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How to cook pumpkin and in which recipes to use it once cooked

Cooking the pumpkin is simpler than you might think: despite its size and particularly tough skin, the pumpkin is a great ally in the kitchen because it lends itself to many recipesfrom appetizers to desserts.

You can cook it whole simply in the oven, using the pulp obtained later for different preparations, such as gnocchi, or cook it already to slice. Cut into cubes and sautéed in a pan, it requires very quick cooking times, but remember that you can also blend it and then use it in risottos, soups and sweet or savory pies.

Read also: Autumn menu, dishes to bring to the table from appetizer to dessert

How to make a pumpkin

Before understanding how to cook pumpkin, let’s see how to prepare it, that is, how to clean and cut it.

If you bought one whole pumpkinyou can cook it with the zest without cutting it. In this case:

  • wash it well under running water
  • dry it
  • put it in the hot oven.

Prefer to cut it? Proceed like this:

  • Wash it well under running water and dry it
  • Place it on a cutting board
  • Use a smooth-bladed knife and cut it in half first (be careful because the stem is very hard, so leave it whole)
  • Clean internal filaments and seeds
  • Proceed by cutting the pumpkin into slices then into cubes, using the knife to remove the skin (if you want to cook it in quarters in the oven you can keep the skin)

The raw pumpkin pulp is the main ingredient for making Fluffy Pumpkin Pie, a perfect pantry dessert for breakfast or afternoon tea.

Save the Pumpkin

Cooking pumpkin often means disposing of large amounts of pulp, raw or cooked. Don’t worry: you can store it without any problem in the refrigerator for two or three days, closed in an airtight container.

You can also freeze pumpkin, both raw and cooked: in the first case, it is better to cut it into cubes and then put it in bags.

Cook the pumpkin

bake the pumpkin in the oven

Cooking pumpkin is easy if you know how to do it, also because you can actually eat almost any of these fall fruits. Among the different types of squash that exist, some lend themselves better than others to certain receipts, but in general, any pumpkin you have at home is safe to use in different preparations. As long as it’s not that of Halloween, obviously: it is not edible, use it only as decoration.

Pumpkin in the oven

Like, how to bake the pumpkin with the skin on? There are two ways.

The first is the simplest and consists of cooking the whole pumpkin, without removing the skin. That’s enough:

  • clean the pumpkin under running water or with a damp cloth to remove any dirt residue.
  • Then bake it at 200° for about 40 minutes: at the end it will be very soft and you won’t have to struggle to remove the skin.

With the pulp obtained you can prepare soups, soups, savory pies, dumplings, risottos or make pumpkin gnocchi.

The second method of cooking pumpkin in the oven is the cut it into slices, exactly as if it were a melon. In this case:

  • Clean it of filaments and seeds (you can keep the skin).
  • Place the slices on a baking sheet
  • Grease them with a little oil, sprinkle with salt and aromatic herbs
  • Bake at 190° for 20-30 minutes: the pumpkin is ready when it is golden on the surface and the fork goes in without encountering resistance.

An advice: While you bake the pumpkin, use the oven on to bake something else, like a cake or a casserole of baked vegetables.

Pumpkin in a pan


Pumpkin is great side dish: you can cut it into cubes and fry it in a pan with a little oil, a pod of Garlic he was born in Rosemary. Cook it for a few minutes over high heat, then dilute it with white wine (or water or broth), cover and continue cooking for at least five minutes: it is ready when it is tender but not too much.

It is an excellent method for cook the pumpkin quickly.

microwave the pumpkin

microwave the pumpkin it’s as simple as it is quick: cut it into slices of the same thickness (you can cook it with the skin on) or, if you prefer, into large chunks. Put it in a container suitable for microwave cooking and cook at maximum power for about 13 minutes: when ready, leave to stand for five minutes, then drain the liquid that has formed and use the cooked pulp in the way you prefer.

Boiled pumpkin

Boil the pumpkin is another simple way to cook it: depending on the quantity you need, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the pumpkin cut into small pieces and cook until tender. With the pumpkin obtained, you can prepare gnocchi, puree or use it in risotto or prepare a soup.

An advice: pumpkin cooking water it is an excellent broth to prepare the Risotto.

Cream Of Pumpkin


An excellent dish for cold evenings is Cream Of Pumpkin, alone or with potatoes. In this case, cut the pumpkin into pieces (or you can use the pre-cooked pulp prepared by baking the whole pumpkin in the oven), brown it in a pan with a little oil, the garlic and the onion, add the chopped potatoes, water, salt and cook. Once ready, mix everything, add a little parsley (you can also add a little cream to taste) and serve.

Pumpkin risotto

The pumpkin risotto it is a classic of Italian and autumnal cuisine. It is prepared by cutting the very small diced pumpkin and brown it with a little oil and onion for about 10 minutes, adding a ladle of broth until very tender and creamy. In another pan, grill the dry rice for two or three minutes, then dilute with a little white wine. Once the alcohol has evaporated, transfer it to pumpkin casserole and cook it in the classic way: turn off the heat, stir in the butter, add the grated parmesan and serve.

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