How to cook with pumpkin

  • By
    Roxanne Fisher - Health editor - bbcgoodfood.com

Once carved to perfection, don't forget to put the rest of your pumpkin to good use. From sweet classics to savoury mains, the options for the bright orange squash are endless.

Pumpkin biryani in whole pumpkins

 

Pumpkin seedsDIY pumpkin seeds

The first thing you will do with your pumpkin, whether you're carving or simply cooking, is to scoop out the seeds. These little kernels are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a great source of fibre - so it would be a shame to throw them away. To roast and eat, simply clean your seeds, boil for 10 minutes to soften, then drain and dry on a paper towel. Finally toss with a little oil, spread out on a baking sheet and place them in a low oven for around 45 minutes (about 120°C) until they are crisp and golden brown. If you want to add a bit of flavour, sprinkle over salt, pepper, paprika, or whatever takes your fancy when you add the oil.

Pumpkin passion cupcakesGrate into cake

The sweet, honied flesh of the pumpkin lends itself perfectly to cakes and bakes when grated. Combine with cinnamon for lightly spiced cupcakes, enhance the sweetness with clear honey or give your favourite carrot cake recipe a makeover. If you find your grated pumpkin is a little wet once prepared, simply give it a good squeeze before using and keep an eye on it when baking - the added moisture may mean it needs a little longer in the oven.

Our favourite pumpkin bakes:
Halloween pumpkin cake
Pumpkin passion cupcakes
Pumpkin & ginger teabread

Bacon and pumpkin pasta30 minutes or less

It's often assumed that cooking pumpkin will keep you in the kitchen for quite a while. This isn't always the case as our speedy squash favourites prove. Make a moreish mid-week meal by adding diced pumpkin to pasta, roast and serve with sausages or simply serve lightly spiced as part of an antipasto or as a side.

Our favourite speedy squash recipes:
Bacon & pumpkin pasta
Sausage & pumpkin roast
Sicilian spicy pumpkin

Pumpkin soupA perfect blend

Soft pumpkin flesh blends effortlessly into a thick, velvety soup. Simply add onions, cream and stock to keep the colour bright and bold, or give your bowl an Asian twist with Thai flavours such as lemongrass and ginger. For a blend worthy of your next dinner party, first roast the squash to exaggerate the depth of flavour and serve with contrasting pancetta.

Our favourite pumpkin soups:
Thai pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup
Roasted squash soup

Roast pumpkin with cream, thyme and parmesanKeep it for cooking

Not a fan of the Jack O'Lantern? There are other ways to use the hard skin of your pumpkin. Bring all the beautiful Indian spice of a biryani to your squash and then serve inside the pumpkin itself. Alternatively, scoop out the seeds and strands, pour a garlic cream inside and allow it to penetrate the skin as you roast the pumpkin whole.

Our favourite recipes for using your whole pumpkin:

Pumpkin biryani
Roast pumpkin with cream, thyme & Parmesan

Butternut, maple and pecan lattice pieClassic pumpkin pie

One mention of pumpkin pie in the Good Food office proved it to be something of a Marmite dish. Love it or hate it, nothing tastes quite like the spiced pastry. Opt for the traditional with shortcrust pastry, nutmeg and cinnamon or give it a twist with a lattice top or filo finish.

Our favourite pumpkin pie recipes:
Classic pumpkin pie with pecan & maple cream
Pumpkin & pecan strudel
Butternut, maple & pecan lattice pie

Try our favourite pumpkin recipes

What are your top tips for cooking the winter squash?