How to Roast a Pumpkin

The tradition of roasting a fresh pumpkin is one the boys and I have had for years. 🎃🎃🎃

We love using freshly roasted pumpkin, also referred to as cooked pumpkin, in my pumpkin dessert recipes like homemade Low-Carb Pumpkin Pie.

paleo pumpkin pie

While I like freshly roasted pumpkin, because it’s cheaper and has an amazingly rich depth of flavor, my friend Deb who is a master in the kitchen, prefers to use canned pumpkin in her pumpkin recipes.

Along those lines, my Nut-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe calls for canned pumpkin, which is a great way to go if you’re in a hurry.

Either way, my how to cook pumpkin tutorial will give you valuable kitchen skills.

Canned Pumpkin or Cooked Pumpkin?

And a quick note to avoid confusion. Some of my recipes call for fresh cooked pumpkin, i.e., freshly roasted pumpkin, while others use canned.

With a few of them, you get to choose between freshly roasted or canned pumpkin. However, that is not the case for all of them. If a recipe calls for one, do not substitute the other.

How Long Does it Take to Cook Pumpkin in the Oven?

So, first things first, how long does it take to cook a whole pumpkin? It kinda depends on the size of your pumpkin. A larger one will take a bit longer because there is simply more of it to cook. Likewise, a smaller pumpkin will take less time. Overall, I find it takes somewhere between 45-70 minutes to roast a pumpkin in the oven.

How to Roast a Pumpkin Recipe

How to Choose a Pumpkin for Roasting

Choose a firm, small pie pumpkin, not more than 3-4 pounds. Smaller pumpkins tend to be a bit sweeter. Skip that giant pumpkin and save it to make a jack-o-lantern.

How to Roast a Pumpkin

Print Pin Recipe


  • 1 small pie pumpkin


  • Rinse pumpkin under warm water, removing dirt
  • Cut pumpkin in half on a large cutting board with a sharp knife
  • Scoop out seeds with a metal spoon, I use an old measuring spoon that has a nice edge
  • Lay pumpkin face side down in a large baking dish
  • Cover with ¼ inch water
  • Bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) or until tender, using a fork to check
  • Remove from oven and scoop out insides, discarding skin
  • Store in refrigerator in a glass mason jar
  • Keeps for 5 days in refrigerator
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

How to Cook Pumpkin in the Oven

Now we’re going to learn to cook pumpkin in the oven so that you can get to the super fun part of this article and learn how to make many low-carb pumpkin desserts for you and yours.

How to Roast A Pumpkin The Easy Way

If you are in a rush, cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces and it will cook faster. The pumpkin in the picture above was rather large (for a pie pumpkin) and I had to cook it for over an hour.

How to Roast a Pumpkin Recipe

Use Pumpkin or Other Winter Squash for Roasting

The above pumpkin preparation technique is great for pumpkins and other winter squash such as:

  • Butternut
  • Buttercup
  • Acorn Squash
  • Kabocha
  • Hubbard

I often substitute these squash in my recipes that call for pumpkin and it works very well, sometimes even better than sugar pumpkin.

How to Cook Butternut Squash

I do have a wonderful little How to Roast Butternut Squash tutorial that you can check out. It’s very similar to the how-to roast a whole pumpkin tutorial that you have here.

What to Do with Roasted Pumpkin?

Now for the fun part. We’re getting to all of the amazing ways to use the roasted pumpkin.

Healthy Low-Carb Pumpkin Recipes

First, though, did you know that pumpkin is a healthy low-carb food that’s full of fiber? It’s not just delicious, it’s really good for you. Here’s a link to all of my pumpkin recipes.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I have two incredible easy homemade pumpkin pie recipes for you. If you have an egg allergy, my Vegan Pumpkin Pie is for you. This is an easy no-bake pumpkin pie recipe that our whole family loves.

The filling has seven ingredients total and calls for baked pumpkin. Although it has a dash of sweetener in it, it’s so low-carb that we consider it a keto pumpkin pie.

I created my classic yet healthy, Paleo Pumpkin Pie back in 2013. It’s our family’s healthy version of the Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe. Baby Pantry asks me to make it all year round, he loves it that much. This is a baked custard made with 6 ingredients total, and you can use roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin in the recipe.

Does Pumpkin Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

A quick digression from the recipes for a pro-tip on how to store pumpkin pie. If you’re wondering does pumpkin pie need to be refrigerated, the short answer is yes.

I leave mine out on the counter overnight to cool, but that’s it, after that into the fridge it goes. It won’t matter if your pie filling is made with fresh roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin, throw it in the fridge to make it stay fresh for up to four or five days. If it lasts that long!

pumpkin crumb muffins

Nut-Free Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

My family goes crazy for these Nut-Free Pumpkin Crumb Muffins made with a coconut flour base and a coffee cake-like streusel on top. These are so good I want to stop typing and run to the kitchen to bake them right now.
paleo pumpkin bread

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

Did you know that when my younger son was a baby he ate so much squash and pumpkin that he turned orange? This amazing Paleo Pumpkin Bread was, and still is, one of his favorite treats. Try it for yourself and see why.

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Cookies Recipe

Nut-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re not in the mood to roast a pumpkin, you can make my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies which are made with canned pumpkin. These pumpkin cookies are incredible for the spooky season but we love them so much we make ’em all year round. While most of my cookie recipes are made with almond flour, these are an incredible nut-free treat.

Paleo Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

My easy Pumpkin Cranberry Granola has eight ingredients total, that’s it. If you want to turn it into a low-carb, keto granola recipe, leave out the cranberries and you’re good to go, with only seven ingredients. It’s super easy to make granola from scratch. The only problem I have is that when I make it for the family it’s gone in one day. They like it that much!

What’s Your Favorite Pumpkin Recipe?

Here’s wishing you a good time on your roasted pumpkin adventures! I hope you had fun learning how to roast a pumpkin! Leave a comment and let me know. What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe? 🎃

This post is an oldie but goodie from the archives, I first published it in 2008.

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paleo cooking from elana's pantryGluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

This works perfectly –I’ve done it for the second time today.


161 responses to “How to Roast a Pumpkin”

  1. My hands are no longer strong enough to easily cut open a pumpkin, or other winter hard squashes. I gave this a try and it works quite well: I wash it, oil it and put the whole pumpkin (winter squashes) in the oven at 350degrees. Cook til done, remove from oven, slice open, scoop out seeds, and voila! It’s ready to eat, or use in pies etc. Elana, thank you soooo much for your generous sharing of recipes and tips. I only wish you as much good and well being as is possible. By the way, I have purchased all your books. I love them.

    • Suzanne, thanks for sharing your method here and also for buying my books! Glad you are enjoying the recipes :-)

  2. I have arthritis and cannot cut a pumpkin or a squash in half.

    So I have to either ask a neighbor, or a super market employee, to cut it in half, or simply bake it whole. Baking it whole is certainly the easiest. Then as it is totally soft, cut it in half and scoop out the innards ( the seeds and stringy stuff).

    You can choose then whether to save the seeds and dry them, or simply discard the innards. As we age we need to be creative!

  3. Hi Elena, thanks for this info – super helpful! I’m wondering why the different measurements for roasted pumpkin vs canned?? Also I’ve been pressure cooking my pumpkin, u think I should follow roasted instructions (or canned)? Mine is def a bit thinner than the canned. Thank u!

    • Kimberly, thanks so much for your comment! Per your first question, I’m not sure what you’re referring to in terms of different measurements but happy to help if you can clarify. I haven’t ever pressure cooked my pumpkin so not sure how that would compare, love the idea though :-)

  4. Hey Elana, your vegan pumpkin pie and nut-free pumpkin crumb muffins are my favorite. All your pumpkin theme recipes guide is a treat for pumpkin lovers. Thanks for sharing these super easy and delicious recipes with us.

  5. Some of the pumpkin “meat” in the large of my two small pumpkins is still a bit hard after
    I scraped it out. Would you recommend just baking those pieces a little longer in the oven (outside of the pumpkin skin)?

  6. I roasted a crook neck pumpkin in a 350 degree oven. Took it out and removed the skin. I put it through a cone manually pushing the pumpkin through the holes with a wooden stick. Sort of primitive but this is the way I make applesauce. It seems a little watery. I want to make pies. Please help!

    • Don’t put water in the pan when roasting if you want to use the pumpkin for pies. Spray the pan first or use a very thin layer of oil to keep them from burning. Some pumpkins are super juicy and extra water makes them tough to use for pie. HOWEVER, if your pumpkin is already juicy you can use 1 TB per 9in pie of corn starch in the mix before baking in order to solidify the results better . I’ve been making pies totally from scratch for over 40 years, learned from both my grandmothers. :-)

    • I read in another post to strain the cooked pumpkin in a mesh strainer until all the liquid drains out. May take an hour or more and you might still need to pour off liquid after putting it in storage container. Same site recommended using liquid for soups or other dishes you need to add liquid to…even feeding to animals!

  7. I guess im different. Get the skin off a butternut squash…. microwave x 2 minutes. An apple peeler will have it all off n a minute..

    Im going to stuff a pumpkim with cornbread dressing, and,cook it in the Insta Pot. I cant find,how long to cook, but if 8 mins =puree. I guess ill try 5 minutes.

    Hope its ok.. ill report back

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