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Cooking a Whole Pumpkin

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The first time I cooked my own pumpkin for pumpkin puree. I thought it would be a lot of work. It really isn’t. I love the smell of the pumpkin cooking and you also get to roast some pumpkin seeds. With this recipe you cook the pumpkins whole which is easy and I’m all about doing things easier.

Pumpkins 1

This year I had a volunteer pumpkin plant pop up in my side yard. It grew enormous and produced 15 cooking pumpkins.

I cook two at a time. I use a lot of pumpkin in the winter. It’s a favorite of mine.

You’ll need:

small pumpkin(s)

baking pan

sharp knife

food processor

Pre heat oven to 350 F. Wash the dirt off pumpkin(s). Place in a large baking dish. I used my lasagna pan, it was just the right size for my 2 pumpkins. Katie is singing a made up pumpkin song to get us in the mood to do some pumpkin baking 😉


Give it several stabs to break the skin. Don’t want that baby exploding in the oven. Some suggest waiting until it’s cooked for about 15 minutes and the skin is not as hard. I don’t wait I just stab away. Watch those fingers!


Place on low rack in oven and bake for 1 1/2 hour or until fork tender.

Remove from the oven and slice in half to cool. Let it cool about 30 minutes.


Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a large  metal spoon. You can clean and roast them later if you like.


Remove the skin. It should peel off easily. Use a knife if you need to.


Put a few chunks in the food processor and puree.


I measure it into 2 cup portions to freeze in a freezer bag or a container. That amount works best for me. You can decide what works best for you.


2 pumpkins usually yield about 6 cups. I’m freezing 2 bags and using the other 2 cups to bake something delicious today :) You can lay them flat on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer so they will stack better when frozen and that means using up less of my precious freezer space.

It seems like a lot of work. I enjoy doing it and love the way my house smells right now. So to me it’s worth the little extra effort it takes. Try it for your pies this Thanksgiving. Then you can brag that it really is a from scratch pie.

(Post updated September 2015). I link to these fabulous parties.

Pumpkins 2


You might also like:

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting 6

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Glazed Pumpkin Cookies 126

 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

Pumpkin Seeds 012


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31 thoughts on “Cooking a Whole Pumpkin”

  1. Corso Mama says:

    I can taste the pumpkin pie right now!

  2. Sarah says:

    I love pumpkin but have not ventured out to cooking one on my own. Thanks for your sharing your tips for a puree!

    If you get a chance come link up your recipe at my Fall Edition Pin Party.


  3. Judy Haughton-James says:

    Very interesting. I have never cooked a whole pumpkin. Thanks for sharing. The picture featuring the flowers and pumpkins is very beautiful.

    1. Diane says:

      Thanks Judy. Have a wonderful week :)

  4. Michelle says:

    I love that you were serenaded with a pumpkin song. What a great day–pumpkin song, awesome smelling house, and fresh baked pumpkin…can’t beat it.
    Thank you for linking with See Ya In the Gumbo. Good to have you!

  5. Becca says:

    Perfect instructions -could follow just the pics, you have them so detailed. :) Thanks for linking-up at A Humble Bumble!

  6. Momma and boys living on a budget says:

    yeah thanks for the instructions on how to do! I would love for you to share this on the thrifty thursday weekly linkup!

  7. Betsy @ Romance on a Dime says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. This seems easier than cutting up the pumpkin when it’s raw. I’m pinning this. Thanks for linking up at Take it on Tuesday.

  8. Rachel@SmallStepsOnOurJourney says:

    I have never ever thought to cook pumpkins this way! AWESOME tip – can’t wait to pick up my own pumpkins!

  9. Pam@over50feeling40 says:

    You just inspired me to give this a try and move away from canned pumpkin! I came by from the blog hop and I am really glad that I did. I hope you can stop by my blog and say hello!!

  10. Christina @ Play Eat Grow says:

    I’ve never tried roasting a whole pumpkin before. That seems like a low-work way to get some delicious fresh pumpkin. Thanks for the tips!

  11. Erin @ A Crafty Cook says:

    This looks so easy and I bet it tasted better than the canned stuff. I’d love it if you stopped by my link party to share. http://acraftycook.blogspot.com/2012/09/1-month-of-fun-september-link-party.html

  12. Miz Helen says:

    Your little helper is just adorable. This is a great tutorial for preparing the pumpkin, and the puree will be so good for cooking. Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  13. Danni Baird says:

    This is great! I always thought you had to cut them up first!

  14. @noel_Rocs DaydreamingRealist.com says:

    oooh what a pretty mum!! Your recipe/method looks awesome! I freeze basically everything, because it let’s you make really great stuff later :) I’ll definitely do this after we take our little one pumpkin pickin’ for Halloween :)

    Following you from the wkend blog hop 😀
    I’m Daydreaming Realist if you wanna follow back 😀

  15. STLAVONLADY - Scatterbrained In St. Louis says:

    Very interesting. I just might try that this year. I have never thought or heard of doing this. I love cooking with my daughter too. Thanks!!

    Julie from Stlavonlady – Scatterbrained In St. Louis

  16. April @ The 21st Century Housewife says:

    I have never cooked pumpkin (I confess to using canned!) but this looks like a really straight forward process, and I do love roasted pumpkin seeds. I remember my late Dad would clean and roast the seeds after we made Jack o’Lanterns at Hallowe’en. They were such a treat!

    1. Diane says:

      My Dad taught me when I was a kid at halloween too. I still do it every year, now it’s with my grand children :)

  17. Katie says:

    I need to try to process my own pumpkin this year. This looks so simple!

    Katie @ Horrific Knits

  18. Michelle says:

    Diane, this is an awesome tutorial. I have never made my own pumpkin but I just might give it a try now. I use so much during the Fall and Winter it would probably be cost effective. Love the helper in the kitchen too, she is darling :) Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share next week! Have a wonderful weekend :)

  19. Katherines Corner says:

    oh my goodness I bet that smelled great cooking. I don’t cook with pumpkin much. But I love this idea I may try it. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop. Your participation helps make it a success.I’m sorry I am slow to visit this week as I am fighting a nasty head cold and my time on the computer has been limited.Wishing you a beautiful day .

    1. Diane says:

      Sorry to hear that you are ill. Feel better soon :)

  20. Lyza @ Chic Shades of Green says:

    Thanks for the directions, I always let them rot :-(, but lucky for me those rotten pumpkins from last year volunteered in my garden so I have at least 3 this year and would love to do something with them.

  21. K @ Claiming Our Space says:

    I cooked pumpkins last year for the first time and was amazed at how easy it was. Though our cooked pumpkin is for the dog since a bit in her breakfast is good for her digestion. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday. Hope to see you tomorrow.

  22. Elsa says:

    Wow, that definitely was easy. I thought it would be a pain to do, so I’ve always avoided it. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul. I can’t wait to start freezing pumpkin puree this year. :)

  23. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this at All my Bloggy Friends last week. I can’t wait to see what you share tomorrow! :)

  24. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says:

    That is so easy! I feel like I can smell it!! 😉 Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! Its awesome bloggers like you that make our party wonderful! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) See you next Friday! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  25. Amanda @Natural Living Mamma says:

    This is very convenient timing! We just bought 4 pie pumpkins. I am going to try this.

    Thanks so much for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

  26. Linda says:

    This is how I cook spaghetti squash and it’s really easy. I confess that I don’t cook pumpkin anymore. I used to skin it, cut it up in chunks, and boil it on the stove. Lots of work there. But baking is a really easy option. Yea, it’s doable. Thanks for the tip. I love it. But it’s the freezing part that’s even better. Then you have the real pumpkin, homecooked, ready to go whenever you need it. Thanks for hooking up to the Pumpkin Party!! Best wishes, Linda

  27. Leanne says:

    I can’t wait to do this! I didn’t know you could cook a whole pumpkin. The last time I cooked pumpkin, I sliced it in half and did it that way, but at least now I can double the amount that I cook!

  28. Denyse @ Glitter, Glue & Paint says:

    I LOVE pumpkin pie!! If I only baked.

    Thanks for linking up to Throwback Thursdays.


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