How to Cook a Whole Pumpkin (to make pumpkin puree)

 

Pumpkin_Puree_Collage_2

Every year, the boys and I visit a pumpkin patch. Every year after visiting the pumpkin patch, I bake a few of the pumpkins we bring home so that I’ll have plenty of pureed pumpkin in the freezer for pies, breads, muffins and other treats throughout the year. Every year, in order to bake the pumpkins, I slice them in half to put them into a baking dish.

Ever tried slicing a raw pumpkin in half? It’s horribly not enjoyable or easy. Now don’t make fun of me, because it is a fact that I have very wimpy muscles.  Therefore, I find that cutting a pumpkin in half makes me a little cranky -and also a little bit scared that I’m going to lose a finger.

This year, I decided to rebel – mostly because after the trip to the pumpkin patch with six boys (I took extras), I was a little tired and in no mood to lose a finger.

I’m not sure why I haven’t been cooking the pumpkin in its whole form all along – but now that I know it works so well, I will for sure be doing it this way from now on. Or at least on the days I don’t feel like losing a finger.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree from a Whole Pumpkin

First wash your pumpkin so that there will be no chance for soil or squished bugs to be mistaken for raisins in your muffins on a cloudy, autumn morning.

Next, give your pumpkin 6-10 nice stabs with a knife. There’s no better way to say it – there’s no such thing as gently poking a fork into a raw pumpkin. It must be stabbed. Although, I’m the one with the wimpy muscles, so what do I know?

Third, place your pumpkin in a baking dish, then into a 350° oven. I had to remove one of my oven racks to make this happen, but I figured I’d just saved at least three fingers, so this five second bit of labor was worth my time.

Bake your pumpkin for about an hour and a half or until poking it with a fork has become effortless.

Now slice the pumpkin in half – see how easy that is?  Allow pumpkin to cool for 15-30 minutes.


Use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds and the stringy stuff. Save the seeds for making roasted pumpkin seeds if you’d like.

Someone tell me what the real name of that stringy stuff is.  It probably has some technical name like “glutinous threads”.

Scoop out the soft pumpkin – or turn the pumpkin over and easily slice away the rind.

All done:


Place a few slices into a food processor and puree until smooth.

Continue pureeing pieces of pumpkin until you’re finished, because that is the point at which you will be done. (Sometimes it’s fun to simply state the obvious.)

Freeze pumpkin puree in jars or freezer bags. I like to freeze it in two-quart portions for easy measuring while baking.

With my pumpkin puree, I make Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Pumpkin Bars, and Pumpkin Pie Squares – plus a delicious Multi-Grain Pumpkin Pancake/Waffle recipe my friend Angie shared with me that I will in turn be sharing with you tomorrow.

How do you make pumpkin puree (or do you buy it already canned)? What do you like to make with pumpkin?

Disclaimer:  No fingers were lost while making this pumpkin puree. Let us all rejoice.

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Comments

  1. Jessica says

    I made some this year in the crock pot for the first time. Super easy! My husband washed them, sliced them in half, cleaned out the seeds, then we cooked it on high about 4 hours. I made a pie so far and the taste is so much better then can pumpkin. I still have to make a pumpkin roll….

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  2. Bekah says

    I just did some today. I sliced them in half, peeled them, diced them, then baked them until they were tender. Then I put them in the food processor. I made pumpkin bread. Yum!

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  3. Rachel B says

    What a coincidence! I just cooked a whole pumpkin today, too! But I did take the chance of losing a finger and cut it into large chunks. Then I put it into a covered granite ware roaster with a little water and baked it at 350 for about an hour. The best part was when I pureed it. I scooped out the flesh into a large bowl and used my immersion blender to puree it. SO EASY!! Next time, I’ll have to try baking it whole and then it will be even EASIER! I like easy. ;)

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  4. says

    I like the idea of cooking a pumpkin whole! I’m always scared of losing a finger when working with squash and pumpkins. I like that you stabbed the pumpkin. I’ve taken to stabbing potatoes with sharp knives instead of pricking them a fork when I bake them. Faster, easier, and more fun!

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  5. says

    What about canning pumpkin puree? I saw whole pumpkins today for $1 each, for large jack-o-lantern size left over from yesterday’s festivities.

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    Laura Reply:

    It can be canned, but it must be done in a pressure cooker – I’m only able to can acidic foods which can be done in a water bath.

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    Rebecca Reply:

    Even in a pressure canner, pumpkin is not recommended for home canning. If you do, it should only be in small cubes with water surrounding it. And it needs to can for up to 2 hrs. I can just about everything, including meat, but pumpkin puree just goes in the freezer. much easier.

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    Meg VanderHart Reply:

    Meg – Isn’t there a difference in jack-o-lantern pumpkins and pie pumpkins? I don’t believe that the jack-o-lantern or decorative ones, are for eating. The price makes it tempting, but I don’t think it works that way.

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    Muriel Reply:

    I believe the main difference is the pie pumpkins are a bit sweeter and have a lot more flesh. Pumpkins that have been selected for jack-o-lanterns have a much larger seed cavity so they are easier to hollow out. You could still use one for pie, you just won’t get as much flesh.

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    Buddy Reply:

    It was taught and grew up that the usual pumpkin was grown purely for jack-o-lanterns. They don’t have the true stronger (more water) pumpkin flavored. We call the one for pies etc “cheese pumpkins” they were grown were I grew up by the potato farmers.

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  6. says

    We love pumpkin at our house! I cut mine in chunks and bake for an hour, then cool and store in the fridge overnight. This lets some of the water drain out and I get a thicker puree the next day when I run it through the food processor and the skins come off easier too. I sore it in one cup servings as that is what most of my recipes call for.
    It is recommended that pumpkin puree or butter not be canned in any form as pumpkin is so low in acid. The only way to can it is to leave it in chunks and pressure can it.
    http://nchfp.uga.edu/tips/fall/pumpkins.html

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  7. Kim says

    Do you know if the little pumpkins can be pureed as well? I have about 6 that I hate to just throw away.

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    Laura Reply:

    I’m not sure there’s much “meat” inside them to make it worth your time/effort, but I really don’t know for sure!

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  8. Jennifer F. says

    I just had to say, I LOVE your idea of cooking the pumpkin whole! Brilliant!!! After my pumpkin experience last year, I’ve been putting off (and dreading!!) the chopping/baking of our pumpkins! This sounds so easy, though. And, in combination with Rachel’s immersion blender trick, makes the whole process sound much friendlier. :)

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  9. Josie says

    This works great! Let me just warn from personal experience, though, that I think something about cooking the pumpkin in a glass dish, with no other liquid in it, makes it more susceptible to shattering when you pull it out of the oven and set it on the not-hot stovetop :( Next time I will be sure to have a few thick towels down as hot pads BEFORE I take it out of the oven! I know this is probably obvious to everyone but me, but I’ve always pulled things out of the oven and set them on the stove with no hotpad under them, and I’ve never had the dish break before!

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  10. meredith says

    Thank you THANK YOU ! I was just commenting to my husband that I hated boiling pumpkin chunks so we were looking for instructions on how to bake it:). BTW – we just call the fibrous strands pumpkin guts ;)

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  11. says

    This is the first time I’ve seen a pumpkin roasted whole. I’ve always halved mine, but I don’t find it to be too difficult. And my kids are always ready and willing to stick their hands into the pumpkin goo. <–that's not the technical term?!

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your lovely blog. I've just learned about soaking grains in the last few months and your recipes have become one of my go-to resources. I've shied away from buying Nourishing Traditions since we're vegetarian and I wasn't sure how useful it would be in areas other than soaking grains. Do you have any thoughts on that? Anyway, thanks again!
    Here's my most recent blogpost on the topic: http://www.anartfamily.com/2011/11/in-kitchen.html

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    Laura Reply:

    The main reason I appreciate NT is for all of the information at the beginning of the book on nutrition and what foods are best. That helped me SO much!

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  12. Tracy says

    Does this work out cheaper than buying it canned? I’ve always wondered how much puree one pumpkin would make?

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    Laura Reply:

    I haven’t bought canned pumpkin for so long, I don’t even know how much it costs. But, if I can get a small/medium pumpkin for about $1 – I find that I can get three cans worth of puree from that pumpkin, making it $0.33/what would be a can. So yes, I’m sure this does save a lot of money. :)

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  13. Kim says

    I will definitely have to try this out for making puree. I found a recipe for Cinnamon Pumpkin Doughnut muffins that sounds absolutely heavenly that I want to try out. And I like the idea of making my own pumpkin puree rather than buying canned pumpkin.

    Oh, and I looked online for what the ”glutinous threads” are called and all I found was the technical name is fibrous strands. Nothing too exciting.

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  14. trisha says

    I’ve been steaming mine (in chunks). I might try just boiling it in a big huge pot next time. I didn’t want to freeze mine(am looking towards “other” methods of preservation), so took it a step further after pureeing. I dehydrated mine and turned it into powder, then vacuum packed it. I’ll need to rehydrate it before using it, but have been thinking about just tossing in some powder and the extra water to the pumpkin muffin batter.

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  15. Lyndsay says

    What a great post for what I have dubbed as pumpkin baking day! We have 11 (yes, 11!) pumpkins that I was going to bake several and puree them. I was not looking forward to trying to slice them all. Now I will just bake them whole. And since it’s cold and rainy (with the possibility of snow!) I won’t even mind the oven being on!

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    Laura Reply:

    We’re supposed to get snow today too! Sounds like a great day for baking!!!

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  16. Jenni says

    I’ve always wanted to try this. Does it matter what kind of pumpkin you use? Big, small?

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    Laura Reply:

    I don’t think it matters – but I usually prefer doing this with small to medium sized pumpkins since the larger ones are more difficult to work with. My boys picked out some pretty big pumpkins at the pumpkin patch – I’m not sure they’d fit in my oven! In that case, I’d have to cut into them which defeats my purpose in cooking a pumpkin in its whole form. :)

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    Lyndsay Reply:

    The only difference that I have found is that the big pumpkins have more water, so you get e thinner puree. They may not work as well for pumpkin pie (which no one in my family likes, so I don’t make) but they work great for muffins, breads, and other baked goods, I just cut back a little on the other liquids in my recipe. A little less melted butter and one less egg made my muffins perfect. So you just have experiment a little. I just figure if I am going to pay for all these big old pumpkins, we are going to eat them!

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  17. Tara says

    I AM VALIDATED!!!! I’ve done pumpkins this way for several years! People ask me how I do it (at least one every year asks). They don’t believe me when I tell them to “toss the whole sucker in the oven at 350 until you can poke it with a fork”. (I skip the stabbing part, never had one blow up on me yet.)

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  18. Rebecca says

    I have always done my pumpkins this way, this year I just did a bushel full of squash, no pumpkin. You can use squash in place of pumpkin in any recipe and it tastes the same, even in pie.

    I find the puree to be a bit wetter than the canned stuff, so I often reserve a bit of liquid from the recipe, or do what Cook’s Illustrated recommends and give my puree a quick sautee on the stove to cook out some of the liquid before adding it to my other ingredients.

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  19. kellie says

    I just did this last week with 6 little pie pumpkins that were given to me! I made a pie and a pumpkin tool and some pumpkin butter….so good on homemade toast with butter! Yum!

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  20. suzanne says

    Thank you for posting this – I was just thinking about how to make pumpkin puree as I bought 2 small pie pumpkins for this purpose. Glad to know I can freeze it too b/c I do not have time to bake much today. (though putting that in oven will be quick – and warm the house up a bit!) I looked on line to see if I could use the pumpkin from our jack o lanterns and it said those types of pumpkins are not recommended for eating (grown for different purpose and different in many ways I guess) – but you use yours with no problem? Can you use it after it has been a jack o lantern? If not – maybe my chickens can eat them – will have to look that up.
    I can relate to the difficulty cutting the pumpkin – last year we were in India and I discovered I LOVE steamed pumpkin – but no oven so just had to cut the whole thing off the rind in small chunks and steam it – that was SO MUCH work!

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    Laura Reply:

    I’d guess if it’s been made into a jack-o-lantern, it needs to go to the chickens.

    Yes, mine worked without a problem, but it wasn’t very large – not really large enough to make into a jack-o-lantern, so it was probably closer to a “pie pumpkin”.

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  21. says

    Thank you!! My mother in law is 77 and butchers her own pumpkins every year. I thought I would try it myself this year so I could say I did it. After chopping off a piece of my thumbnail and breaking a sweat while trying to peel the pumpkin I decided I would never, ever try to cook my own pumpkin again. There is a good reason as to why pumpkin comes in a can. BUT…..since you shared your sheer genius of baking the WHOLE THING,(ta-da!), I am willing to give it another go. I will also share this idea with my lovely mother in law.

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  22. Krisha says

    I too discovered that I could cook the whole pumpkins or squash before slicing it – much easier!

    I like to cook pumpkins, acorns & butternuts (these are terribly hard to cut raw as well, but roast them first) and puree them all together for a super yummy pumpkin filling.

    I roast the seeds with various spices and the stringy stuff makes the best homemade dog treats!

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  23. says

    How easy is this???? Okay, does anyone know how long pumpkins stay “good” once they have been cut from the vine (or not). I purchase several large pumpkins every year at the beginning of October and use them on my porch as decor until Thanksgiving Day. Just wondering if I might still be able to use them???? What do you all think?

    BTW – this would be a great idea for cooking butternut squash, too! I always feel like I am going to massively injure myself when I cook this! Thanks Laura for saving my digits!

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    Laura Reply:

    My experience is that they stay good for 2-3 weeks after I bring them home. After that, they start getting a little bit squishy. :)

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  24. says

    Cooking a whole pumpkin? Who knew! That is really cool. I usually do mine in the microwave. I cut the pumpkin and put it in a microwave safe dish with a little bit of water and cover with plastic wrap and just pop in the microwave and press the fresh veggie button and it steams wonderfully! This year I think I will try cooking the whole pumpkin though.

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  25. deanna says

    I have an OLD crockpot that is 6 qts and tall instead of oval or short and fat :) and so a pumpkin the size of the one you used (usually pie pumpkins is what I grow) fits nicely (if you take the stem off) and so I will stab it and put it in the crockpot for about 2 hrs on high and then take it out and proceed like you do. it is fabulous and easy! and we love to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with ours, as well as pumpkin bread and I will be making pies with it in the next few weeks.

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  26. Barbara says

    I haven’t cooked any pumpkins yet this year, but when I do, I slice them in half and put them in the oven. Next time I’ll skip that step for the same reason you did :)

    Today I baked a few butternut squash (same method as pumpkin) which my children love. I also discovered that my sweet potato and green bean loving German Shepherd dog also likes butternut squash!! We use butternut squash in the same way that we use pumpkin – pancakes, cookies, pie, bread, waffles, casserole, chili, soup, muffins, milkshakes, oatmeal . . .

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  27. Kelly says

    Oh I’m so excited to do this! I too always worry about losing a finger cutting a pumpkin. Thank you, my fingers thank you, my cranky pumpkin cutting mood thanks you and now I’ll go bake that pumpkin.

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  28. Lisa says

    Thanks for showing this method. I’ve roasted 2 pumpkins this fall, and have a few more to do. I’m excited to try them whole and skip cutting them in 1/2 while they’re still raw. I think this will speed up the whole process and save me the anxiety of losing a finger or hurting myself! Does anyone know if slightly green pumpkins will ripen off the vine? I grew sugar/pie pumpkins in our garden and because we had such a cool summer here in the PNW, 2 of my pumpkins are still on the vine and are still a little green. We’re entering the rainy season here in WA state and I’m wondering if I should cut them and bring them inside.

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  29. says

    What a FANTASTIC idea! I’ve only frozen pumpkin puree once (many years ago) and don’t recall how I did it, so this is both perfect AND great timing! I got 2 pie pumpkins this year and have been wondering how to process them. Does anyone know if you can do TWO pie pumpkins in the oven at the same time? Thanks!

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    Laura Reply:

    Sure, as long as it all fits in your oven!

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    Kelly Reply:

    I did about 7 at a time in the oven (whole). Worked well.

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  30. Rebekah says

    A friend just showed me this method last month! I actually have a pumpkin in the oven this morning, and then here’s your post. :-) I can relate to your pumpkin-cutting sweats. I make a spaghetti squash lasagna (no noodles) and cutting the spaghetti squash and getting it prepared takes almost an hour, what with cutting it apart and scraping! I’m always stressed when I’m done. ;-)

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  31. says

    Vitally Important Question:

    Do they have to be the official “pie pumpkins”, or will any old jack-o-lantern pumpkin do?

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    Laura Reply:

    Pie pumpkins are best – big pumpkins are just harder to work with, but I think they do work.

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    Lyndsay Reply:

    I did both, pie pumpkins are a little darker inside and cook faster, but they all work about the same.

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  32. Naomi says

    I also use this method, without stabbing. Usually when I throw a knife into a pumpkin the knife gets stuck in there, and then I’m afraid I’ll cut myself wrangling the knife back out. The less pumpkin stabbing going on around here, the better.

    I once saw some on tv, probably food network, spreading out some pumpking puree onto thick paper towels or cloth towels, then pressing down some more towels on top of the puree, letting the towels absorb some of the extra liquid from the pumpkin.

    My mother used to slice pumpkin, peel it, cut into chunks, and cook it for hours in a big pot with just enough water to prevent sticking or burning. It made it’s own water eventually, then she cooked it on very low heat until all the water cooked out.

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  33. Sheri A says

    Wow, I wish I would have seen this earlier. I just baked two pie pumpkins in half, because the other info online said you had to, and I wondered if the stem would burn too. I did get about 7 cups of pumpkin, so excited to try the recipes. I have a butternut squash that I am going to bake whole now after seeing your post. Thank you!!

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  34. Teresa Yb says

    We have definately cooked and eaten jack-o-lantern type pumpkins. Some of them are more stingy, but most are fine after they go through the food processor.
    My husband is a teacher, and one year on Nov. 1st, he sent an email to the staff asking for any uncarved pumpkins people had been using for decorations. We ended up with about 15 pumpkins, and we pressure canned enough to last for 2 years. (I know, I know, but my MIL has been doing this forever. So far, so good…)
    This year we planted a pumpkin patch that did very well. We have only processed a few of the pumpkins. It is tedious to peel, cube, and boil everything. I am definately going to throw a few in the oven!

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  35. Sue says

    I wish I would have read this an hour ago. Instead I’m reading it with the wonderful smell of baking pumpkins and pumpkin seeds drifting through the air. I did manage to cut my pumpkins in half but I had visions of an emergency room visit in my head while I was doing it. I’m safe but next year will be different! Thanks!

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  36. says

    I grew my own pumpkins this year and ended up with 7 or 8 nice orange ones before they vines started dying (due to cold weather frosts…not because of me!) and a couple little part green, part orange ones. I baked the orange ones whole, let them cool a bit, cut them in half, let them cool completely, and was able to easily scoop out the guts and just peeled the skins right off. I didn’t need a knife or anything. Put all the pumpkin into a REALLY large bowl and used my immersion blender to puree. Put them into pint size jars and into the freezer. I got nine pints (or 16 cups for anyone who doesn’t can). It is definately wetter than canned pumpkin you buy in a store, but you can just cut back a little of the liquid in most recipes to make up the difference. We roasted the seeds and the rest of the guts made my chickens VERY happy ladies!

    My two slightly greenish-mostly orangish pumpkins just look adorable on my fireplace mantle. If they had been larger green pumpkins I would had to have tried making Ma’s green pumpkin pie (Little House)….but I’m sure I would have cut off MANY fingers as you have to slice them (like apples), but I have always wondered if it really does taste like apple pie as Laura described.

    I’m thinking I will be doing a larger pumpkin patch next year. They were fun (and easy) to grow!

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  37. Ashley says

    This is the method I use as well, and I will never go back to the old way! I don’t stab mine first, but now I wonder if I am risking a “pumpkin explosion”! I covered mine with a little coconut oil and roasted at 300 for about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours…they were small pie pun’kins…

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  38. Micah says

    Earlier in the year friends gave us a pie pumpkin. I got the knife stuck in it trying to cut it in half and my husband ended up with 5 stitches in his hand getting it out! He did enjoy a nice pumpkin pie when he returned from the after-hours clinic! I was nervous last week when I cut 2 more pumpkins in half to bake! I will be glad to toss the whole pumpkin in my oven next time!! We’ve enjoyed pie, chocolate chip cookies, and pancakes with pumpkin so far.

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  39. C Dazey says

    Ok, silly question. I have always just used canned pumpkin, because it is easy, and doesn’t have “yucky stuff” in it. How does fresh pumpkin compare in taste? I have 2 pumpkin pies in the oven as I type.

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    Laura Reply:

    I haven’t used canned pumpkin in a long time, so I don’t remember the taste comparison. If canned pumpin doesn’t have stuff added to it, I would imagine the tastes are very similar. Making your own puree is much cheaper though, at least for me.

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  40. Jodi says

    This is wonderful timing! I only buy the small pie pumpkins from the patch, the smell from carving huge jack-o-lanterns and digging out the guts makes me so nauseous! So we buy the small ones and decorate them with washable paint or sticky foam shapes. I’ve wondered how to roast them as I have only bought canned pumpkin in the past, can’t wait to try this!

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  41. Kristina says

    Perfect timing! I just bought a pie pumpkin. I think I’ll stick mine in the crockpot though. If I get an ambercup squash maybe I can try that whole, too cause I used to get really frustrated trying to cut those up. It was dangerous too!

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  42. Jo Ann says

    The fibrous strands can also be referred to as the brain. I’ll be popping some pumpkins into the oven tomorrow! Thanks for sharing this.

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  43. Amber Rogers says

    OK Dumb Dumb question. Do you suppose this wonder method will work for all varieties of winter squash? Like, no more trying to hack saw through a butternut or hubbard squash?

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    Laura Reply:

    Not a dumb question at all!! Yes, this method should definitely work for other squash!

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  44. says

    You’re a genius! I haven’t made homemade pumpkin puree yet, but have been planning on it. I’ll be visiting this post again for that!

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    Joan Reply:

    I baked my pumpkins last fall and after I pureed the cooked pumpkin, I froze some of it and made pies with the rest. It is delicious and so all purpose. I know it sounds weird but when my dog has a funky stomach, I give him a couple of tbsp’s. in his meals and it straightens his tummy right out.

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  45. Erin Turner says

    Our local health food store features a “to-die-for” pumpkin cookie which we absolutely love! They just recently posted the recipe on their website! Here is the link: http://goodfoodstore.com/PDF/Recipe/Chocolate_Pumpkin_Cookies.pdf

    These cookies are well known around our town as being heavenly!

    Also,I’m trying the precursor to pumpkin pie–the colonists would put eggs, milk and spices inside a hollowed out pumpkin and bake it in the hot coals for a couple of hours until the pumpkin was soft and the milk mixture was custardy! My boys and I are going to try this and see what it’s like! Sounds yummy to me!

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    Angela Reply:

    This sounds really fun! I’d be curious to hear how it turns out!!

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  46. Melinda says

    I SO wish I’d looked at this yesterday before I did 2 of the 4 pumpkins we bought this month. I will be doing the other 2 tomorrow (or next week) and I WILL bake the whole pumpkin. I have wimpy muscles and a tired back! Thanks for the tip.

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  47. cali says

    I decided to put the whole pumpkin in the oven and let it cook for 15 minutes and then stab it. It worked great because the skin was starting to soften a bit and I didn’t have to stab, just sorta give it a push.

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  48. Angela says

    Thank you for this awesome tip! I stopped by my local farm stand today and she had some nice pumpkins for $1 each! I’ve been craving pumpkin bread for a while now, so I’m a happy girl!! :)

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  49. says

    Aha! You mean I don’t have to wrestle {hurt myself} the knife through the entire pumpkin to cut it in half?! Genius. Do you cook squash whole also??

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, this works for squash too!

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  50. Tonya says

    I’m going to try this too!

    It will be my first time, I can’t wait.

    It sounds so much easier than the way my mom does hers.

    THANKS!

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  51. Karen Z. says

    I would imagine you could remove the stem before putting it in the oven. It might fit a little easier. :) On the smaller pumpkins, they’re pretty easy to snap off.

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  52. heather wilson says

    Thanks. Perfectly timed post. I had planned to do my pumpkins this weekend. It was so much easier to do this way! Your website has blessed me in the kitchen so often. You are my go to website now for recipes and how tos in the kitchen.

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  53. Hayley says

    How do you know if you have a pie pumpkin or not? We picked seven from a field but I’m not sure if any of them are pie-worthy after being used as decorations for Thanksgiving.

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    KT Reply:

    Sugar Pie Pumpkins are smaller, like 2-4 lb size, and will be sweeter and smoother. They are a specific variety of pumpkin. You can cook any kind of pumpkin, including the larger Jack-o-Lantern types. The larger the pumpkin, the greater likelihood the meat will be stringy-er in texture and less sweet. Just puree until it gets as smooth as it can and taste your batter when you make it with the larger pumpkin puree to see if you need a touch of any extra sweetner.

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    Tonia Reply:

    PUMPKINS ARE PUMPKINS…NO SUCH THING AS A PIE PUMPKIN

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  54. Jennifer Stuart says

    There is a patch by our house and after Halloween they give the pumpkins away. I cook the big and small pumpkins and have never had
    a problem with the big ones. I love having
    pumpkin puree to last all year for FREE! Praise
    the Lord!

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  55. Ashleigh says

    I jsut pureed 2 pumpkins-1 large and one small and let me tell you-I didn’t realize the mess that would be involved. Had I thought more about it, I should have anticipated such mess. But all in all, the mess was worth it because I have 12 cups of puree from my pumpkins!!! That is a ton. I am glad to know that they might need a little extra sweetner. All in all, I think we will do this again!
    And after 9 years of marriage-I just learned that my husband likes roasted pumpkin seeds-learn something new everyday:)

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  56. Robyn O. says

    I just did this with the 8 pumpkins my plant produced this year. It was easy and the results are looking great! Thanks for posting another great idea!!

    [Reply]

  57. JenJ says

    My creepy green pumpkins were too big for this method. But I will have to try it on a smaller pumpkin sometime! I have to cut it in 16ths, then steam 2 sections at a time in the microwave in a covered dish with a couple of inches of water. I cooked my 2nd pumpkin today, and was too tired to deal with puree LOL. I’m experimenting to see how it will turn out if I free the fruit in chunks, then puree it when I thaw it.

    We are addicted to pumpkin muffins here right now! I will make cookies this week, with a cream cheese frosting, yum! Sadly, when I made pumpkin waffles last week I discovered I am allergic to nutmeg :( So next time I will have to leave out the seasoning. Maybe I could try chocolate chips instead :)

    [Reply]

  58. Diana says

    Do you know if this method for cooking a pumpkin also works for other squashes? i just bought some – a butternut and kambocha (or something like that) and was wondering how to cook them…. lol

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, this same method should work!

    [Reply]

  59. shellie deckard says

    I was blessed to find nice big pumpkins in wonderful fresh shape for just 25 cents each! So I will definitely be doing this! I’ve got 8 nice big ones. Guess what I’ll be doing Tuesday?

    I like all kinds of pumpkin things. Bread, muffins, pie’s, cookies. I’ll have a good supply for all of it I’m sure! I’m thinking about trying a savory pumpkin soup with some of it too. Never had that before.

    [Reply]

    Marie Reply:

    Pumpkin soup is really yummy! I like it with sausage in it! Even my picky non-soup eaters liked it.

    [Reply]

  60. Sjondi says

    I, too, roasted the pumpkins whole and it was great! Thank you so much for posting this tip. Thanks also to the one who posted the tip about waiting 15 minutes after roasting to pierce the pumpkin…I’ll try that next time. I also placed my puree onto a silpat in 1/2 cup plops. Once frozen, I will put them into a freezer bag and they’ll be in easier form for baking–premeasured!

    [Reply]

  61. Hayley says

    A word of advice: don’t roast the jack-o-lantern style pumpkins.

    I just finished roasting up my Thanksgiving decorations, since we’re putting out the Christmas decorations. I had three pie-type pumpkins and three jack-o-lantern type pumkins (sorry I don’t know the actual variety names). The pie pumpkins are delicious. The jack-o-lantern pumpkins don’t taste like anything. Nothing. Like you didn’t put anyting into your mouth, nothing.

    Luckily I didn’t lose any fingers in discovering this, thanks to your method! ;)

    [Reply]

  62. Tanis says

    I have only cooked the Cinderella Pumpkins and occationally they are too large for the oven and I had to cut in half. This year I am tryng a new variety with a blue skin. This is the only reasonalbe method for cooking pumpkin, it works like a dream.

    [Reply]

  63. says

    In Australia we use pumpkin mainly as a vegetable. Roast it in chunks like roast potatoes or make into soup. Much better than roast potatoes as it is sweeter. I also grow them and cook them whole. Then cut into chunks and serve as a side dish with butter and pepper.

    [Reply]

  64. sophie says

    This may be a late reply but I am so glade I read this, tackling pumpkin is something I detest. yesterday I managed strangely to cut to skin on my knuckle lengthways, causing me to give up and leave the offending pumpkin half cut in my kitchen :( I will now cook it whole thank you.

    [Reply]

  65. says

    Thank you for this recipe. I’m an expat living in the UK and the price of canned pumpkin is outrageous. I made a pumpkin this morning and my dogs (and my husband) are very happy.

    [Reply]

  66. says

    Thank you sooo much for this wonderful and helpful info! :) I am going to be baking a small 2 pounder today to make some puree for pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes in the next day or so. :)

    I also want to try what the poster mentioned about putting custard ingredients inside the pumpkin and baking it. That sounds wonderfully intriguing and yummy. :)

    Thank you again from a South Florida gal who reahhhhlly misses the Fall and Winter!! :(

    [Reply]

  67. hailey says

    Mines in the oven after picking from the vine at underwood farms in moorpark, ca im thinking soup in my preset vita mixer that actually heats and blends at the same time no pots and pans then its still warm here so make some quick pops in the zoku
    witch makes pops before your eyes 7 min and the fall season has begun for me anyway once I have pumpkin its on

    [Reply]

  68. Stephanie says

    Thank you! I was wondering how to cook a pumpkin…I figured you would know and a friend said you had the easiest way! Does it matter if the pokes are slits or round holes….my almost 5 yr. old daughter had the ingenius idea of poking our sharp metal yogurt thermometer in it…it worked well…hope that will work out! Looking forward to smelling that baking pumpkin soon! We will be trying to make a healthier rendition of the oh-so-tasty Pumpkin Cake Roll!

    [Reply]

  69. says

    I did it! :) And it worked BEAUTIFULLY! :) Thank you, thank you, thank you!! :)

    I used that amazing fresh pumpkin puree to make the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Buttermilk pancakes! They were to die for! I may have gone to the trouble of making the pumpkin puree fresh, but I did ‘cheat’ and used Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Pancake mix. LOL I used real buttermilk, and melted butter for the ‘oil’, and fresh eggs. I used organic dark chocolate chips. It was all just soooo wonderful!

    We had them for dinner! That way we had dinner AND dessert at the same time! :)

    Thank you so very much for this fantastic easy way to make fresh pumpkin puree! Wonderful! :)

    Happy Fall Season to you and yours! :)

    From a South Florida resident who is still missing the wonderful Season of Fall! sighhh …

    :)

    [Reply]

  70. Becky says

    Love to make pumpkin and black bean or pumpkin and chicken green chile enchiladas with canned pumpkin. I can’t find my original recipe but cumin and paprika mixed into the pumpkin makes fantastic enchiladas!

    [Reply]

  71. Caroline P says

    Great and easy recipe thank you.. We went pumkin picking today and wanted to bake FRESH PIE. Im never going to use cann pumkin again! Happy Fall from Stony point NY.

    [Reply]

  72. says

    Wow! After more than 30 yrs., of tossing the Halloween pumpkin in the trash (and feeling quite badly about the waste) and with the encouragement of my pie lovin’ SIL, I took the plunge following this recipe. It was a family affair from cutting up the pumpkin to roasting the seeds. Now to hunt for the best pumpkin pie recipe ever…
    And muffins, bread, pancakes. Thanks for the “how to”‘.

    [Reply]

  73. Elizabeth says

    What is the purpose of the glass baking dish? Do you really need it?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Good question – I use a glass dish because it’s what I love best, but a metal dish would work too. :)

    [Reply]

  74. Diane Taylor says

    My Mom suggested putting spices in the pumpkin before baking. It is in the oven now. I will let you know how it turns out. I used to cut the pumpkin up and boil it! This was much easier!!!!!

    [Reply]

  75. Becky says

    I cooked pumpkins this year but instead of freezing I processed it in my cooking canner like I do other vegetables from my garden. I have more storage room for my canning jars than I do freezer space. I used pint jars and they equal the amount in a small can of pumpkin when I am following recipes.

    [Reply]

  76. Jan McNulty says

    You should google a recipe for pumpkin cream cheese muffins. I bake these to sell and they are my best seller.

    [Reply]

  77. Therese Grater says

    How much of this ‘real’ pumpkin do I use instead of a can of pumpkin for 1 pie? Thanks for telling us about pumpkin!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    2 cups of pumpkin equals one 15 ounce can, which is what you typically need for one pie. :)

    [Reply]

  78. Nia says

    Laura, do you always throw the rind away. It gets soft enough to puree with the rest. Especially the organic pumpkins I puree the skin and flesh.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Oh wow, I didn’t realize the rind would be soft enough to use!

    [Reply]

    Birdie Reply:

    Thank you! Thank you Nia! You have just saved me a half hour or more of scooping the pulp!!!

    [Reply]

    Nia Reply:

    Glad to hear it, anything we can do to save time and effort right!

    [Reply]

  79. says

    Wow thank you so much. I was about to throw our last pumpkin out, but I hate to let it go to waste. I never cooked them before because I was told if it wasn’t a smaller pie pumpkin it wouldn’t taste good. Also I did not want to cut the thing up raw! This is so helpful!

    [Reply]

  80. says

    So…..are you saying I can cook (and eat) the pumpkin that sat on my front porch for 2 months? We were about to compost it, but I’d love to be able to cook it and use it!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    If it fits in your oven, it will work. :)

    [Reply]

  81. Jessica H. says

    yes that is my question too…my pumpkin has sat outside for awhile. It is still firm other than the stem…would it be ok to cook and puree?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    If it’s still firm and it fits into your oven, it should work fine. :)

    [Reply]

  82. Birdie says

    Laura, thank you for the excellent idea. I’ve been using sugar pie pumpkin and a very large butcher knife to cut. The pumpkins are at their peak “ripeness”. I filled 2 pressure cookers to the peak with cut up pieces, and pressured canned 20 minutes. Cooled the canners, scraped out the pulp, and pureed in my new Italian hand cranked tomato seperator. Worked wonderfully though some water leaked out the handle. Just kept some paper towel to catch the leak. Froze the puree in small zip bags. I would love to do the stove way but found that I can do a very large batch with the canner.

    [Reply]

  83. Marie says

    Thank you for linking this!!!! I just brought the pie pumpkins from the front porch into the garage yesterday, so I could put up the Christmas garlands and lights. Took a look at the pumpkins and actually thought, “No, not today. Maybe I will be up for the risk of slicing my fingers another day.” So glad to discover a safe way to cook pumpkins, whole! Can’t wait to try it!

    [Reply]

  84. Susan F says

    Wow, this is a great way to take care of pumpkin. I’m used to buying a wonderful can of pumpkin called ‘One Pie” during the season. It is processed here in Maine. I’ve never cooked a pumpkin. Thanks Laura.

    [Reply]

  85. Alicia says

    This is perfect. I’m doing it tomorrow!! Our pumpkins have served their decorative purpose for the year, now they will serve us some muffins & pies!! And waffles! And bread! Thank you Laura. Is it weird if I say I think we’d be friends in real life?? (:

    [Reply]

  86. Linda says

    Thank you for the test in baking a whole pumpkin. Like you, I do NOT like losing fingers while cutting a pumpkin. I read that cooking a whole pumpkin may be too watery. Did you have any problems with the consistency in baking the whole pumpkin vs baking the half pumpkins?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Nope, the consistency way great either way. :)

    [Reply]

    cynthia Reply:

    i tried this just now with 2 med sized punkins i love this idea it was great and easy to do and i have all 10 fingers left….i love it i just made punkin pies and toasted punkin seeds never though of stabbing it and cooking the whole punkin awesome idea great to get rid of punkins after halloween i had to wash erasable markers off but still i cooked with some ink still on and it didnt bother it i like this idea and i will keep using it…..fyi stabbing a punkin is kinds fun….lol use watch ur fingers but i loved it…..

    [Reply]

  87. AudraG says

    I’m so excited to try this method! I’ve got pumpkins taunting me, daring me to bake them. I hate cutting them in half and scraping out the guts. It looks like the scraping is much easier after baking too. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  88. says

    I knew the Amish cook whole squash–but when I arrived at my winter rental, someone had left pie pumpkins. Happy your site gave me excellent directions for using them instead of throwing them away.

    [Reply]

  89. Lee Ann says

    This worked great! So much easier than cutting them first. I do have a tip to add. Some years my pumpkins have a lot of water in them making the puree very runny and it alters the texture of the recipe. (This may be because I live in the PNW and we have a lot of rain?) Anyway, a friend told me to put the puree in a bowl in the fridge for a day and the water will rise to the top. Some years a lot of water rises and others hardly any. But, if people have runny puree, it’s a great tip and will really make a better muffin :)

    [Reply]

  90. Marla says

    This was just what I was looking for. DH found 2 pumpkins in the garden (its New Years Day!!) and I did n’t want the find to go to waste. I just put them in the oven and thought I’d better check to see if they actually can be baked this way. Thanks so much!!

    [Reply]

  91. K. Ann Guinn says

    Thanks for the tip to bake the pumpkin whole! Does anyone just mash the pumpkin by hand, rather than puree it in a food processor? My food processor is on the fritz, it’s not in my budget to replace it right now; last year I tried to use my blender, but had to ADD liquid (the opposite of what we are going for, here!), and the nice lady who provides our farm shares said she does it that way. (I guess it’s a night for run-on sentences!) Any tips would be appreciated!

    [Reply]

    Angelia Johnson Reply:

    Use a blender. But, you can mash by hand with a masher.

    [Reply]

    Birdie Reply:

    Hi K. Ann. Try mashing it through a sieve. You would get the lumps out.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    From past experience if you don’t puree the cooked pumpkin and just mash it… The pumpkin will turn out stringy. Id recomend asking to borrow one if you dont have the money to buy one right now.

    [Reply]

  92. Angelia Johnson says

    Okay, I actually peeled the skin with a veggie peeler and boiled it like sweet potatoes. Until I knew to cut in half and bake. However, this is so much better! Thanks

    [Reply]

  93. martha says

    can you make pumpkin rolls out of fresh pumpkin

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Sure, sounds yummy!

    [Reply]

    Birdie Reply:

    You’ll have no problem. I have a pumpkin rolls recipe that is soooo delicious.

    [Reply]

    martha Reply:

    I’d love to try your recipe

    [Reply]

  94. says

    Thank you. Since I have about 40 pumpkins to process, I will give your method a try. Usually I use a huge butcher knife to cut the pumpkin into chunks, but I value my fingers, too. I’m definitely in favor of an easier method. I’ll stick with my sieve instead of the food processor, though.

    BTW, the stringy stuff is called “fibrous strands,” but I think “stringy stuff” is the more common terminology ;)

    [Reply]

  95. Karen says

    My dogs love the stringy stuff! I can’t wait to try the whole pumpkin baking method this year. I, too, am in the PNW, so will also follow the tip Lee Ann posted above about letting the water rise to the top of the puree in a bowl. Thanks for this tip! Pumpkins are already in the stores and the patches!

    [Reply]

  96. Birdie says

    ~~~Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Cake Roll~~~

    3 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    2/3 cup mashed pumpkin or squash (well drained)
    3/4 cup flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1 cup finely chopped walnuts
    Confectioners’ sugar
    Filling:
    1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    2 Tbsp. butter, softened
    1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    3/4 tsp vanilla extract
    Additional confectioners’ sugar, optional

    In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs; gradually beat in sugar. Add pumpkin or squash and mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon; add pumpkin or squash mixture and mix well.

    Line a 15″ x 10″ x 1″ baking pan with waxed paper; grease and flour the paper. Spread batter evenly into pan. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 375* for 13 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

    Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel, jelly-roll style, starting with short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.

    In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake to within 1″ of edges. Roll up again. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

    Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.
    Yield: 10 servings

    [Reply]

  97. Debb O'Brien says

    Thanks Laura. I had found a way to cook a pumpkin in the Joy of Cooking Cook Book – My mom had the book and I took it after she died. Then, when I was looking for it to make sure I had the recipe, I found that my sister had taken the cookbook from me! So, thanks for putting this on the web! There was also a great recipe for pumpkin cookies in that cook book. Do you happen to have a recipe for pumpkin cookies? Why don’t I ask my sister? She is going through her own problems and the least of them is looking for a recipe. Thanks again.

    [Reply]

    Sharon Keen Reply:

    Laura, I am so glad to find this post on cooking the pumpkin whole! I have only cooked pumpkin once bbecause it was sooo difficult to cut up! I can’t wait to try this way. I shared this on my blog with a link back to you in the post that I mentioned below. I hope id is okay to share the link here for Debb.

    Hi Debb, I have The Joy of Cooking and found the recipe for pumpkin cookies. I posted it on my blog for you here: http://keeninspirations.blogspot.com/2013/10/old-fashioned-pumpkin-cookies.html

    [Reply]

  98. Ann Guinn says

    Thanks, Laura, for your wonderful idea! Thanks, also to those who responsed to my query above (about how to process w/o a food processor). I really liked this method, as it was not only easier, but also kept enough moisture in the pumpkin that I was able to just mash it by hand. I then ran my hand mixer through, just to smooth it up a bit. It is wonderful!

    [Reply]

  99. Tammy Dudley says

    I am baking my pie pumpkins as I speak!! LOL Just wanted to add that you can puree your baked pumpkin, spread it out on the nonstick drying sheets in your dehydrator evenly to about 1/8 inch thick. Dry it then grind it in your spice grinder to a fine powder (I recommend you sift out the bigger pieces and regrind them). Several small pumpkins can go into a quart jar like that. Just take out 1/4 cup of the pie powder, place in a small bowl and pour about 3/4 to 1 cup of boiling water on it and within 15 minutes you have pureed pumpkin which is enough for 1 pumpkin pie and it tastes like fresh and if you have a food saver you can keep the jar of pumpkin powder sealed and reseal it after use and it will last years.

    [Reply]

    Sheila Reply:

    Thanks for sharing this Tammy! I’m always on the lookout for dehydrator ideas and along w/ whole pumpkin baking, my pumpkins will be fast to work up and easy to store!!
    I don’t have a spice grider. Will a coffee grinder work you think??

    [Reply]

    Tammy Dudley Reply:

    A coffee grinder works but I would buy one just
    for spices and keep one for just coffee only.
    That what I do. :)
    You can also dehydrate and powder sweet potatoes,
    squash.
    Apple peels dried and powdered are great in spiced teas
    along with orange and lemon zest.

    [Reply]

  100. says

    I just gave this a try today and it is soooo easy! One question: since the seeds have already been cooked inside the pumpkin, can you just roast them per your normal recipe? Has anyone tried it?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, that should work!

    [Reply]

  101. Karen Y says

    This may be a silly question, but do you have to use pie pumpkins or would the purée be good for baking from a bigger pumpkin?

    [Reply]

    Birdie Reply:

    Hi Karen Y. You question is not silly, I’ve asked this before 8->. Pie pumpkins are denser and large pumpkins have more water. The taste is superior in pie pumpkins.

    [Reply]

    Sheila Reply:

    I use bigger pumpkins (field pumpkins, jack-o-latern pumpkins) for baking without problem. Sometimes I have to drain the liquid off if I freeze the puree, but that’s not a problem.

    I just purchased 10 big pumkins from Wal-Mart for 1 penny a piece!!! I’m trying the whole pumpkin baking right now ;)

    [Reply]

    Kristin Reply:

    I agree pie pumpkins are superior in flavor! And, when compared to the price of canned pumpkin, still a bargain. I’ve found pie pumpkins for as little as $1.50 at the farmers market.

    I like to freeze my pureed pumpkin in pre-measured amounts for my favorite recipes. I simply label the ziplock bags as pie, muffins, pancakes as bars. This way I can plan out exactly how many of each baked good I want to make that fall/winter. It keeps me from freezing more pumpkin then I actually need/use.

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I agree with what everyone else said, however, if you did want to make a substitute that would be fine.

    [Reply]

  102. Jennifer says

    I bought two pumpkins with the idea to can puree.. I have read over and over and over that canning pumpkin isn’t recommended????

    Someone help me understand this please????

    [Reply]

    Birdie Reply:

    Hi Jennifer. I can my puree with no problems. If its low acid, you have to pressure can it.

    [Reply]

    Sheila Reply:

    I like this page;s explanations for why not to canned pureed pumpkin (cubes/dices is fine)http://pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/pumpkinprecautions.php

    and just in case you haven’t found this resource on preserving pumpkin……
    http://nchfp.uga.edu/tips/fall/pumpkins.html

    I don’t have a lot of freezer space for pumpkin puree so I’m going to try drying it like Tammy Dudley commented on Oct. 10.

    Good luck!!

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I think these are good sources. I would say to be safe I would just freeze it in jars. :)

    [Reply]

  103. Julie says

    Thank you for an upbeat, well-spelled blog. Your sense of humor cracks me up–I can identify all too well with working so hard “to not lose a finger”. My brothers have kidded me my whole life, “Put down that knife and step away,” or “Here, sis, let me do that so you don’t get hurt.”

    I have baked large and small pumpkins. I don’t remember stabbing them, but that might account for why my pumpkin seemed liquid-y–maybe the vents allow the excess moisture to escape.

    [Reply]

  104. Dottie Skelley says

    Thanks for the info. I frequently cook large squashes and they are even harder to cut in half than pumpkins!! I will try this method. I usually cook them in my microwave. I have a large microwave, so think a large squash would fit in whole. I see by your photos that you don’t know about Oven liner mats. The one I have goes on the bottom rack rather than the bottom of the oven because my coils are enclosed, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference in oven use but sure makes oven cleaning easier. You just pull it out and wipe it off, wash with soap and water and replace. Since the majority of oven cleaning involves the bottom of the oven, I hardly ever have to clean the whole oven!

    [Reply]

  105. Karen P. says

    I cooked pumpkin for the first time last year. I cut it, steamed it and used my immersion blender. I think baking it would be easier. I then put it in quart size ziplock freezer bags. I must warn you that when I take them out if the freezer to thaw, the liquid leaks out. It has happened to every bag. So now they thaw in a bowl. Food tastes better with fresh pumpkin, especially scones! ????

    [Reply]

  106. Lorie says

    You have convinced me. My boys got pumpkins from a local patch a few weeks ago. If they are still good, I will try this today instead of going to buy pumpkin at the store :)

    [Reply]

  107. says

    ….I can’t believe it’s that easy to make your own pumpkin puree at home. I thought about it, vs buying the cans, but thought “naw, it’s probably hard and time-consuming.”
    I am getting an extra pumpkin or two next year!! (Can’t find any locally right now.)

    I do have a question–how much puree do you get out of one medium pumpkin?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    The one I cooked yesterday gave me 4-5 cups.

    [Reply]

  108. Karen Dee says

    I made pumpkin puree from a pumpkin centuries ago. I thought I’d try it again a couple of yrs ago. Bought a pie pumpkin. It was just awful. So much so I vowed to never use anything but canned. I imagine I got a bad pumpkin like you can get a bad squash. I was so disappointed.

    [Reply]

  109. Ricke W says

    So glad I found this site. We were given a stack of pumpkins and after cutting up two I had so many blisters I lost the use of my right hand. Whole pumpkin in the oven now!!

    Did you know that pumpkin seeds were a natural wormer for your chickens?

    [Reply]

  110. sharon says

    One of my pumpkins has started to blacken right around the stem, should I cut that part off to check the inside to see if it is ok, or go ahead and bake it and then check?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I would cut the black part off and peek inside first. :)

    [Reply]

  111. Jennifer says

    Can you cook and eat the big pumpkins or do they have to be “pie” pumpkins?
    Thanks

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve not had great success with cooking large pumpkins in the past. The smaller pie pumpkins work best for me. :)

    [Reply]

    Sheila Reply:

    I did 10 big ‘ole field pumpkins (1 cent after Halloween) last year. I’ve used that puree in everything!! Breads, muffins, as a fat replacer, as a filler in casseroles, mixed w/ refried beans etc. I chopped some uncooked pumpkin and we’ve ate it along with other root vegetables as roasted vegetables. I’ve even served it just cooked/steamed with butter as a side dish – that was no ones favorite ;)

    I’ve never had pie pumpkins so I can’t compare, but I was very pleased with the puree I got from field pumpkins, esp. considering that 1 cent sale price ;)

    I did use Laura’s whole pumpkin cooking method and it works soooooo great!!!

    [Reply]

    Bernadette O'D Reply:

    For years I have cooked the pumpkins the day after Halloween (we always carved them) by cutting into small pieces and boiling them. Peeling and mashing afterwards. The large pumpkins have always been edible but very stringy. I would use them more so in making breads instead of pies. I did buy a pie pumpkin last year and did not think they were much different than the larger ones other than not as stringy. I would let the smashed pumpkin sit to let the water rise and drain. Sometimes doing this for days. I have a large pumpkin sitting on the counter staring at me so I will try baking in the oven as suggested. I am thinking I will not have as much liquid to drain off since I am not immersing in a large pan of water. If this fails, I do have canned pumpkin as a back-up. Thanks everyone for the awesome posts and recipes.

    [Reply]

  112. Robyn Owens-Miille says

    My 3 year old niece is driving me crazy to “cook a pumpkin and make a pumpkin pie.” So, that’s what we’re doing this weekend. I bought 4 small sugar pumpkins and we’re going to use your method. I figure it will be so much easier than trying to cut it open with a 3 year old underfoot.

    [Reply]

  113. NPHighview says

    I just “rendered” a Kubocha squash in about 30 minutes, start to finish. My method is a little different: I take a big bread knife & cut the squash in half, and scoop out the strands & seeds with a soup spoon. I then cut the halves into smaller pieces. I drop them into the tub of an electric pressure cooker, add a quarter-cup of water, set the temperature to “Pressure High” and the timer to 8 minutes. Once the pressure drops back off, I pick the pieces out, and scoop the soft flesh off the skin and into the pitcher of my blender, picking out the tiny pieces of the skin that fall in. I puree the flesh, and then pour the results into a strainer, letting it drip out for ~10 minutes.
    If you’re doing a bunch of pumpkins or squash, this can set up a nice pipeline, where one person is quartering and seeding, another is packing the pressure cooker and processing the results of the previous pressure cooker batch.
    Have fun!

    [Reply]

  114. Anne A says

    Great – no fooling around with giant pots, stove top mess, and cheese cloth to get the excess moisture out. Elegantly simple. Thank you very much.

    [Reply]

  115. melanie says

    Laura,
    This is probably not the best post to ask my question on … HOwever, here I am in this comment box anyway! :D

    Help, please!

    I’ve been searching again for your link to/description of your food processor. My husband has long ago promised me a replacement for mine, and I just haven’t taken the plunge yet. So once again today, as I am hand shredding 6 cups of carrots, I *wish* the shredder on my old processor wasn’t broken. {the hazards of shredding soap for laundry use} 8-)
    And I think it must be truly time to replace the whole thing.

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Here’s what I have: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/my-new-kitchen-aid-food-processor-and-a-little-frozen-fruit-drama :)

    [Reply]

    melanie Reply:

    Thank you! Just added it to our wish list, so hubby or kids will know what to order for Christmas ;-)

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  116. says

    Thanks for this blog on dealing with a whole pumpkin. Gonna try it later today, but meanwhile, thought I’d share my tip on cutting acorn squashes. I purchased a rubber mallet at the hardware store and dedicated it “for kitchen use only”. When we want to cut acorn squashes in half for our favorite recipe, I use a kitchen knife with just the right profile (skinny at the cutting edge and quite a bit thicker at the opposite edge). I position the knife where I want to inflict the cut. Then I pick up that rubber mallet and start pounding about in the middle of the knife. The blade goes into the pumpkin flesh pretty easily. Once the blade disappears into the flesh and I can no longer hit it in the middle, I start pounding at the end of the blade. Eventually, the wedge shape of the blade winds up splitting the squash (similar to how the wedge on an ax ‘helps’ with splitting a piece of firewood). Works pretty slick. The pumpkin I have is slightly bigger than an acorn squash so I’m thinking this trick would work on the pumpkin also for those who want to open it and remove the seeds before cooking.
    Happy Cooking!

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  117. Catherine says

    I have the luck of parents and grandparents who taught me to cook everything from scratch, so I could not resist my neighbors offer if anyone wanted their large uncut Halloween pumpkins.
    Oh yes. after one and one half hours, it smells heavenly, and a whole pumpkin, so far.
    Cooling time and we shall see how this process works. Looking forward to my own pumpkin soup, muffins and pies.
    We all it all to the natives of the New World. I trust it is this winter squash native to the New World.

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