Fried Pumpkin Balls: the effortless, vegetarian fall appetizer recipe

Total time: 60 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
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Fried pumpkin balls are an easy, vegetarian appetizer recipe—a bite-sized treat that’s perfect for the fall season. It’s savory in flavor, soft, tender and stringy on the inside, with a delicious crispy exterior.

It’s easy to make too! Roast fresh pumpkin cubes, mash them and mix them with the other ingredients to form a dough. Fill with cheddar cheese cubes, and fry until golden brown. Serve them as they are or with a delicious dip such as sweet chili mayo. You’ll love these festive pumpkin balls!

Tips For Making Pumpkin Sage Balls

If you’re using canned pumpkin instead, you might need to add more breadcrumbs, as the mixture will be wetter.

To stretch the pumpkin dough, add cooked brown rice.

It’s might sound wacky, but these pumpkin balls will also taste delicious served with cinnamon sugar or a drizzle of caramel sauce!

Use a neutral oil suitable for frying at higher temperatures like canola, peanut, sunflower, or corn oil. If you want to reuse the oil, allow it to cool, and strain it. You can use it a few times more for batches of pumpkin balls.

How To Store Fried Pumpkin Balls

Store pumpkin ball leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat them in the Airfryer (to maintain crispiness) for 2 minutes at 350°F. You can also warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Just note they won’t be as crispy!

butternut squash or pumpkin
500 g
Extra virgin olive oil
100 g (3/4 cup)
Oil for frying

How To Make Fried Pumpkin Balls

Cut the pumpkin into slices (no need to peel them first).

Transfer the pumpkin slices to a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Season with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt and bake in the oven at 200°C/392°F for 30 minutes.

Transfer the pumpkin slices to the bowl and smash them with the fork.

Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, egg, sage, and pepper, and mix until all is well combined.

Form the balls (about 40 grams) and add the cheese to each one.

Roll the pumpkin balls in the breadcrumbs.

Pour the oil in a large pan. Don’t make your oil too hot, otherwise, the pumpkin balls will burn before it’s cooked through. Use a thermometer to heat the oil to about 350°F. Fry the pumpkin balls in the hot oil for few minutes or until golden brown.

Serve the fried pumpkin balls hot and enjoy!


To make the mixture extra smooth, you can also blend the cooked pumpkin in a food processor.

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