re nice and salty and will compliment the flavors in this pumpkin spread. I would not recommend a sweeter cracker such as Ritz.
- Walnuts: Swap out the pecans for walnuts.
Frequently asked questions
Don’t slice the onions too thin, because they’ll burn easier. Cut them 1/8″ widths, or even a bit larger.
Using butter only will raise your risk of burning the onions. Use both butter and oil. The oil has a higher heat index and the butter will infuse those onions with buttery flavor.
What kind of onions do you use in the caramelizing process?
Any kind of onion will caramelize. I like to use sweet, yellow, or Spanish onions. Their sugar content is higher and they’ll caramelize quicker. Caution, using red onion will change the color of this dip.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Presentation and Garnish: We eat with our eyes. A touch of green will bring a beautiful accent to this appetizer. Fresh delicate thyme works well here. Chopped chives are an option and roasted pepita seeds would bring even a more festive flair.
- Maximum Flavor: For maximum flavor, let this pumpkin appetizer sit in the refrigerator overnight. The flavors will marry and the caramelized onions will shine.
More Fall Appetizer Recipes
- Queso Fundido al Tequila
- Cream Cheese Hatch Green Chile Dip
- Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Capers and Anchovies
I love hearing from you. If you’ve tried this Pumpkin Appetizer, scroll down, give it a star rating and leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
Pumpkin Appetizer with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Caramelized Onions
- 5 ounces goat cheese softened
- 6 ounces canned pureed pumpkin
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2 medium onions peeled, sliced and caramelized
- 1 Tablespoon butter unsalted
- 1 Tablespoon oil olive or canola will work here
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- salt & pepper
- honey to drizzle
- crackers for serving salty date and almond raincoast crisps
- Peel and slice the onions at least 1/8 inch thick. Heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the butter and the oil. Add the onions and sauté until caramelized. 30 – 40 minutes. Stirring often. Be careful not to let them burn. That flavor will transfer to the flavor.
- Once the onions are golden in color, move the onions to one side of the skillet and add the vinegar to deglaze the pan. Scrap and stir to combine the flavor from the skillet. Stir the onions into the vinegar. Set aside, let cool and then cut them into smaller pieces.
- In a large bowl combine the softened goat cheese with the pumpkin, onions, salt and pepper and pecans. Using the back of a fork, blend well.
- Transfer to your favorite appetizer serving bowl and surround by the crackers.
- Add a light drizzle of honey. (optional)
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I’m sharing this on one of my Pinterest boards. One day we will be entertaining again and this sounds like a delicious appetizer to have with drinks.