Make Giada's fast (and simple) fall recipes: Pumpkin ginger chocolate muffins, squash pizza

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Nothing says fall like pumpkin and squash. And since these items will be piling up at your grocery store, now is the perfect time to make delicious meals that feature these fall flavors and more.

Lucky for you, Giada De Laurentiis is sharing her simple and delicious recipes for pumpkin ginger chocolate muffins, roasted acorn squash and Gorgonzola pizza, and pomegranate Brussels sprout salad.

Pumpkin ginger chocolate muffins
Giada De Laurentiis 
Makes 15 muffins


A decadent chocolate topping conceals moist muffins made from beta carotene and nutrient-rich pumpkin plus good-for-you olive oil and whole-grain flour.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup kefir
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, olive oil, kefir, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together using a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the chopped ginger. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Allow the muffins to cool in the tray for 15 minutes. Remove from the tray and cool completely on a wire rack. 

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring with a rubber spatula in between. When it is almost completely melted, stop microwaving and just stir until it is completely smooth. Dip the top of each muffin in the chocolate allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle the top with the raw pumpkin seeds.


Roasted acorn squash and Gorgonzola pizza
By: Giada de Laurentiis 
Serves: 4

  • 1 (1- pound) acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt plus 1/4 teaspoon for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus 1/4 teaspoon for garnish
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella 
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 1 cup arugula

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide half moons and place in a medium bowl. Toss the squash with the syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the squash until tender and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

Keep the temperature on the oven at 375 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough on a flour dusted piece of parchment paper to a 13-inch diameter. Place the pizza and the parchment paper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and the Gorgonzola on the pizza dough. Bake in the oven until golden and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. 

Peel the skins off the squash. Top the cooked pizza with the cooked squash. Top with arugula and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Slice and serve. 

Pomegranate brussels sprout salad
Giada De Laurentiis 
Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, shaved thin
  • 1 small bunch Tuscan kale, sliced thinly into ribbons
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup marcona almonds, roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces gorgonzola dolce, shaved or crumbled *

In a large bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, mustard, agave nectar and salt. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking constantly until the mixture is emulsified. To the bowl, add the brussel sprouts and kale. Toss to coat in the dressing, working the greens a bit roughly with your hands to help soften them.

Fold in the pomegranate seeds and almonds. Top with shaved or crumbled Gorgonzola and serve. 

*Cooks Note: To shave the Gorgonzola dolce, place the cheese in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Using a vegetable peeler, shave strips of cheese over the salad. By the time it hits the greens, it will be thawed and ready to eat.

All of these recipes are courtesy of Giada Weekly.