The Balanced Diet: Roasted Pumpkin Wedges with Chili, Lime, and Cotija

One of my favorite summer dishes is elote, Mexican corn on the cob, grilled to sweet charred perfection, and then slathered with mayo, lime juice, and chili powder. Since corn is so cheap, we made Cody’s version several times on Chef Race, including during last night’s Food Truck challenge.

I pretty much look for any excuse to slather mayo all over my food, so I’ve had elote variations on my mind since the summer. Why shouldn’t the creamy, sweet, salty, spicy mixture be applied to every vegetable? The kids would take to the streets with all the nutrients a little mayo made possible. In the end, I only let my imagination run so wild – mainly, because I quickly settled on the ideal Fall replacement for ears of corn: pumpkin wedges.

Last week I did a tasting in my humble studio apartment for a new luxury company I’m working with (more details soon, I promise). I elegantly littered my coffee table with five different vegetarian dishes for a little health-minded grazing. In some ways, my apartment was the perfect venue. Not only did it give them a sense of my personal, shabby-chic style, but it also gave a rather modest backdrop that allowed the food to really speak for itself. On the menu were a few tried and true favorites – polenta bites with truffle honey and smoked ricotta, and this salad – but I also wanted to challenge myself to come up with something new and interesting. And the dish I introduced for the first time, was this take on a pumpkin elote.

The cotija cheese, lime, and chili was a great flavor profile for the pumpkin, which can tend towards either savory or sweet. I lured it towards the latter by roasting the wedges with a little brown sugar. Try it out for yourself as an interesting ethnic Thanksgiving side, or just a simple weeknight veg-grazing of your own. You don’t even have to peel the pumpkin, which, besides the mayo, might be the best thing about this recipe.

Eat up!



Roasted Pumpkin Wedges with Chili, Lime, and Cotija

Serving Size: Makes 4 servings


  • 1 small pumpkin (about 1 ½ to 2 pounds), cleaned and scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, divided
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated cotija cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the top and bottom off the pumpkin using a large chef’s knife. Halve lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a spoon (grapefruit spoons work well here). Discard the flesh and reserve the seeds for another use. Cut the pumpkin into ¼-inch wedges.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the pumpkin wedges with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, the sugar, and ¾ teaspoon of the chili powder. Arrange in an even layer on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, flipped halfway through the cooking process, until the wedges are soft and caramelized. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the mayo, lime juice, cayenne, remaining ancho chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt together in a small bowl.
  5. When cool enough to touch, sparsely slather each wedge with some of the mayo mixture. Arrange on a platter or plate and dust with the cheese and pepitas. Garnish with the cilantro leaves, if using, and serve room temperature or warm.

instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!

This post is brought to you, along with many other fabulous pumpkin recipes, as part of Food Network #FallFest. Check out the other participating sites below – and also the Pinterest Board!

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Chez Us: Pull Apart Pumpkin-Pecan Bread With Maple Bourbon Frosting
And Love It Too: Vanilla Pumpkin Swirl Cake With Vanilla Palm Sugar Glaze
Haute Apple Pie: Creamy Pumpkin Penne With Italian Sausage
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Pumpkins
From My Corner of Saratoga: Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake
Made By Michelle: Pumpkin Scones
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Pumpkin and Black Bean Stew With Chorizo and Pepitas
Devour: 5 Delicious Ways to Use Pumpkins After Carving
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Pancakes With Maple Cream and Candied Vanilla Pecans
The Heritage Cook: Gingery Pumpkin Mousse With Whipped Ginger Cream
Thursday Night Dinner: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie
Cooking With Books: Pumpkin-Bacon Brussels Sprouts
FN Dish: Primping Up Pumpkin


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15 Responses to The Balanced Diet: Roasted Pumpkin Wedges with Chili, Lime, and Cotija

  1. Pingback: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes Recipe - Food Network Fall Fest - Jeanette's Healthy Living

  2. Pingback: Pumpkin Scones

  3. Caitlyn says:

    Holy deliciousness! This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it!

  4. All I can say is yum! Anything with lime and cilantro is OK by me. Fun doing fall fest with you.

  5. Frankie says:

    You had me at ancho chili powder. Really topped yourself with this one.

  6. Jeanette says:

    What a fun way to serve pumpkin and I love that you don’t even have to peel it.

  7. Pingback: Vanilla Pumpkin Swirl Cake with Vanilla Palm Sugar Glaze (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo)

  8. Pingback: #fallfest: Pumpkin-Bacon Brussels Sprouts - Cooking with Books

  9. Pingback: The Balanced Diet: Carrot-Fennel Potage with Dill Oil | Feed Me Phoebe

  10. Pingback: The Balanced Diet: Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup | Feed Me Phoebe

  11. Edma says:

    Omg! I was looking for Pumpkin soup recipes and found this! SOOO MUCH BETTER! Thank you!!

  12. Pingback: On the Job: Crispy Polenta Bites with Ricotta and Truffle Honey | Feed Me Phoebe

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