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. Here’s a suggestion for roasting and freezing pumpkin or winter squash. I always roast them whole, around 350 degrees until I push on the side and it’s soft. Then cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and scoop the flesh out. Then I measure out the pulp with a 1/2 cup or cup measuring cup and dump out the “blobs” on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Separate them enough so they don’t stick together. Once they are frozen you can slide them off easily with a spatula and put them in a gallon freezer bag in the freezer. That way you are not trying to squeeze out the flesh from a bag. Just take out however many blobs you need for the recipe you’re making.

    • Theresa, thanks for your comment! If you’re going to eat the pumpkin plain the IP would be fine. I’m worried that if you’re using it for pie it could be too watery. If you do experiment I hope you’ll let us know if it works :-)

  2. TY I used the roasting in the oven method. It worked great results and my pumpkin soup was gret. The first time I roast my pumpkin and meade pumpkin soup for the first time.

  3. This is my first time using the water method and they came out great- Thank you! Usually when I roast pumpkins the cut side that’s down in the pan gets dark and hard so I have to discard it. This time that didn’t happen and I have a nice even color throughout that will be perfect for my pumpkin breads. The only thing I changed was I scooped the insides with a jack-o-lantern shaped Super Goop Scoop which cleans them really fast

  4. I like to put a whole (uncut) butternut squash in my slow cooker to bake. I’m going to try that with a neck pumpkin too! I may have to cut it in pieces to get it to fit tho. I added enough water to just cover the bottom of the slow cooker, set it on low and it was nice and soft til I got home from work about 7 hours later. I simply cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and the flesh was all ready to use in my butternut squash bisque.

    • This is my first time roasting a pumpkin WITHOUT MY WIFE’S supervision.
      We bought the large pumpkins(3) back in October.
      We stored the pumpkins in basement until now.
      The first two I helped my wife cut and clean them. I roasted the seeds.
      I have the pumpkin quartered and ready for oven. The temp is 375. I guess I will set timer for 45 minutes and go from there.
      Wish me luck!
      BTW I am 61 years old. The wife does ALL the cooking. I am sous chef.
      I make the Irish cream and kahlua on my own! LOL

      • Tim, thanks for your fantastic comment. I’m so happy to hear that you roasted a pumpkin on your own! That’s so awesome :-)

  5. I roast the WHOLE pumpkin. That way there is no “dangerous” cutting of the raw pumpkin. Poke a couple of holes in it just in case it decides to explode (mine never has). I prefer not using the water method…simply roasted. Makes for a less watery finished product and a delicious roasted flavour.

    • will definitely try the ‘whole baking method’…cuz these squashes can be slippery devils on the cutting board.

      THANKS for this ‘safety suggestion’–cuz who wants to injure themselves.

      • Much easier to cut if it’s below you a corner of in the sink and if you cut with a sharp knife. I just sharpened all of mine and what a difference! Makes cutting safer if you take your time.

    • Oh I had a pumpkin (or a large squash) explode in the oven last year (right after I cleaned it!) when I neglected to poke holes. It was pretty exciting and a mess to clean up. I’ll never do that again.

  6. Hi! This works perfectly – I’ve done it for the second time today. Do you know if you can freeze the pumpkin, once it’s roasted, or just store in the refrigerator? Many thanks

      • after baking, food processing I freeze the pumpkin 1 or 2 cups in freezer bags, ready for a smoothie or a pie.

      • After I bake a pumpkin, I measure one cup and put measured pumpkin into quart freezer bags and into the freezer. I always know how much pumpkin is in each bag when ready to bake.

      • Yes! I cook pumpkin and butternut and it easily freezes for year-round use. I put it in Ziplock bags. Then double bag a few bags in a larger bag to protect from freezer burn. Cold butternut squash in the summer is truly lovely with a bit of nutmeg grated on top!

    • Yes, I have always roasted pumpkins and once I scoop it out, I place it in small zip lock bags and store it in freezer for months. I use it to make pumpkin bread and tastes great!

      • Thanks Claudia I was wondering if I could freeze mine. I was told to can it but that’s a lot more work. I’m gonna make homemade pumpkin pies for Thanks giving.

        • Not safe to can cooked pumpkin according to the USDA but I have been freezing the cooked pumpkin and that works great.

          • You can can pumpkin if you use a pressure canner! Waterbath isn’t safe for most items, as that method doesn’t get the product being canned hot-enough to kill botulism, which gets into foods (including meats) from soil. Pumpkins are not acidic, so pressure-canning is necessary. The less acidic a produce is, the longer it must be processed for.

            Happy eating!!!

    • Freezing is the easiest way to preserve pumpkin, and it yields the best quality product. Select full-colored mature pumpkin with fine texture (not stringy or dry). Wash, cut into cooking-size sections and remove seeds. Cook until soft in boiling water, in steam, in a pressure cooker, or in an oven. Remove pulp from rind and mash. To cool, place pan containing pumpkin in cold water and stir occasionally (So Easy to Preserve, 2006). Pack into rigid containers leaving headspace, and freeze.

    • Yes, pumpkin can be frozen with no loss of quality or flavor. I’m getting ready to roast several pumpkins and freeze for the next year’s supply. Yum. Canned pumpkin (which I read now is actually squash) is awful.

    • I have froze fresh cooked pumpkin, for many yrs. And it will last up to 6 months in the freezer u do have 5days to use once you thaw it … I have always cut into small pieces and build it then puree it and put 2 cups in ziplock bags so I don’t have to thaw all at once just what I need for baking… hope this helps . Happy Holidays?? ?⛄❄?? ?

      • Fresh pumpkin puree will last in the freezer from 9 to 14 months and if canned, can last longer if in a dark, damp free storage area.

    • I always freeze pumpkin Simply put 2 cups of pureed pumpkin in each small freezer bag lay flat to spread pumpkin and so get air out Keeps nice for up to a year

    • I froze pumpkin after I roasted and puréed it for my children when they were babies. We then borrowed their purées to make pie!

    • We freeze some of our pumpkin every year no problem. My brother is a marine and usually doesn’t get to enjoy our pumpkin pie until Christmas time, but good luck finding any more pumpkins that time of year.

    • I always freeze 2 cups of roasted puree pumpkin in zip lock freezer bags and mix with 1 can pumpkin to use for my holiday recipes.

      • Jude, thanks for your comment! I’m wondering if you’ve tried that for any of the recipes on my website and if it’s worked :-)

    • Yes you can freeze pumpkin after it’s bake.
      I have done this for years. I make pumpkin purée by using the blender after baking.
      Then measure out 16oz once cooled,then use freezer bags. This year I am going to try canning in jars. My family loves pumpkin.

  7. So many great ideas! I read through almost all of them and feel inspired. I have to preserve my pumpkins this year due to leaky gut and its on my sensitivity list now. I know I will be able to put up my harvest with so many great ideas. Thanks to you all!
    Here is my tip: I was tired of having so much trouble cutting winter squash so I began using a 6 inch, heavy duty, pumpkin carving blade. Sometimes I will cut the bottom so its flat- like for acorn squash but for something like delicata, there is no need usually. Then, I start by the stem and cut one side straight down, then the other side, and then pull it open from the bottom to separate near the stem. Not only does this feel safer, it is fast.

    • Hello Skodle. I am new at this leaky gut condition, but noticed you shared you have the condition. Can you please tell me if pumpkin is an okay food for someone with this condition or not. Thanks.


  8. I appreciate all of the comments and questions… has anyone used a food processor? Does it come out as smooth? I do not have a Vita-Mix. Thanks!

  9. Gee, I just do the same with pumpkin or squash…..I am very lazy and impatient I guess….i half the item put them into a glass casserole dish with about 1 inch of water and cook in the microwave for 15 minutes or so depending on size.

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