How to Roast Pumpkin

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Halved pumpkin for our How to Roast Pumpkin tutorial

If you’ve just scraped seeds out of your pumpkin (save those for roasting!), then you’re ready to roast a pumpkin which is, no joke, the easiest squash to roast.

Just halve, scoop out the seeds, and bake!

Let me show you how with this easy, step-by-step tutorial that includes how to make pumpkin purée!

Halved Roasted Pumpkin on a baking sheet

How to Cook Pumpkin

After halving a pumpkin and removing the seeds, it’s time to make roasted pumpkin!

Brush the flesh of the pumpkin with oil to lock in moisture and help the edges caramelize. We like using coconut oil if adding to sweet dishes and avocado oil when adding to something savory.

Then sprinkle with a little salt, place flesh side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pierce the skin a few times with a fork or knife.

For a 2-3 pound sugar pumpkin (also called a pie pumpkin), we like to bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 Celsius) for 45-50 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the skin is tender when pierced with a fork.

Let the pumpkin cool slightly before handling.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Once the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin and add it to a high-speed blender or food processor.

Blend until creamy and smooth, adding a little water (only if needed).

What To Do With Roasted Pumpkin

If you need inspiration for how to use your baked pumpkin or purée, you’re in luck!

Try my Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Cranberry Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats, Pumpkin Pie Bars, Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie, Simple Pumpkin Soup, Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, Pumpkin Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin Pie Parfaits, Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream, and 20-Minute Pumpkin Butter!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Halved roasted pumpkin with the flesh side facing up

How to Roast Pumpkin

An easy-to-follow recipe for how to roast pumpkin and make homemade pumpkin purée! Perfect for pies, soups, pastas, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Spoon resting in the hollow portion of a halved pumpkin
4.93 from 28 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 (1-cup servings)
Course Helpful How-to
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month (or longer)
Does it keep? 1 Week


  • 1 2-3 lb. sugar pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil (if avoiding oil, sub water)
  • 1 pinch sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut pumpkin in half lengthwise (removing the top and bottom is optional). Then use a sharp spoon or ice cream scoop to scrape out all of the seeds and strings.
  • Brush the pumpkin flesh with oil, sprinkle with salt, and place flesh down on the baking sheet. Pierce skin a few times with a fork or knife to let steam escape.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin. Then remove pan from the oven, let the pumpkin cool for 10 minutes, then scoop out and use for whatever dish you’d prefer! See text links above.
  • If turning into purée, simply scoop pumpkin into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. if it has trouble blending, add a little water. But it shouldn’t need it!
  • Baked pumpkin and pumpkin purée will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or in the freezer for 1 month (or longer).



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 cup (one of 4 servings) of baked pumpkin or pumpkin purée calculated with coconut oil. 

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 one-cup serving Calories: 68 Carbohydrates: 9.4 g Protein: 1.5 g Fat: 3.5 g Saturated Fat: 2.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 37.7 mg Potassium: 493 mg Fiber: 0.7 g Sugar: 4 g Vitamin A: 12344 IU Vitamin C: 13 mg Calcium: 31 mg Iron: 1.2 mg

Reader Interactions



    ive never made a pie with a fresh pumpkin let alone know wgat a sugar pumpkin is?. my son in law brought home a little orange one perfectly round.
    is it a sugar pumpkin? . thank you for this info think can make it now except i need pumpkin pie spices. to make it taste right. what about coconut milk can it be substituted for evaporated milk???

  2. Andrea says

    Thanks! I used to grow a lot of sugar pumpkins. They keep well into late spring so I baked them often- but today, I couldn’t remember how!!! This was perfect. I love roasting the seeds as well. I just take off the pith, but I don’t wash the seeds at all- lots of flavor in that goop. I dehydrate them for a few hours at the lowest oven setting, then leave them over night with the oven off. Tomorrow I’ll toss them in some fat and seasoning and toast them quickly- only takes a few minutes. They will be good with my leftover pumpkin soup from tonight.

    • Shawn says

      I used olive oil on half the pumpkins and coconut oil on the other half. The coconut oil pumpkins I’ll use for pies etc. the olive oil ones for ravioli, etc. I pureed the filling, marked them and put it in the freezer for upcoming holiday cooking. I roasted the seeds for us to snack on and gave the cooked pumpkin skins to my chickens! Many uses out of one pumpkin! Thanks

  3. Bryanna Wood says

    I freeze three or four pumpkins worth in pint canning jars to have pumpkin all winter. Definitely lasts more than a month in the freezer!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Bryanna! We find 1 month is a conservative estimate to prevent frost accumulation =)

  4. katherine king says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I too was having trouble cutting the pumpkin due to arthritis so I decided t0 get out my meat mallot tenderizer and after hammering in my knife with the mallot I simply hammered it downward then turned the pumpkin half over and did it the other way, easy peasy. I then did the same thing to cut the slits in. I hope this is helpful to someone else.

  5. Ellen H. says

    I have baked sugar pumpkins for years now, but never remember what method I like best. So, strolling thru recipes today, I came across yours. This is now the only recipe I will use! I forgot to salt the skins but the oil really helped the roasting process, and the pulp came out of the skin so easily. I am having to drain the pulp before I freeze it for Thanksgiving use, but that is normal.

  6. Wendy says

    Promised my family sourdough pumpkin chocolate chip waffles this morning but we were out of canned pumpkin. Remembered I had pie pumpkins out in the garden (first time growing them). Found this recipe for roasting pumpkins and it worked beautifully. Simple and relatively fast. Breakfast was a screaming success, thank you for sharing this recipe!!!

  7. Sal says

    All of our local groceries were clear out of organic canned pumpkin! I put in on my dog’s food and my husband and my oatmeal every morning. What is going on their is none! So glad I found this recipe. Baking now!!!

      • ERIN says

        My dogs love it too! It’s so good for them! Not only the vitamins but it kills intestinal worms, so keeps them healthier systemically! I can’t wait to use my volunteer pumpkins in a pumpkin pie!! Never tried fresh pumpkin before!

    • Joanne says

      According to the pumpkin growers in central Illinois who supply most all of the canned pumpkin, they had a weather delay planting this year. They have plenty of pumpkins, just running a little late but will be available in time for holiday baking.

    • Jill Adair says,where%20Libby's%20pumpkin%20is%20made).

      I ran into the same problem several years ago and began roasting, pureeing, and storing my pumpkin in the freezer. Agreed, will last way longer in the freezer than 1 month, but understand you don’t want the liability of telling someone an exact timeframe. I use quart freezer bags and weigh the pumpkin to = a can. Label with the date and freeze flat. Love the fresh taste and better baking I get using the fresh pumpkin.

      • LYNN KELLY says

        I learned two thing in the last 12 month that someone else.
        If you dump the seeds into a bowl of water they come clean by thmselves while pumpkin roasts…just dry and roast.

        Frozen pumpkin lasted in my refrigerator freezer for over a year. I used last of it in early December for pumpkin pancakes and a couple days later for some pumpkin cookies. Tasted and smelled as good as it did when I froze it in November 2019!

      • Joyce says

        Hello, Jill – does the amount in the can of pumpkin puree go by weight or by volume? I’ve read there’s a difference between the ounces in a cup and the ounces in a pound. If not known, how about Dana?

  8. Samantha G. says

    Just got my first Sugar Pumpkin for the year out of my garden. It roasted perfectly per your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Stephanie, there are different varieties of pumpkins, but edible varieties can be cooked similarly. Cook times will vary based on the type of winter squash. We haven’t made a pumpkin pudding so can’t offer guidance there.

  9. David Thompson says

    Did this today. Added Ginger and salt then cooked. After baked put the halves in a large soup bowl. I put butter and Cinnamon infused Maple syrup in mine and my wife had butter and ground white pepper in hers. At it all down to the skin.

  10. Raincloud says

    My secret mac and cheese – cook up about 4 pounds of squash when it goes on sale (late fall, post Thanksgiving, 2/$1 pie pumpkins!), puree it, then freeze into ice cubes and use 2-3 in mac and cheese! Makes it seem more cheesy, adds veggies that my kid would otherwise HATE, and makes it a gorgeous texture and color! Thanks for helping me add to my repertoire of squashes!! Eat more veggies, they rock!

  11. Richard Day says

    Dana, I love this recipe for its ease of preparation. I ran the pumpkin for a half minute in our blender and it is so smooth. The taste is delicious.

    The seeds are still in the oven at 400 with some Worcester sauce for spice.

  12. Stephanie Ball says

    When I scooped out the pumpkin I took a taste of a little bit of it- it was slightly bitter! It was a “pie pumpkin” – is that normal? I’m making pumpkin pie. It has sugar and cream that will cut the bitter but I’ll start over if you think something is wrong?

  13. Kristina says

    Making homemade butternut squash puree for the first time to make a vegan pie for friends since we didn’t have pumpkins. Once done in the oven and pureed, is it used just as is? You don’t need to add anything else to substitute it as normal puree in a pumpkin pie recipe?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kristina, as long as the recipe calls for “pumpkin puree” and not “pumpkin pie mix,” then yes, you should be able to sub 1:1.

  14. Grandma Barbie says

    I love baking pumpkins this way!! My mother used to boil chunks until she discovered baking them! So much easier and so much less mess!! I always bake whatever pumpkin(s) we buy or are given. This year though I was a little hesitant as I went with my grands to a local pumpkin fundraiser. We laughed and took pictures with all our choice purchases! The sellers did not know if all the pumpkins were edible…so I googled it! My 37 pound, more pink than orange, pumpkin is just fine!! It was a little bear to cut in half, but that was because of how thick the flesh was!! My oh my!! Inside, the flesh was deep, bright orange!! (I’ve used yellow ones before, too.). I am so excited!! Apparently the exterior color is not the only indicator of inside beauty!
    I’ll let you know about the taste!!
    Thank you for your recipes!!!

  15. Emily M Davies says

    I do not mean to be negative but make sure your pumpkin is a “pie pumpkin” – or in other words grown to be consumed. Pumpkins grown for jack-o-lanterns have high levels of toxic chemicals added when they are growing and should not be eaten!

  16. Jonathan says

    I’m German and it’s basically impossible to find pumpkin puree in grocery stores here. I first tried recipes that cook the pumpkin to soften but they come out quite bland.
    This recipe yields a puree with an amazing depth of flavour, and as a plus, the oven is already pre-heated to roast the seeds! I have only tried it with hokkaido pumpkins so far but made some amazing pie and cake. Would 100% recommend roasting over cooking.

    • kabwetara says

      This morning I cooked the pumpkin with coconut oil and add sugar. I found it delicious , then I ate 1 teaspoon of pumpkin seeds and found that it taste good and sweets. I shared with my two diabetes friend with an idea that we will get good health from it. Is it good that we eat it raw?

  17. Mary LeBarron says

    If i buy squash , pumpkin or other hard surface vegetable i ask them at the store to cut it in half for me and they wrap them up in clear wrap same price also some8 cabbage if it’s a large head

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It should be advertised as such as the store. They’re essentially a small, sweeter pumpkin.

          • Helen A says

            Hi Misty,
            Here in Aus we just use the name of the pumpkin:- Jap,Kent, Qld Blue etc. We generally make soup & scones with our pumpkins.
            Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson’s wife Flo was renowned for her Pumpkin Scones.
            It’s Autum now. Time to make warming Pumpkin Soup.
            I’ll add bacon & Carraway seeds.
            Full recipe found in Aust Women’s Weekly Cook Book – Starters and Soups.
            Stay safe everyone.

    • Jacqueline says

      Any pumpkin will work, though the flavor may be a touch more bland. We use homegrown yellow pumpkins and they still taste great!

      • Chelsea says

        Thank you! I have two whole pumpkins that we forgot to carve for Halloween. I was wondering if they would work. Now I know they will. I appreciate your comment!

  18. SHENA PETERS says

    I want to Make baked pumpkins for my family . Do I need to use salt and sugar at the same time? After brushing with oil, should I sprinkle some black pepper and other spices on it before putting it in the oven? Need help. Thank you.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shena, you could brush with oil and then sprinkle with salt or your preferred spices. Black pepper would be nice for savory or cinnamon for sweet.

  19. Carol says

    The easiest way to cut a pumpkin? I use a Jack-O-latern carving knife. It’s not sharp, so no worries about slippery round pumpkins getting the best of you. It works every time.

        • francis says

          I was wondering why they said freeze for a month. I want to freeze in ice cube tray, store in a freezer bag and unthaw two cubes a day to feed to my dog with the rest of his food. Some for me too lol

          • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

            Great idea, Francis! It may last longer, that’s just a conservative estimate.

          • Bob says

            I was also puzzled by the comment that the pureed pumpkin would keep “up to a month” in the freezer. Every October I freeze some pumpkins left over from Halloween and use them throughout the year for pies, bread, and pumpkin soup. I haven’t observed any loss in quality even after several months in the freezer.

  20. Nikkie says

    Great recipe! I used the heirloom pumpkin and it came out great! Easy to follow and delicious! Looking forward to more great recipes!

  21. Ginnilee Berger says

    I actually cheated on 1 step- instead of brushing it with oil, I used butter-flavored oil spray. It takes a lot less time & saved me from having to wash a brush.

    I do the same thing for turkeys, and they brown quite nicely using the spray.

  22. Laura S. says

    It isn’t the how to bake a pumpkins its the how to utilize and flavors that all of these recipes come with. The ideas are really what they are looking for.

  23. Jim says

    Hi Dana! After draining the puréed pumpkin in a chinoise overnight, I have about 2 cups of pumpkin water. What would you do with it? Thanks!!

  24. Ailie says

    If you pop the pumpkin in the microwave for about 4 minutes it should soften it enough to cut. Just make sure to poke holes in it with a fork to release steam!

  25. Lee says

    I bought a pumpkin but it’s soooooo hard I can’t cut it! :( anyone have some tips on how to cut a pumpkin? Is it really this hard?

    • @veganslittlehelper says

      Pumpkins could be really hard, indeed! I always cut mine with a Santoku knife, vertical from the middle to the bottom, and then right around the pumpkin. I could recommend to use a knife with a broad blade. You still need some strength to cut it, but it is much easier this way!

      Happy pumpkin bake! :-)

    • Carol says

      Don’t laugh but I use a small hand axe—-stop laughing! I also go outside to do this. I put my pumpkin on my cutting board, aim, whack, then when blade breaks skin I bang down a couple more times. At some point you may be able to use a large knife to finish up. Your edges will be a bit jagged—no big deal. I wish I could get the pumpkin you have—the one with the ‘iron’ skin. You will have a wonderfully flavorful batch of pumpkin!

    • Mary L Johnson says

      Believe it or not the little saw that you buy with the pumpkin kit that comes with the stencil book worked better for me than a knife. I cut around the stem first. Good time to pick up the kit Halloween, Half price after the holiday! Should be good for any squash. Scraper also worked better than spoon too.

    • Karen Bartolomeo says

      Because I have arthritis in my hands I usually bake my pumpkins whole. I pierce the skin to allow for steam. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until the skin is squishy. Much easier to cut the skin once it’ts cooked!!

      • Rachel G says

        I also have severe arthritis and bake my pumpkins whole. I cut a small hole at the top and use a syringe to add olive oil, ginger, cloves and then I bake them in a 350 oven for about an hour or until the skin can be pierced with a fork. I then can scoop all the seeds out ( which are now flavored and roasted) and then scoop the flesh from the pumpkin. I allow it to drain for about 2 hours and then purée it. This is the method my mother taught me but out of curiosity researched other recipes and methods and found this page. A lot of great ideas here. Bookmarked this for further reference.

      • Melissa J Bennae says

        I have arthritis as well and I actually bake all my squash whole and then cut them open and scoop the seeds out and toast the seeds with seasonings or have them unsalted.

        The skins are good toasted as well with pumpkin hummus!

    • Van says

      I soak the pie pumpkin in my sink with water overnight. Just the top (doesn’t have to be exact). This makes the pumpkin VERY easy to cut before baking.

  26. Janis says

    Hello. The ingredient list calls for a pinch of salt, but the instructions don’t indicate where to use it. Could you let me know please.
    Thank you.

  27. Megan says

    This recipe sites 350 face down, which is absolutely perfect. But I have also roasted this face up at 325 with spices like cinnamon, ginger, baking cocoa, cloves, you name it. Any flavor that would compliment pumpkin for pie. Today, in mid-October I have an heirloom pumpkin I bought in the grocery store baking with ALL of those spices. I’ll mash it and freeze it to make Thanksgiving pie-baking easier. The house smells great. I may cook this pie before Thanksgiving based on how good it smells now! I know my method is not as minimalist as this calls but while minimalist is great for many things, I like to experiment too. And sometimes I love it as plain as it comes from the field. Pumpkin is a flavor canvass that you can paint on yourself.

    You don’t have to use just the sugar or pie pumpkins. Many of the heirlooms have sweet, wonderful flesh. The more orange the pumpkin on the outside, the more orange your pie will be, but the long neck pumpkins will be light orange with a wonderful taste. Just experiment. You can roast them and save the roasted flesh in your freezer to use all year. Don’t let pumpkin season pass you by without stocking up for the year.

    Just don’t use the jack-o-lantern types of pumpkins. They will produce a very stringy flesh that doesn’t have much flavor.

  28. Pip Bayley says

    Followed the instructions, now baking in my oven, looking forward to using the blended flesh for pumpkin pie. Thank you Dana for the clear instructions on ‘how to’ roast a pumpkin!

  29. Oona says

    Hi Dana, does the pumpkin have the be a sugar pumpkin for this method to work (i.e. pumpkin puree)?


    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! We do recommend sugar pumpkins as they are best for cooking and baking; they’re sweet and flavorful, with smooth flesh. You can roast other varieties as well though!

      • Vanessa says

        Pumpkin is such a …weird term. Lots of things that Americans would probably consider squash are actually pumpkin. The pumpkin that is specifically bred for ‘Libby’ pumpkin puree? Its got a white skin, nothing like the orange that we associate with pumpkin.

        Often times leading up to Halloween you will see a huge variety of pumpkins being sold as decorative. “Fairytale” or “Cinderella” pumpkins (they’re actually French! Their proper name is Rouge vif D’Etampes), big long necked green ones you probably think are a squash(originally from Italy!), little red-orange ones resembling the size and shape of a football. (Those ones are called Red Kuri and they have a magical flavor resembling roasted chestnut) The smallish blue-green ones are called a blue hubbard, and they are prized by chefs for their creamy texture.

        Y’all, these are all heirloom varieties and not only are they edible – they’re WAY better tasting and often far more economical than the sugar/pie pumpkin the grocery store touts as your fresh pumpkin option. So whatever pumpkins you might choose to decorate your front stoop, are edible. Hurrah for fall!

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