Steal this restaurant's dessert idea for Thanksgiving

Steal this restaurant's dessert idea for Thanksgiving
Pumpkin Crisp

For my money–especially when you’ve snagged one of their ubiquitous coupons, Sweet Tomatoes is the best buffet restaurant around.

With the restaurant’s vast landscape of fresh veggies and soups–some even heart-healthy, your meal can be as good-for-you as you choose.

Still, who can eat there and not have dessert? (obviously, not me)

For dinner, Sweet Tomatoes always serves at least one yummy dessert besides soft-serve ice cream and their so-so brownies. When I was there recently, they featured something called Autumn Pumpkin Walnut Cobbler (although to me it was more of a crisp, not a cobbler). The bottom had a soft, smooth pumpkin pie-like filling. It was covered with a crisp topping made with oatmeal and boulder-sized chunks (a slight exaggeration but not by much) of walnuts.  The dessert tasted homemade, and it was comforting in a rice pudding sort of way. I must admit I had seconds.

So here’s an idea for Thanksgiving: This year, make a Pumpkin Crisp instead of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  On the bottom of this post is a recipe for a Pumpkin Crisp from  Paula Deen, the queen of fattening (It’s Thanksgiving so who cares?) and delicious.  From the looks of it, the recipe sounds exactly like the Sweet Tomatoes version. But there are loads of  other Pumpkin Crisp  recipes online, too.

Paula’s recipe suggests you make the Crisp in a square pan, but to make it more like a pumpkin pie, you could even bake it in a pie dish. That way it’s a new twist on a traditional favorite.

But if you’re supposed to bring dessert to Thanksgiving dinner and are pressed for time to shop and bake, you could always buy Sweet Tomatoes’ pumpkin dessert, already prepared. It’s $14.99 for a 9″ x 13″ pan. Call the nearest Sweet Tomatoes restaurant for details and to place your order.

Pumpkin  Crisp 

pumpkin filling:

2 15-0z cans pumpkin
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. vanilla

walnut crisp topping

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup oats
3/4  chopped walnuts
2 Tbs. flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
6 Tbs. butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, evaporated milk, eggs, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla until smooth.
3. Pour into prepared baking pan.
4.  In medium bowl, mix together sugar, oats, nuts, flour, and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Stir until combined.
5. Sprinkle topping over pumpkin mixture. Bake 45-50 minutes or until center is set and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream.







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  • Now THAT sounds yummy! I love pumpkin and cobbler. What a scrumptious twist to your typical Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. I never heard of Sweet Tomatoes. Where is it located? I'm assuming there is more than one. I'm always on the lookout for new restaurants that serve hearty but healthy food. Thanks for this delicious post!

  • In reply to Edye:

    There are several Sweet Tomatoes in the Chicago area. My favorite location is the one in Glenview. There are also locations in Lombard and Schaumburg, near Ikea. Let me know how you like it!

  • I love Sweet Tomatoes-- one of my favorite restaurants! The recipe here looks delicious!

  • In reply to DeafMom:

    We go there a lot. My husband is a vegetarian, and there are a lot of choices for him. My only beef (no pun intended) is that the soups are too high in salt...Thanks for reading!

  • I had the dessert at Sweet Tomatoes a week ago, and did a search to find any similar recipe, and found your blog, Thank you very much for the recipe! Had I known, I would have saved room for more than two huge helpings...would have had four! Delicious!

  • In reply to Pacific Patriot:

    So glad you found Sugar Buzz Chicago!

    I ended up going to Sweet Tomatoes twice in one week and had the pumpkin cobbler/crisp twice each time!

    Thanks for your comments. Please let me know how the pumpkin crisp recipe works out for you!

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