Don’t relegate fall pumpkins and squash solely to front-porch decor. Bring them to the kitchen, bake them and add spice for a meal that’s quite nice!
Do you avoid recipes calling for winter squash because they are simply too difficult to cut? Maybe you’ve had too many close calls with a sharp knife and your fingers. If that sounds familiar, we have the perfect solution: Toast the rock-hard orbs whole! This will require removing all but the lowest rack in your oven and works for all types of winter squash varieties.
Note: you can use your favorite type of hard squash, including acorn or butternut, as a substitute for pumpkin in any of these recipes
- Honey Grilled Pumpkin
- Sautéed Pumpkin, Peppers and Greens
- Fried Pumpkin
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Mixed Greens with Bacon and Fried Pumpkin
- Roasted Winter Squash
How to bake a pumpkin
Small 3-4-pound pumpkins can be baked whole, then easily peeled, seeded and mashed or pureed. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350-degree oven. Bake 11⁄2 hours or until a sharp knife easily pierces through to the seed cavity. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard. Then mash or puree the flesh. Store in the refrigerator up to four days or freeze for longer use.
Larger, 6-7-pound pumpkins can be baked in halves using the same method, but decrease the cooking time to 45-60 minutes.