Pumpkins are a staple of Thanksgiving and other holidays. They're also delicious when roasted, which is why we've put together this blog post with expert tips on how to roast your pumpkin so that it comes out perfect every time.
We'll discuss the best way to cut this winter squash and what spices work well with roasting pumpkins. If you want to serve a pumpkin dish for your next holiday gathering - or just enjoy one any day of the year - then this blog post is for you!
This easy recipe works well by itself as an appetizer or side dish, but you can also use it as step number one for making delicious pumpkin puree for roasted pumpkin hummus.
I usually make it to make our roasted pumpkin risotto, to give it a richer flavor.
Alternatively, you can mash the roasted pumpkin, and instantly have a delicious herb-scented and slightly garlicky homemade pumpkin puree.
Finally, you can simply exclude all the optional ingredients and make your own pumpkin puree, instead of canned pumpkin, and use it as a base for pumpkin bread or sweet dishes such as homemade pumpkin pie, with pumpkin pie spices.
- Fresh Pumpkin (regular or sugar pumpkin)
- Fresh rosemary (or thyme)
Avocado or extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Note: the optional ingredients, are only recommended if you plan to have your oven-baked pumpkin as a side dish.
If you are roasting pumpkin to make pumpkin purée as a replacement for canned pumpkin in a sweet recipe, such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin spice latte, or pumpkin spice overnight oats, we recommend baking the pumpkin without any additional ingredient.
How to roast a whole pumpkin
Baking pumpkins is easy, the best way to roast pumpkin is as follows:
Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC) and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, then in quarters.
Scoop out all the seeds (save them for later).
Slice the pumpkin in wedges. I like slicing them in about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick.
Line a parchment paper and lay the wedges.
Optional steps for a savory pumpkin side dish
Cut off the upper part of a garlic head.
Take the garlic head from the bottom and rub the pumpkin wedges with the exposed garlic flesh. Leave the garlic head on the baking sheet.
Lightly brush the pumpkin wedges and the top of the garlic head with olive oil or avocado oil.
Rip off the leaves from the rosemary sprigs (or thyme) and sprinkle them on top of the raw pumpkin wedges.
Cook pumpkin in the oven. Roast pumpkin time when sliced is 30-40 minutes or until fork-tender.
There it is! You have a basic recipe for roasting roasted pumpkin.
Two alternative methods to roast a pumpkin
Alternative Method 1. Basic hassle-free oven-baked pumpkin.
It takes more time but requires virtually no preparation. Cut the pumpkin in half and, using a spoon or your hands, remove and discard any seeds and pulp. Arrange the pumpkin half cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet in rows.
Pumpkin cooking time: cook pumpkin until fork-tender approximately 40-50 minutes at 350°F (175 ºC). It will simply take more time, as there is less pumpkin flesh surface exposed to heat.
Alternative Method 2. Pumpkin dice.
The baking time will be drastically reduced. You will need to peel the pumpkin and cut it into pumpkin chunks (cubes).
Line a baking sheet with pumpkin cubes in rows making sure that none of the pieces are touching each other.
Bake until fork-tender, approximately 20 minutes or more for larger chunks at 375°F (190 ºC).
Serve immediately or let them cool before storing in a container and refrigerating for up to three days.
Smaller pumpkins are more flavorful.
You can bake pumpkins without oil if you are following a Whole Foods Plant-based Diet (WFPB). The result will be almost unnoticeable.
The pumpkin roast will look slightly less caramelized, as most of the caramel-like flavor, comes from the pumpkin's natural sugars.
The most effective method is to use a smaller regular pumpkin (green-skinned) or sugar pumpkin. You want a small pumpkin with soft orange flesh (or green).
Olive oil is one of several good options for this. Seasonings include garlic (or garlic powder, or onion powder), sea salt, black pepper, or chili flakes.
I also like using fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or a combination of the two.
Tip: you can also use the puréed squash to make a creamy vegan butternut squash pasta.
How do you roast pumpkin seeds?
Roasted pumpkin seeds are easy to make and healthy. This is how to prepare pumpkin seeds.
Best way to roast pumpkin seeds in the oven:
To roast the seeds, I rinse them with water and shake out any excess moisture.
Toss all of the ingredients together until fully coated in oil/seasoning mixture - salt, garlic powder, black pepper.
Spread seasoned seeds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350°F (175 ºC) for ten minutes, stir them around with a spatula to roast seeds evenly, and return the tray back to the oven until they are golden brown (approximately 20 minutes).
How to make pumpkin puree
Once the pumpkin has cooled down, scoop the pumpkin flesh from the skin with a large spoon, and mash it with a potato masher or fork. For a silkier homemade pumpkin puree, add it to a blender or a food processor.
Blend until smooth and creamy, adding either warm almond milk or a little water (only if needed).
Variations and substitutions
Melting butter may effectively replace olive oil in this recipe. Dried thyme may also be added to the spice, as well as melted butter to the dish.
If you'd like to add some spice, you can use chili flakes or even curry powder.
Frequently asked questions
Check out our comprehensive guide to cooking and eating pumpkins!
How do you roast pumpkin so it doesn't go soggy?
To avoid sogginess you should cook pumpkin under heat. It helps also cube the pumpkin before baking. Roasting pumpkin in a cold oven creates the best texture and caramelization of the pumpkin.
The second method is to split the pumpkin and roast it to the halve and then remove the peels. You only remove the skin after cooking.
Can you eat pumpkin skin when roasted?
Yes, the skin is edible. It has a very mild flavor and can be eaten after roasting.
How long does roasted pumpkin last?
Roasted pumpkin lasts about three days in an airtight container or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap at room temperature.
What is a sugar pumpkin?
These pumpkins are smaller in size, usually about five to six inches. They have orange flesh on the inside and light green color on the outside. Sugar pumpkins, you guessed it... are also sweeter than other types of pumpkin varieties, making them great for baking desserts like pies
During the holidays, you can find sugar pumpkin slices in nearly every grocery store (Trader Joe's, Whole Foods). Recipes for pumpkin puree may be made from any variety of pumpkins, including common pumpkins and sugar pumpkins.
How do I cut a pumpkin?
I place the pumpkin on a kitchen towel to keep it from sliding. I like to clean the inside of the pumpkin just a little and get rid of any stringy pieces which had been clinging to the seeds.
Slice the pumpkin in half, reserve the seeds if you plant to roast them, and either slice the rest into cubes or roast it in pieces.
How to roast a large pumpkin?
As suggested in the recipe. Cut it in wedges, this will accelerate the process. The other option is to cut it in half, deseed it, and then place it upside down and pierce the skin with a knife. Make as many cuts as possible.
How to Cook Butternut Squash?
Roasting butternut squash is very similar to roasting pumpkin, you can find our recipe right here.
More pumpkin recipes
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
How to Roast Pumpkin: Expert Tips
- 1 small pumpkin sugar or green (2 lb, or 1Kg)
- 1 sprig rosemary fresh or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC) and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, then in quarters.
- Scoop out all the seeds (save them for later).
- Slice the pumpkin into wedges. I like slicing them in about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick.
- Lay the pumpkin wedges.
Optional steps for a savory pumpkin side dish:
- Cut off the upper part of a garlic head.
- Rub with garlic. Take the garlic head from the bottom and rub the pumpkin wedges with the exposed garlic flesh. Leave the garlic head on the baking sheet.
- Brush with oil. Lightly brush the pumpkin wedges and the top of the garlic head with olive oil or avocado oil.
- Sprinkle herbs. Rip off the leaves from the rosemary sprigs (or thyme) and sprinkle them on top of the raw pumpkin wedges.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until fork-tender.
Beth Sachs says
Some great tips on how to roast a pumpkin perfectly!
I've never tried roasting pumpkin before, but this is a great idea! I have some pumpkins around the house that would be perfect to use.
Thank you for taking the time to review our pumpkin roasting recipe, Erika. I'm happy that it's a new idea for you!
I'm glad that this is a good use of your pumpkins and will help them last until Thanksgiving. Roasting pumpkins brings out their natural sweetness and adds an interesting flavor profile to dishes like soup or pie. If you have any other questions about using pumpkin in recipes, we're always here to help 🙂
Thank you so much for the tips! This is really helpful! Awesome!
Thank you for the review Toni, I'm glad to hear it's helpful!
Thanks so much for these tips! I was intimidated to roast a pumpkin, but it's so much easier than I thought it would be.
Thanks for your kind words Elizabeth and happy roasting!
Just made two pumpkins. Came out perfect! Amazing Recipe!
Wow, thank you so much for your feedback Taly. We're so glad to hear that the recipe worked out for you and we hope you enjoy the pumpkins!
Danielle Wolter says
These tips are so helpful! Pumpkin is so versatile, and I just love it roasted!
Thank you for your review Danielle! I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the article and found it helpful.