How to Cook Pumpkin? Learn the easiest ways with this easy, step by step tutorial. Roast, boil/ steam, microwave or Instant Pot them.
Cooking pumpkin is so easy! Ditch the canned stuff and make your own! No added ingredients that you can’t pronounce. One ingredient, pure, unadulerated pumpkin!
Pumpkins are native to North America, according to this article, from HSG Purchasing. Pumpkin is now grown throughout the Americas, most ripening in September and October, in the Northeast.
There are more to fall pumpkins than Halloween and Jack-o lanterns.
Want to learn more about growing your own pumpkins? See, these posts, which are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss How to Start a Garden Series! The first part is Planning Your Garden! Second is Preparing the Garden Site. The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden. The fourth is Garden Maintenance, and the last is Harvesting a Garden and Preserving the Harvest, this post has over 100 FREE recipes for preserving your harvest!
How to pick the best pumpkins
Get pie pumpkins, sugar pumpkins or any other small pumpkin at your farm stand. Do not choose larger pumpkins. They are best suited for carving and display.
Knock the pumpkin with your knuckle. Listen to the sound. You will be able to tell if the fruit has a thin wall or thick wall. Thin walled will sound more hollow. Thin walled pumpkins are best suited to cooking and eating.
How to cook pumpkin
- Remove stem from pumpkin from a fresh pumpkin. Cut pumpkin in half.
- Scoop out seeds. Save seeds to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
- Place sliced pumpkin, skin side up on rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin. Prick with a fork. When soft, pumpkin is done.
Scoop out pumpkin flesh or meat, after cooling. To make pumpkin puree place the pumpkin in the food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Measure and place in freezer bags. Freeze until ready to use.
Other methods to cook pumpkin
Although roasting is our favorite way to bring out the natural sugars in the pumpkin. it can also be boiled, microwaved or cooked in your instant pot.
To boil / steam pumpkin
Cut fruit in half. Peel (we find a y peeler works best for this job). Cut pumpkin in chunks. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Add chunks of pumpkin. Steam for 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of your chunks), until it can easily be pierced with a fork.
You can also cover with water and bring the pot to boil. Then boil the chunks until they are soft, about 15 minutes. This method will produce a more watery consistency. If it is very watery, strain the water out using a salad spinner or wrap in cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve to remove some of the water.
Cut fruit in half. Peel (we find a y peeler works best for this job). Cut pumpkin in chunks. Place in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with paper towel or waxed paper. Microwave for about 5 minutes per pound. Stir up pumpkin pieces often to ensure even cooking.
You can also cook whole pumpkin in the microwave. Poke the pumpkin with several wholes to allow steam to escape.
Also quarter the fruit before peeling. Remove seeds. Cook both of these methods for about 5 minutes per pound, until it can easily be pierced with a fork.
To cook pumpkin in instant pot
There are also several ways to cook it in your instant pot.
Cook from a whole pumpkin. Place trivet in instant pot. Add pumpkin to the top of the trivet. Pour 1 cups of water in pot. Set timer to 15 minutes, (for a 2.5 lb. pumpkin) manual mode, high pressure. Use a quick release. Once pressure is done releasing and valve drops, open the IP. Test for doneness with a sharp fork or small knife. It should easily slide in. Cook larger pumpkins for 3-4 minutes longer. Small pumpkins can be cooked 3-4 minutes less time. Once cool enough to handle remove skins, seeds and fibers.
Cut fruit in quarters without peeling, remove seeds and fibers. Place trivet in IP. Add one cup water. Set timer for 6 minutes, high pressure, manual mode. When finished, quick release pressure. Test pumpkin for doneness with a fork.
Cut fruit in half. Remove seeds and fibers. Peel (we find a y peeler works best for this job). Cut pumpkin into chunks. Place in your IP with 1 cup of water. Set timer to 4 minutes, high pressure, manual mode. When finished, quick release pressure. Once released, open IP. Test pumpkin for doneness with a fork.
You may need to drain the pumpkin when using the instant pot, unless you do it whole.
How to store cooked pumpkin
Cooked pumpkin can be canned in a pressure canner. It can be stored in freezer bags and frozen. Store it in 2 cup packages, as most recipes call for 2 cups. When ready to use, thaw overnight, in the refrigerator and then use it in all of your favorite recipes.
Yes. This same recipe will work with acorn squash, butternut squash, hubbard, delicate, buttercup and more.
Our favorite method for flavor is roasting the pumpkin but all of the other techniques above will yield perfectly acceptable pumpkin puree.
Absolutely. If you would like to use the pumpkin for desserts and sweets add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and / or allspice.
For savory dishes add salt, pepper, thyme, sage, parsley and / or rosemary.
The insides or the meat should be fork-tender.
Use it in all of your favorite pumpkin recipes
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Easy peasey. That’s how to cook pumpkin.
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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
How to Cook Pumpkin
- 1 pumpkin medium pie pumpkin size
- Remove stem.
- Cut pumpkin in half.
- Place on rimmed baking sheet, cut side down.
- Roast in 350°F oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on size of pumpkin. Test with fork, if pumpkin meat is soft. Pumpkin is done.
- Allow to cool. Scoop out flesh with spoon.
- Store 2 cups in freezer bags.
- cheese sauces
- chilies or bolognese
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