How to Cook Pumpkin

How to Cook Pumpkin
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How to Cook Pumpkin

Roast as a Side

Cut a 1 1/2- to 2-lb. pumpkin into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Roast at 375°F, stirring once, until tender, 15 to 25 minutes.

Snack on Seeds

Mix 1 cup cleaned seeds, 1 teaspoon canola oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt; spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

Puree for a Pie

Place halved, seeded pumpkin, cut-side down, in a steamer basket; cover and cook over boiling water until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. When cool, scoop the flesh into a food processor; puree. Freeze measured portions for use in desserts and soups.

Click through the slideshow for recipes that will allow you to put your pumpkin to good use!

Pumpkin Spice Kisses Sugar Cookies

Don't miss your chance to incorporate Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses into your baking!

Click here for the recipe: Pumpkin Spice Kisses Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Cake With Dried Cranberries

Combine two of our favorite fall flavors with this delicious pumpkin cake with dried cranberries.

Click here for the recipe: Pumpkin Cake With Dried Cranberries

Orange-Date Pumpkin Muffins

They might take more than an hour to create, but with the combination of cinnamon, orange and pumpkin, they're worth every minute.

Click here for the recipe: Orange-Date Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Want pumpkin for breakfast? Try making these delicious doughnuts!

Click here for the recipe: Pumpkin Doughnuts

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting? Count us in.

Click here for the recipe: Pumpkin Bars

Savory Pumpkin Pie Soup With Cinnamon Marshmallow

This pumpkin soup (with a twist) is sure to warm you up and please your appetite simultaneously.

Click here for the recipe: Savory Pumpkin Pie Soup With Cinnamon Marshmallow

Cranberry, Clementine & Pumpkin Seed Conserve

Fun fact: Cranberries only need to be cooked for a few minutes before they burst and form a sauce.

Click here for the recipe: Cranberry, Clementine & Pumpkin Seed Conserve

Pumpkin Apple Mash

The comforting flavors of the fall harvest are prominently featured in this sweet and savory side dish that's easy to make and ready in just 30 minutes.

Click here for the recipe: Pumpkin Apple Mash

Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

You don't have to have pumpkin pie to enjoy pumpkin and spice in a fall dessert. This tender, moist cake uses pureed pumpkin to replace much of the fat and is seasoned with classic fall flavors.

Click here for the recipe: Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup

Apples add just a hint of sweetness to this velvety pumpkin soup.

Click here for the recipe: Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup


Pumpkin has a luscious, custardy texture and earthy taste kissed with the ripe sweetness of autumn. And while the canned version is quite convenient, don't be afraid to cook the real deal. Preparing pumpkin is easy. The trick is in starting with the right variety: those big jack-o'-lantern breeds might look amazing on your porch, but they're bred for durability, not flavor. Instead, opt for smaller "sugar pie" varieties — they have a smoother texture and are deliciously sweet. Or try the increasingly popular white Lumina pumpkins, which taste ­satiny and have orange, sweet flesh beneath their pale skin. You can even cook softball-sized mini pumpkins.

Whatever you pick, make sure it's firm and without soft spots. Check that the stem is attached, too, as this can be a source of rot. In cool conditions, pumpkins keep for months without rotting (they love a 60-degree porch). In fact some get sweeter over time, so don't feel pressured to bake pies on the same day you buy pumpkins. And remember to appreciate the pumpkin's health benefits: It's packed with dietary fiber and is a great source of vitamin A, which promotes good vision.

Check out the slideshow above for three ways to cook pumpkin and additional recipes for inspiration!

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