How to Roast a Pumpkin (or Autumn-Winter Squash)

Come October, our family eats a lot of pumpkin! We add it in our oatmeal, waffle and pancake batter, we bake pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins and loaves, we turn it into pudding, we stir it into our curries, make pumpkin cream sauce to pour over our pasta and who can’t forget the pumpkin smoothies we drink by the gallon! Oh and don’t forget the seeds! Those are another pumpkin treat we love. We can’t get enough pumpkin!

Sugar Pumpkin

Sugar Pumpkin

While we rely on canned pumpkin a lot, nothing beats roasting your own fresh pumpkin. It makes it so easy to puree and flavor yourself. Pumpkins are easy to roast and just like their cousins the squash family, you roast pumpkins in the same way and it’s really a quick thing to do, you will be surprised how simple it is. Believe it or not, my sweet sister has never roasted a pumpkin before, so this blog is for her.

The sugar pumpkins, pie pumpkins or baking pumpkins are sweeter than the larger pumpkins you see that are used for carving jack-o’lanterns. The insides are also less stringy than carving pumpkins, which makes them perfect for sweet or savory pumpkin dishes.

The flavor of a roasted pumpkin is a little different, it’s very buttery and has a little nuttier taste. Once you puree the pumpkin it won’t be as compact as that coming from a can but boy will you be blown away by how good it tastes!

Pumpkin Puree

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

      Roasted Pumpkin

A simple, easy way to roast a pumpkin or any winter squash and how to make your own pumpkin puree for a homemade pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, muffins, smoothies and more.

1-2 sweet or baking pumpkin (2-3 lbs each), washed

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a large cutting slice a small piece of the skin off of a side of the pumpkin. Lay the pumpkin on this side to prevent it from rolling away while you split the pumpkin. Using a large knife, slice the pumpkin in half. With a metal spoon or ice cream scooper, scoop out the pumpkin seeds and guts from the interior. Place the seeds aside to later make  Toasted Pumpkin Seeds.
    Sugar Pumpkin seeds removed

    Sugar Pumpkin seeds removed

     

  3. Lay the pumpkin halves flesh side down on the lined baking sheet. Place in hot oven and roast for about 40-50 minutes or until the skin gets soft and you can easily poke a knife or form into the skin. The cooking time will vary based on how big the pumpkin, but color of the skin should be a little darker and slightly wrinkly.

    pumpkin-5 04526

    Baked pumpkin, softened skin and darker in color.

  4. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for about an hour or until cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, remove the flesh from the pumpkin skin and place into a food processor or high-speed blender. Process until smooth. Pumpkin puree can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or can be placed in freezer for about 3 months.

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