How To Make Pumpkin-Spiced Sushi (Yes, Really)

mbg Editorial Assistant By Jamie Schneider
mbg Editorial Assistant
Jamie Schneider is the Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen with a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan. She's previously written for Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.

Image by Preethi Rajaguru / Contributor

Nothing quite screams fall like the transformation to pumpkin-spiced everything. Pumpkin lattes, candles, hummus, you name it—we're officially in the throes of fall-inspired mania.

But one thing I truly haven't seen before is this idea of pumpkin-spiced sushi. On-brand? Of course. Appetizing? Strangely—also yes. Many vegan sushi joints include squash or pumpkin on their menus, as it gives the roll a similar, soft consistency to traditional maki. That's why I was drawn to ROLLN's newest fall offering, their Triple Pumpkin Roll, as it adds a pumpkin-spiced element to their version of vegetarian sushi. Despite its sweet ingredients, this roll is surprisingly savory. Plus, the quinoa rice is an excellent life-hack to add extra nutrients to your meal.

Below, we're sharing the home-friendly recipe for ROLLN's newest pumpkin sushi roll, so you can create your own masterpiece in the comfort of your own kitchen. Who would've thought a fall activity could include rolling nori sheets?

ROLLN Triple Pumpkin Roll

Serves 3 to 4

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Sugar or Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (**can easily substitute Butternut Squash)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Olive oil, drizzle
  • 1 cup cooked pumpkin, chopped 
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (plus a tablespoon, for the roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice 
  • 2 cups sushi rice or quinoa
  • 5 tablespoons sushi seasoning (preferably Mizkan
  • Nori sheets

To prepare the pumpkin:

  1. Place the whole pumpkin (do not peel) in a large pot of boiling water and cook for around 30 to 45 minutes until cooked through and tender but not too soft. Tip: Boiling the pumpkin whole will keep the flavor of the pumpkin inside.
  2. Scoop out seeds and set aside 1 cup of pumpkin for the pumpkin-spiced cream. Then, cut the remainder of pumpkin into rectangular strips approximately ¾ of an inch thick. 
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To prepare the roasted pumpkin seeds:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Take previously scooped pumpkin seeds; rinse thoroughly and dry.
  3. Drizzle a small amount of vegetable oil over approximately ½ lb. of pumpkin seeds. Toss in coconut sugar and a pinch of salt. 
  4. Spread pumpkin seeds evenly on a baking sheet; place in oven until lightly toasted (approximately 4 minutes).

To prepare the pumpkin-spiced cream:

  1. In a saucepan, mix the 1 cup pumpkin, coconut sugar, and pumpkin spice and bring to a boil (approximately 2 minutes). Add the Greek yogurt once cooled in a separate bowl. 
  2. Then blend or pass through a sieve to make a smooth cream; let cool before using.
  3. Tip: The cream will thicken as it cools. If needed, you can add more blended pumpkin meat to thicken and adjust seasoning accordingly.
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To prepare the sushi rice or quinoa:

  1. Start by rinsing the rice/quinoa in cold water until the water runs clear. 
  2. Once rinsed, cook rice/quinoa using your preferred method (1:1 rice to water ratio, 1:2 quinoa to water ratio), either in a rice cooker or saucepan. 
  3. Once cooked, let stand for 15 minutes. 
  4. Mix rice/quinoa with sushi seasoning until fully coated. Set aside.
  5. Lay a sheet of nori (shiny side down) on a sushi rolling mat or flat surface. Spread a thin layer of warm rice/quinoa on top of a sheet of nori, about ¼ inch thick, leaving a 1-inch strip at the top empty.
  6. Tip: The empty strip of nori is meant to be a flap with which to close up the sushi roll. 

To fill the rolls:

  1. Place the cooked pumpkin in a line down the middle of the row, horizontally. Tip: Don't overfill the rolls! Less is more: Start with a thin row of pumpkin, and add more if needed.
  2. Top the roasted pumpkin with approximately 2 tablespoons of the roasted pumpkin seeds.
  3. Next, drizzle a generous amount of the pumpkin cream over the roasted pumpkin and seeds.
  4. Starting from the bottom, roll the nori sheet over the fillings, to form a cylindrical tube. The thin, empty strip of nori should be at the bottom—this will help keep the roll together. 
  5. Using a small dab of water, seal the roll shut. 
  6. Repeat until the rice and filling are gone.

Enjoy either as a hand roll or cut into slices! Serve with additional pumpkin cream as a side for dipping.

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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