Have you ever considered the volume of food ingredient-to-price ratio when buying vegetables? Often pumpkins come out on top and more importantly, they’re loaded with a variety of nutrients, including fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In terms of extending your dollar further we think they’re a ingredient that should be high on your grocery list. Pumpkins are great for roasting or adding to soups, curries and braises. Another fab money saving idea is to make a batch of roasted pumpkin cubes, seasoned and cooked in a little olive; then combining pieces with a little freshly made pumpkin purée, stock, seasoning and parmesan cheese  to make a risotto. With a little care in cooking, this very low cost meal is a winner.

Stepping things up a notch further, our recipe for Pumpernickel Pumpkin Tartlets is a fun and flavoursome way to enjoy this highly nutritious ingredient.

Pumpernickel Pumpkin Tartlets with burnt butter sage, Persian feta and dried cranberries

Makes 7-8 small tartlets

Tartlet Shells

250g pumpernickel loaf slices
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180C


1. Place pumpernickel loaf slices in a food processor and blitz to breadcrumb consistency.

2. Continue to blitz while slowly pouring in the melted butter. Blitz until well combined.

3. Line muffin tray(s) with baking paper, or cupcake baking cups. In each cup, add 2 tablespoons of the crumbed, buttered pumpernickel. Using the back of the spoon press tightly to mould the tartlet shells. Repeat until all buttered pumpernickel crumb is used and the tartlet shells are ready for baking.

4. Place muffin tray(s) into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until tart shells become slightly crispy.

5. Remove from the oven and allow tartlet shells to cool in their moulds.

Pumpernickel Pumpkin Tartlets with burnt butter sage, Persian feta and dried cranberries

Pumpkin Filling

500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
Australian extra-virgin olive oil – a generous drizzle
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 200C


1. In a large bowl add the cubed pumpkin, extra virgin olive and honey. Toss well to ensure an even coating.

2. On a lined oven tray spread an even layer of cubed pumpkin and season well.

3. Place the pumpkin in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the pumpkin has slightly caramelised and become tender.

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

5. Place half of the roasted pumpkin in a small bowl and mash slightly using a fork. Set aside with the remaining roasted pumpkin cubes.

Burnt Butter Sage

50g unsalted butter
½ bunch, picked sage leaves


1. Melt the butter slowly in a small saucepan over a medium heat.

2. Add sage leaves to the saucepan and cook for 4 minutes.

3. The sage leaves will become crispy and the butter will become a deep nut-brown colour. Remove from heat and set aside for serving.

Tartlet Garnish

50g Persian feta, or regular feta cheese
2 tbsp dried cranberries

To Assemble

1. Spoon some mashed roasted pumpkin into the base of each tartlet shell. Top with pieces of cubed roasted pumpkin (approximately 5-8 pieces).

2. Spoon a small amount of Persian fetta on top of the pumpkin cubes, then drizzle a little burnt butter over each tartlet. Now garnish each tartlet with a piece of crispy sage.

3. Scatter the tartlets with dried cranberries and serve immediately.

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Given the current COVID-19 crisis, it’s rapidly becoming apparent that money saving recipes are going to help us all over the coming months. In the last few days we’ve put together a collection of recipes at essentialsmagazine.com.au to help many get a head start on feeding families extremely well, for less money.

Over the coming weeks and months, Essentials aims to continue with clever food strategies, supportive ideas to share, and additionally we’ve now opened up our website and iOS app Essentials Magazine Australia allowing FREE subscription. To install the iOS app, visit the App Store today!

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