Enjoy the flavors of Fall in this pumpkin protein smoothie packed with nutrients and antioxidants and made with 8 simple ingredients.
It’s a perfect power-up and pick-me-up when you don’t want to deal with cooking and need something satisfying.
Make it in minutes for a convenient grab-and-go breakfast or snack.
(Published Oct. 15, 2022. Updated Oct. 2, 2023.)
Why This Works
- Nutrient-dense ingredients: pumpkin, milk, banana, and protein powder.
- Filling with 29 grams of protein for this specific recipe
- Natural sweet flavor from banana
- Minimal ingredients
- Can be made in advance
- Ready to drink in minutes
Ingredients and Nutrition
100% Canned Pumpkin
Nutritious and low in calories, canned pumpkin offers fiber and iron and is especially loaded with vitamin A.
Vitamin A supports the body’s growth and development and the immune system. Vitamin E is also involved in immune function and is an important nutrient for the eyes, brain, blood, and skin.
Add 100% canned pumpkin to your pumpkin protein smoothie, not pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix.
Canned 100% pumpkin is pure, unsweetened pumpkin puree made from cooked, mashed pumpkin. Pumpkin is typically the only ingredient. It contains no added sugars or spices, making it a versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes.
On the other hand, pumpkin pie filling is a pre-seasoned and sweetened mixture specifically designed for making pumpkin pies and other baked goods. It contains pumpkin, spices, sugar, and other ingredients.
Rich in nutrients and natural sweetness, bananas are a good source of potassium–a mineral and electrolyte that helps the body send nerve signals and regulate fluids and muscle contraction.
Bananas are also high in vitamin B6–a vitamin that supports metabolism, cognitive development, and the creation of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the body) and red blood cells.
Additionally, bananas offer vitamin C–a key nutrient and antioxidant that promotes immune function, collagen production, and absorption of iron from plant-based foods.
For this recipe, I’m using chopped frozen bananas. If you are using a fresh banana, add ice to give it a cool and refreshing taste.
Add your choice of milk to this pumpkin protein smoothie. Milk typically contains calcium and other nutrients but not all milk is created the same. Check the nutrition label to see which milk best meets your needs.
For something like a smoothie that serves as a convenient breakfast for me, I want my milk to have sustenance.
Since I have an intolerance to cow’s milk, I usually choose soy or pea milk as they come closest to the protein content of cow’s milk. Of course, the addition of a protein powder will boost the protein, too.
Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt is a nutritional powerhouse, brimming with protein and vital nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus.
Its generous protein content aids in both satiety and muscle recovery, while calcium promotes robust bone health.
Vitamin B12 contributes to energy metabolism, and phosphorus is crucial to muscle, nerve, and bone well-being.
Incorporating Greek yogurt into your smoothie elevates its nutritional value and lends a luxuriously creamy texture.
When selecting the right protein powder for your pumpkin protein smoothie, or any smoothie, it’s essential to prioritize quality and your health goals.
Protein powders can vary significantly in their ingredients, serving size, and protein content, making it crucial to select one that aligns with your specific needs.
Some powders may contain a wide range of additives, while others offer a cleaner ingredient list.
Additionally, the protein content can also differ, so it’s essential to choose a protein powder that provides the desired protein intake for your dietary requirements and goals.
It’s worth noting that scoop sizes can also vary among different protein powders, so be sure to check the recommended serving size to accurately measure your protein intake.
I recommend opting for a protein powder with minimal ingredients on the label, steering clear of artificial colors, flavors, and sugars.
Pumpkin Spice and Its Benefits
What’s a pumpkin smoothie without pumpkin spice? This aromatic blend of spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves, is the secret behind the signature fall flavor we all adore.
Beyond its delightful taste, pumpkin spice offers potential health benefits. One of its remarkable qualities is its rich antioxidant content. 
Antioxidants are compounds that help protect our cells from oxidative stress by neutralizing harmful molecules called free radicals. Oxidative stress can arise from various sources, including exposure to pollution, stress, and UV rays.
Consuming foods rich in antioxidants as part of a well-balanced diet is vital because it can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support overall well-being .
In fact, research indicates that the antioxidant activity in spices and herbs can be up to ten times greater than that found in many fruits and vegetables, making them a valuable addition to your diet .
Spices offer more than just flavor; they also boast anti-inflammatory properties. For instance, 6-Gingerol in ginger, eugenol in cloves, and cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon, have been found to target and modulate specific inflammatory pathways. 
Inflammation, in simple terms, is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to various health issues. Hence, incorporating these spice-driven anti-inflammatory agents into your diet can potentially help in managing inflammation and promoting overall health. 
Other Ingredients in Pumpkin Protein Smoothie
- Honey or maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Ice if not using frozen banana
Special Equipment Used
Any blender should be able to work for this recipe. Blenders are a must-have for making smoothies–especially if you hate to cook for breakfast.
Moreover, smoothies are a foolproof, customizable, and convenient way to consume an appreciable amount of nutrients.
If you’re shopping for a blender, consider all the things you’d like to make with it and the accessories they come with.
Some blenders are sold with a travel cup and other accessories such as a peanut butter maker.
They range in price, but you can find a quality blender that won’t break the bank.
The Nutribullet blender I use has been working for us without issues for over 10 years. It’s a good size for about 2 smoothie servings.
It doesn’t get any easier than this. Just add all the ingredients into the blender, blend, pour in a cup, and enjoy your pumpkin protein smoothie!
For beginner smoothie makers, check with your blender’s instructions to see if there’s an order to how ingredients should be added to the blender.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To freeze canned pumpkin, try any of the following methods:
– Freeze in small freezer-safe containers.
– If you’re using large bags or containers, make space around individually portioned pumpkin servings.
– Freeze canned pumpkin in ice cube trays
A helpful method I use for freezing canned pumpkin is to split a can’s contents into two quart-sized freezer bags. After flattening the pumpkin in each bag, I gently score it with the back of a butter knife, creating nine thin blocks. This makes it incredibly convenient to break apart and use when the time comes to whip up your smoothie. Store the bags filled with canned pumpkin flat in the freezer.
The best way to freeze bananas is to peel them, chop them into 1-inch chunks, and store them in freezer-safe bags or containers.
I like to do this right when I get home from the grocery store so they’re ready to go when it’s time to make smoothies.
To avoid a giant clump of chopped bananas sticking together in the freezer do any of the following listed below. The key is to not overpack your bag or container with bananas.
– Use small snack-size plastic bags for single servings of bananas
– To freeze bananas in larger plastic bags, space out the bananas in a single layer and lay them flat in the freezer. This will make it easier to break apart when it’s time to make your smoothie. A quart-size plastic bag will hold 3 medium bananas this way.
– To freeze bananas in large containers, consider using wax paper to separate layers of bananas.
Nonetheless, if you prefer not to deal with chopping and freezing bananas, use a fresh banana and add ice to the smoothie.
Bananas are commonly used in smoothies because they are widely available, cheap, and give a creamy base.
However, you can use mangos, which are sweet and smooth, too. Mangos don’t have as much water as other fruits, making them a suitable substitute for bananas.
Another option is to increase the amount of pumpkin.
Spice blends are a handy way to add flavor to food and they save on space. However, if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice but have some of the other single spices like cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg, give those a try. Add about a 1/2 teaspoon of the spice you have on hand.
This specific smoothie recipe provides 337 calories in one serving. To increase the calorie content, try any of the following:
– Add more milk or yogurt
– Use whole fat milk or yogurt
– Add a source of healthy fat such as peanut or nut butter (or sunflower seed butter), flax, or chia seeds
– Blend in rolled oats (traditional or quick cooking only)
Pumpkin Protein Smoothie
- 1 blender
- measuring cups and spoons
- 1 to 1½ cup milk of your choice
- ½ frozen ripe banana (or fresh banana with ice)
- ½ cup ice if you're using a fresh banana
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (whole or low-fat)
- ¼ cup 100% canned pumpkin
- 1 scoop protein powder of your choice (adjust the amount based on the brand's serving size and your protein needs)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you may omit if your milk is already flavored)
Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons of maple syrup or honey
- Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend. Enjoy immediately or save for later and consume within 1 to 2 days.
More Smoothie Recipes
- Banana Chia Smoothie with Chocolate Peanut Butter 5 Ingredients
- Matcha Strawberry Smoothie 4 Ingredients + Matcha Benefits
- Apple Cucumber Smoothie with Protein and Variations
- Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie 6 Ingredients
Tried this recipe? What variations or adaptations did you make? Share in the comments.