How to Cook Pumpkin: A Step-by-Step Guide – The Forked Spoon

Recipe to cook pumpkin

Video Recipe to cook pumpkin

Learn how to cook pumpkin with this simple step-by-step guide – it’s easy! Simply cut, slice, spread, and bake. Find out everything you need to know about shopping sugar pumpkins, different cooking methods and uses.

Two sugar pumpkins cut in half roasted in the oven

What are sugar pumpkins? Also called cake pumpkins, sugar pumpkins

are usually (though not always) much smaller than the large pumpkins you’ll find in the pumpkin garden used to carve jack-o’ lanterns. These large pumpkins

may seem like the most logical choice, but they’re actually the worst for cooking and baking.

Unlike sugar pumpkins, these larger size pumpkins tend to be tasteless, watery, and fibrous, resulting in less-than-ideal results once cooked.

Sugar pumpkins are grown specifically for cooking. They are sweet and tasty with soft flesh.

They come in several varieties and not all look alike. Some are round, some are small, some are large and fat, some oblong, and some are orange, beige or even white.

Common varieties include,

  • Pumpkins Cinderella Pumpkins
  • Lumina Autumn
  • Gold

Can you bake and eat the carved pumpkins the size of a monster? Well, yes. However, if you can’t find sugar pumpkins, I recommend opting for a different, sweeter pumpkin, such as butternut pumpkin or delicata squash.

<img src="×1050.jpg" alt="Overheated image

of a sugar squash” /> How to pick,

cut, and prepare a pumpkin for cooking

When buying pumpkins at the grocery store you plan to eat, don’t carve, look for those labeled “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins.” Depending on the variety of sugar squash, look for pumpkins that weigh between 4 and 8 pounds.

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What should they look like? Some of the best-tasting cooking pumpkins are the most fun. As long as there are no soft spots or visible bruises, it is good to eat.

And remember, pumpkins have a long shelf life (about 2 months), so buy some extra ones and keep them ready for later in the season.

After you’ve picked up your pumpkin, you’ll want to keep it stored in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to do some magic in the kitchen.

Start by washing the outside of your pumpkins first and drying thoroughly. Baking, roasting and steaming, cut it in half and remove the guts and seeds (save and make roasted pumpkin seeds) Season or leave them simple and cook to your preference.

Collage image showing the step-by-step process of preparing a pumpkin for cooking. How to cook pumpkin

Now that we know how to prepare these cute pumpkins, let’s talk about cooking

. Like all types of winter squash, sugar


can be baked, roasted, boiled, stewed, steamed, and mashed. You can even cook them in your Instant Pot.

However, for the best flavor, I recommend smearing the skin and meat in some oil and baking or roasting in the oven. Cooking is done at a lower oven temperature for a slightly longer cooking time, while roasting is done at a higher oven temperature for a shorter cooking time.

Today, we are baking our sugar pumpkins.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cover a bordered baking sheet with parchment paper.

If you want to boil or steam your pumpkins, keep in mind that pumpkin meat will absorb water as it cooks. The result will be a pumpkin that is less tasty and waterier than a pumpkin that has been baked or roasted. If you plan to make pumpkin puree, you’ll probably find that you’ll need to drain your pumpkin puree through a fine-mesh sieve or gauze.

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Two sugar pumpkins cut in half without seeds.

Two sugar pumpkins cut in half roasted in the oven

Puréeing Pumpkin

To puree your cooked pumpkin, you can use an immersion blender, high-speed blender, or food processor. All you will need to do is process the cooked pumpkin meat until it is soft.

If you have steamed or boiled your pumpkin or if your pumpkin is extra watery, you may need to strain your mash through a fine-mesh strainer or gauze.

Once you’ve drained the excess water, the puree is ready to use in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree.

Pumpkins cooked on a baking sheet seasoned with salt and pepper

How to Use

Baked Pumpkin Sometimes it seems like there are a million uses for soft, perfectly cooked fresh pumpkin. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make
  • homemade pumpkin

  • puree Stuffed with your favorite whole grain, dried cranberries and other roasted vegetables for a full meal or satisfying accompaniment
  • Try making pumpkin cookies, including these

  • pumpkin oatmeal chip chocolate chip cookies or these pumpkin spice crackers
  • Mix with some cooked onion, celery, and carrots
  • to make a deliciously healthy pumpkin soup Make pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins or fresh pumpkin toast for a

  • very autumnal breakfast or brunch
  • Add to your favorite stews, risotto, or even salads
  • !

  • You can even throw it in a blender to make a pumpkin smoothie as delicious as even the best pumpkin pie!

Half-seasoned cooked sugar squash with salt, pepper and butter.

More pumpkin recipes, How to Toast Pumpkin Seeds – Coming Soon!

Pumpkin curry – coming soon!

Persimmon Pumpkin Pudding Cake


Pie Yogurt Overnight Oats

Thai Pumpkin + Sweet Potato Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

If you try to cook your

own pumpkins, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.

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Half-seasoned cooked sugar squash with salt, pepper and butter.


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