Pumpkin and Cheesy Baked Potato Casserole

There’s something about baked potatoes that just screams fall comfort food.

And baked potatoes, paired with cheese and pumpkin, create a whole trifecta of fall comfort.

My husband adores potatoes. He will eat them any way they’re served. He prefers white to sweet, but any will be just fine. Hash browns, French fries, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked potatoes with butter and sour cream, and even microwave potatoes. No matter the preparation method, he loves his tubers. Potatoes, paired with cheese in a hearty casserole that’s baked so that the edges crisp up and the center remains soft and gooey, earned me big time brownie points.

I, however, am not really am not a meat and potatoes girl. I haven’t had any meat in more than two decades and I’m take-it or leave-it with potatoes. They’re fine but if I’m going to load up on fairly empty white carbs and butter, I prefer them in the form of Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Butter.


I also had a half-opened can of pumpkin puree from some other pumpkin baking projects that was lingering in my refrigerator, and I incorporated it for a little extra beta-carotene and nutritional oomph.

Scott thought the pumpkin puree was marinara sauce. He also thought the zucchini flecks in this Zucchini Banana Bread were chocolate chips.

The beauty of this little number was that it literally took me five minutes to prepare before baking it. First, line a 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil in order to save yourself time on later on with the dishes and elbow grease.

I used one twenty-ounce bag of Simply Potatoes Homestyle Slices from my grocer’s refrigerated case. I divided into about three-quarters of the bag for the crust and the remaining quarter was layered on top. Regular hash brown-style potatoes will also work or you could slice potatoes the old-fashioned way noting that you will likely need to extend the baking time if using raw potatoes because the kind I used are softened and precooked a bit.

Layer the potatoes in the base of the pan so they will form a nice solid wall, overlapping them as necessary so there are no holes or gaps. This is important because you want all the soon-to-be melted and oozing cheese to be contained. Drizzle about two tablespoons of olive oil over the slices, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Then spread about one cup of pumpkin puree over the potatoes, or whatever is in the bottom of the can that you’re not really sure how you’re going to use up, but now you know. Then add about four ounces of sliced or shredded cheese, vegan cheese, or your favorite cheese. I sliced my cheese but shredded cheese would be lovely, too.

Top the cheese with the another layer of potatoes, albeit a much thinner layer than the crust layer. Drizzle about two more tablespoons oil, season with a touch more salt, pepper, and then sprinkle on your favorite seasoning blend such as Mrs. Dash, Lowry’s, Old Bay, Trader Joe’s 21 Salute, or whatever spices sound good to you. I think cinnamon and nutmeg sound good with the pumpkin, but I wasn’t making this for me, so I refrained.

Then bake off your five-minute layered masterpiece for about 45 minutes, or until it’s as golden at you like. The more well-done for my husband, the better. He loves really well-done edges and if this casserole was the equivalent of a cookie, it would be a very chewy-edged cookie with a very tender center. Sort of like this cookie. Everything reverts back to sweets rather than savory for me.

This got rave reviews from both Scott and Skylar. The melted cheese smothered and engulfed the soft and tender potatoes in a big, wonderful, cheesy blanket. Everything is enhanced by melted cheese, I’m sure of that. The pumpkin puree added a nice pop of color to an otherwise white dish, as well as provided some extra nutrients and fiber.

I used a Mrs. Dash seasoning blend and it added flavor and visual interest. I like seeing large flakes of spices or large bits of coarsely ground black pepper on my food. I like to really see the herbs and spices as well as taste them. I like to really see my chocolate, too.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and it’s important to keep that in mind for certain times of the month. Yes, those times of the month when the credit card bill arrives.

This did the trick.

Pumpkin and Cheesy Baked Potato Casserole (vegan, gluten-free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy and hearty baked potato casserole that incorporates fall-flavored pumpkin with melted hot and gooey cheese over a bed of warm baked potatoes. With a very short and simple prep time, this is a quick and easy casserole to make.
Serves: Makes one 9-by-9-inch pan, about 9 to 12 hearty pieces
  • 20 ounces thinly sliced potatoes, sliced about ⅛-inch thick, divided (I used one bag of these Simply Potatoes Homestyle Slices or use about 1¼ pounds potatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • pinch salt, to taste
  • pinch pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (about half of one 15-ounce can)
  • 4 ounces sliced or shredded cheese (American, Havarti, Pepperjack, Monterrey Jack, or similar; use Daiya or similar to keep vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend, to taste (Mrs. Dash, Trader Joe's 21 Salute, or similar)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 9-by-9-inch baking ban with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place about 15 ounces potatoes (about three-quarters of the bag if using a 20-ounce bag) in the baking pan arranged in a staggered yet flat layer so the potatoes form a solid crust over the base of the pans, without gaps or cracks so the cheese will be contained when it melts. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Note: The prepared refrigerated potatoes I used are softened and somewhat pre-cooked; if using raw potatoes that are then sliced or grated, baking time will likely need to be extended.
  3. Spread the pumpkin on top of the potatoes in a smooth, uniform layer using a spatula or knife. Add the cheese slices in a single layer (or add shredded cheese so that it's all about the same height and fluffiness). Top with remaining potatoes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle seasoning blend over the top, to taste.
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes until top is browned and golden. Serve immediately. Extra casserole may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Altering the amounts of cheese, pumpkin, or seasonings based on what you have on hand and prefer, within reason, is fine. The recipe is very flexible and substations can be made easily.

For example, about 1 cup of the following may be added on top of the cheese layer before topping with the remaining potato slices: grated zucchini or carrots, corn, salsa, black beans, kidney beans, crumbled tofu or tempeh, pre-cooked chicken or sausage, or most any vegetable on hand can be worked in. Baking time may need to be extended by 5 to 15 minutes if adding substantially more ingredients.

Related Recipes:

Baked Chipotle Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters – I prefer sweet potatoes to white, and although this could be made with any type of potatoes, the sweet potatoes paired nicely with the zucchini and chipotle seasonings

Spicy Baked Eggs and Hash Brown Casserole – Music to my husband’s ears. Baked eggs and potatoes, cheese optional. If there’s one thing he loves as much as potatoes, it’s eggs, and paired together it was an easy dish that was a hit

Vegetable Lasagna Casserole (vegan, GF) – Rather than using traditional noodles, I made a noodle-like pancake from grated carrots and zucchini, but hash browns or grated potatoes could also be used to create a noodle. Top with any kind of filling you enjoy from salsa with corn and beans to marinara sauce

Cheesy Taco Casserole (vegetarian with vegan option, GF) – Picture tacos or enchiladas, minus the shells, being baked into casserole form, complete with rice, beans, and salsa

Chips and Cheese Chili Casserole (Vegetarian/Vegan, Gluten-Free) – Baking chips and cheese into this sure beats using breadcrumbs or noodles. A tailgater’s dream food

Cheezy Vegetable Bake (vegan, GF) – Rather than using cheese, I used nutritional yeast to create a cheezy flavor. I add nooch to anything I possible=y can, from vegetables to popcorn to Cheezy Kale Chips. I order all my nutritional yeast from iHerb.com and I’ve found they have the best prices and I go through lots. Use code AVE630 to save $5 on your order

Are you a potato fan? Pumpkin fan?

Feel free to link up your favorite recipes or any easy casserole recipes, too.

Thanks for the entries in the two giveaways and the winners are:

Trader Joe’s Cookbook Giveawayluvwhatyoudo

LeCreuset Enamaled Cast Iron Skillet GiveawayValerie

89 comments on “Pumpkin and Cheesy Baked Potato Casserole”

  1. this looks amazing. I will have to make it this week!

  2. What a creative mix up! Josh is a white potatoes>sweet potatoes kind of guy too. I am on team sweet potato, but I do love a good regular french fry!

  3. A wonderful recipe again. yumm!

  4. hahaha marinara sauce! I’m cracking up. For my “good” chewy no bake granola bars, kevin asked if I “melted raisins to make them sticky” – what? What does that even mean?

    I’ve had pumpkin mac n cheese but have never had potatoes, cheese, and pumpkin together! I know cheese and pumpkin fair quite well together but adding in another starchy veggie to the mix sounds incredible – girls’ gotta get some running fuel! I don’t eat much meat or white potatoes either – i prefer sweet potatoes but that would just be a little too much in this recipe I feel. Plus cheese pairs so much moire wonderfully with white taters! Oh and re: the credit card bill – I bake Kevin cookies when I make him watch a chick flick with me. =(

    • Well at least he knew there were raisins in them. Scott would have no idea where to even begin. And as an aside, date paste is pretty common in raw/vegan un-baking. It IS so sticky by just pulverizing dates so Kevin’s thoughts aren’t totally out there with the raisins. I may need to try melting them one day :)

      This was totally a half-can of puree open meal – born from other pumpkin baking experiments. Remember all those pumpkin cookie trials from a few weeks ago….yeah.

  5. Thisss is a great fall twist and kind of reminds me of a lasagna in an odd way. Love the creative use for pumpkin too, not many people think to use it in straight savory dishes.. definitely has me thinking now.

  6. I love integrating pumpkin into savory dishes, but I have yet to try it with potatoes! I’m with you. Regular white tubers don’t rock my world, but with some added pumpkin, I have a feeling I will be changing my tune! My hubs would love this too. Thanks!

  7. This sounds awesome! Love that combo :)

  8. This looks perfect for a rainy, chilly day like it is in NYC! I am a big fan of taters – we eat them with our dinner at least once a week, what can I say? I’ve convinced myself that they are healthier than having bread with dinner…although I know deep down that’s not true. Not that I’ve done anything to remedy that! ;) I will have to try out this casserole some time soon.

  9. Potatoes always seem to fix a host of problems, in anyone’s household! : )

  10. At home last weekend, my mom made cheesy potato casserole not once, but twice. Both times, it was devoured. For whatever reason, people in Wisconsin can’t get enough of this stuff. My mom uses the shredded potatoes and I think they’d all freak (and not in a good way) about the pumpkin. Me? I’d be all over it. I think It would make it better. Maybe with sweet potatoes…YUM.

  11. Brilliant! Jason is a huge potato fan too (is it a guy thing?). I prefer sweet potatoes hands down. But he keeps buying baby new potatoes. No plans for them, I’m just supposed to use them LOL. This would be a fantastic Thanksgiving dish too!

  12. I am totally a potato fan. They are so versatile! I am also a pretty big pumpkin fan.

  13. This is definitely something any man would like!! My sister is actually a potato fanatic and prefers white ones ( she doesn’t have my sweet tooth at all) so this is right up her alley too! I’m keeping this in mind for holiday gatherings–I’m known as the “salad lady” for these family events so maybe I’ll shake things up a bit and bring something different.

    • The beauty of it is the simplicity and that it used up a half-opened can of pumpkin puree, which is nice to find a use for. I never seem to make recipes that call for 15 ounces/1 can. It’s always less, thus the leftovers!

  14. Such a great idea to add the pumpkin! Looks delicious.

  15. Mm, I totally want this at my Thanksgiving dinner table! The ooey gooey slices of cheese in the middle–that seems like the most irresistible part to me!

  16. I love the idea of making a potato and pumpkin dish. I never think of combining the two together! This would be a wonderful side dish at Thanksgiving time!

  17. Yum, that looks like pure comfort food!

  18. I agree- total fall comfort food! Yum!

  19. Sakes alive do I love this! Potato bakes of all kinds are perfect -especially at this time of year- but adding in pumpkin is SHEER GENIUS.

    • You’re the tater queen so thank you. There was nothing too genius about this…it all boiled down to not wanting to waste or know what to do with the random half-can of pumpkin puree in my fridge from a previous baking endeavor. So this dish happened :)

  20. Pumpkin – savory style! Mouth-watering!

  21. I think I have just fallen in love with you. or this recipe ~ I cannot decide!

  22. Totally a cross between scalloped potatoes and lasagna! I love this recipe. The men in my house are huge potato fans and LOVE their scalloped potatoes and lasagna, so I know this would go over huge! Also loving that you used the rest of a can of pumpkin puree – and that Scott thought it was marinara! – WHY is there always only PART of the pumpkin can called for in recipes?! ;-)

    • at least he thought it was marinara which is kind of close in color, I guess. But…yeah :)

      I hate the 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree recipes. 1 cup (half a can), okay I can hang. But 1/4 c, no. I am not opening a can just for that!

  23. Love this! My husband only like savory pumpkin, nothing sweet. This is perfect. I’m pinning it right now!

  24. I’m going to try this but with butternut squash? Think that will work? I had a neighbor give me five (5!), so I need to figure out something to do with them!

  25. Hi Averie. I love your new name for potatoes, tubers. I’m so going to use that from now on. My hubby is a meat and potatoes sort of guy as well. I think it’s a Midwestern thing. If I feed him too many kale salads or quinoa, he sneaks out for “real food.” Men are all the same in that they love anything baked or topped with cheese. My girlfriend’s husband makes these cheesy potatoes every year for Thanksgiving, and let me tell you, there is way more cheese in there than potatoes. I think the ratio is 75% cheese and 25% potato.

    These potatoes look decedent and I love that you found a creative use for that extra pumpkin puree. I just end up using the puree for more pumpkin muffins or pumpkin bundt cake.

    • I had done cakes, muffins, cupcakes, granola and was like, well, I guess I will go the savory route with the leftover :)

      And tuber. Scientifically they’re a root tuber. You know, all the science class jazz I was forced to soak up. Ha!

  26. Oh my gosh, Averie – this.looks.so.good! And I have a little leftover pumpkin sitting in the fridge… Trying this for lunch tomorrow!

  27. Love the pumpkin twist in this casserole – yum! I also have leftover pumpkin in the fridge that needs a home…

  28. what a great looking combination!! YUM

  29. I don’t eat potatoes often, but I love sweet potatoes. I eat meat about once a month and fish four or five times a week. Do you eat fish or are you vegetarian?

  30. I used to be a vegetarian (bacon took me down), and I had to come up with creative ways of preparing vegetables. Potatoes were, and still are, my favorite! Even though they’re closely related, I never thought of combining potatoes with pumpkin. Sheer genius! This looks delicious!!

  31. How creative! I was just in the middle of typing up my pumpkin spice french toast strata as we speak. Pumpkin in the air! ;)

  32. This looks wonderful, your savory recipe creations are fabulous!

  33. Yummy, comforting & all-in-one baking dish food!

  34. Another savory dish! As I was looking at the recipes following today’s feature, I thought ….yep making that, oh and that too, oh and that one. I think I have my meals planned for the next couple of weeks! =] I love pumpkin and veggies so they’re perfect!

  35. This is an awesome looking potato dish. Yay for melty cheese mixed with pumpkin and potato…I never would have thought of that. But is sounds incredible. I love the big flecks for visual interest too!

  36. this looks so good! my english muffin doesn’t hold a candle to this breakfast!

  37. oooo…this sounds and looks so good. I love mixing sweet potatoes with white potatoes…the pumpkin combo can’t wait to try!

  38. I know that most people think of sweets when the pumpkin comes out, but I adore savory recipes made with pumpkin. This looks truly divine!!

  39. This recipe looks wonderful. Can’t go wrong with pumpkin, cheese and potatoes. Yum!

  40. Hello Averie,
    Glad to know that you are from California. I live in San Francisco but we visit San Diego few times as we have my husband’s relative living in Bonita. I am so glad that I found your blog. I love anything with sweet potatoes. They are my creamy good comfort food. I briefly browsed through your posts and I am sure that I will be back often to check your recipes. Let’s stay connected.

  41. Looks great! I love savoury Pumpkin recipes, I’ve eaten more pumpkin this season than in my entire life. I keep telling myself that I”m going to stop buying pumpkins for this season, but I keep finding excuses, and for $3 for a large pumpkin (in Montreal) you can’t go wrong!

  42. This recipe is so creative. Often times I forget that pumpkin can be used as a savory ingredient, and not just in desserts.
    I NEED to make your recipe for sweet potato and zucchini fritters! The pictures look incredible.

  43. I’m a total potato gal! I could eat potatoes and only potatoes for the rest of my life! Yeah, I like it that much. And I’m totally loving this dish! 5 minutes prep? And it has pumpkin?! I may just have to add this to my Thanksgiving menu!

  44. You have to try the new pumpkin seed tortilla chips by Mother’s Farms. They are like pumpkin heaven and addictive!

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