How To Cook Pumpkin And Enjoy This Seasonal Staple With Every Meal

If you don’t love pumpkin in everything when this gourd is in season, then you should stop reading right now. This post is solely for the pumpkin lovers out there who want to know the best ways to cook pumpkin.

Now that I have the attention of the truly pumpkin-obsessed, let’s get down to business. Are you a little unsure of how to cook pumpkin? It’s true; it can be a little intimidating to think about cracking open one of those hard, orange vegetables and turning it into something edible. However, there’s no need to fear! Cooking pumpkin can range from literally throwing the thing in the oven, to breaking it down and sticking it in the microwave. The level of effort is completely up to you.

Sound too easy? Well, I’m going to be honest… it is. Pumpkin is not the most difficult vegetable out there to cook, and once you do cook it, you can make literally hundreds of different recipes with it!

I pulled together the ultimate guide to cooking pumpkin for anyone who either hasn’t cooked pumpkin, or still has questions about cooking it. The cooking techniques outlined below are particularly easy for any level of home cook. Ready to dive in and get started down the path to delicious pumpkin? I thought so.

1. Break it down, and roast it

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Break down the pumpkin by cutting it in half. Scoop out the insides and the seeds (save the seeds for later!).

3. Cut the pumpkin into either one-inch chunks or slices after carefully removing the skin. Spread the pieces out onto a baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until you can easily run a knife through the pumpkin flesh.

Check out this recipe from Steamy Kitchen.

2. Microwave it

1. Break down the pumpkin by cutting it in half. Scoop out the insides and the seeds (again, save the seeds for later!).

2. Place in a microwave safe dish, and add water to the dish until about a half-inch deep.

3. Microwave pumpkin halves until cooked through, and you can slice through it easily with a knife. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes depending on the size of the pumpkin.

Check out this recipe from The Kitchn.

3. Bake it whole

Note: This works best for smaller pumpkins, around five to six inches around.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Bake the entire pumpkin for approximately 45 minutes in the bottom third of your oven.

3. When it's soft enough to slice through easily, cut the pumpkin open, and scoop out the insides and seeds.

Check out this recipe from The Kitchn.

4. Don’t forget the seeds!

1. Dry the seeds completely after cleaning them under cold water. Toss them with a little olive oil, and season with salt. Then spread them in an even layer on a lined baking sheet.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Check out this recipe by Oh She Glows.

You're ready to make anything from pumpkin puree to pumpkin ravioli!

Looking for more fall food ideas? Check out Bustle on YouTube.

Bustle on YouTube

Images: Oh She Glows; Steamy Kitchen; The Kitchn; The Kitchn; The Kitchn; The Kitchn; Natasha's Kitchen; Oh She Glows