Pumpkin Pastel Azteca

Pumpkin Aztec Cake

I am thankful Thanksgiving is over, LOL. Even though I don’t usually cook for this U.S. holiday, it is always a busy one. This year we visited Jon’s family, went shopping the day after, had friends over on Saturday and, of course, ate too much the entire weekend. That’s exhausting! But things don’t end up there. You are left with tons of food that you need to eat before it goes bad. The good thing is that leftover Thanksgiving food recipes start to pop up everywhere in the the blog-o-sphere.

So this time I decided to contribute with this recipe that you can make using leftover turkey and pumpkin. This is an adaptation of one of my favorite Mexican dishes, pastel azteca, that I make often. For this version I used a white pumpkin I had roasted before and shredded turkey. The preparation was practically the same. The main difference was the pasilla peppers and cinnamon sauce. It’s a perfect dinner for after Thanksgiving, or add a fried egg and make it a breakfast or brunch.

Pumpkin Aztec Cake

White pumpkin, pasilla pepper and cinnamon sauce

The ingredients:

  • 2 pasilla peppers, seeded
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups white pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

The how-to:

  1. In a cast-iron skillet roast peppers, cinnamon and garlic. Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated.
  2. Blend those ingredients with the onion, pumpkin puree and 1 cup of chicken broth. Do it in batches if necessary.
  3. Pour in a sauce pan over medium high heat and add the rest of the chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the rest of the spices, season to taste and reduce heat to low.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring constantly.
  6. Use the sauce for pastel azteca, chilaquiles or enchiladas.

Pumpkin Aztec Cake

¡Buen provecho!


  • Perfecto. Looks similar to pastilla or bisteya. The sweet and savory always works.

  • Ooo that photo with the oozing egg is just brilliant! This looks delicious!

  • Ben, thanks for the comment about Aztec Cake on my site. I've been checking your recipes for it and they all look great. Will probably try the tilapia one first, as our CSA folks are also selling those fish, from their aquaponics set-up. So, are the chili peppers dried? In all versions?

    • Claudia, I used dried chili peppers for this one, but I usually use adobo adobado peppers for the ones with red sauce and fresh jalapeños or chile de arbol for the green version. My favorite is the adobado peppers version. 🙂

  • Where in Ohio did you live?

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