An easy, healthy and paleo recipe for savory baked pumpkin, seasoned with olive oil, garlic and chili powder.
I make this savory baked pumpkin recipe year round, not just in October and November. It’s such a wonderfully healthy side dish, and it’s also very easy to make.
Pumpkin is not just for sweet dishes!
When you think about pumpkin, do you only think about pumpkin pie? If so, you’re missing out! Pumpkin makes a wonderful and healthy savory side dish. I actually think I like savory pumpkin dishes better than I like sweet pumpkin dishes. I love chocolate and cheesecake desserts much more than pumpkin desserts. But savory pumpkin dishes are amazing.
How to make baked pumpkin
This delicious baked pumpkin is seasoned with olive oil, garlic and chili powder, then baked in a hot oven until tender. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. This flavor combination is phenomenal! If you like starchy sides such as scalloped potatoes but prefer something healthier and lower in carbs, then savory baked pumpkin is the perfect side dish for you.
Use a small pumpkin
It’s best to use a small sugar pumpkin when making this baked pumpkin recipe. The bigger the pumpkin, the less flavor it has. You want a small pumpkin with firm, deep orange flesh. It’s best to use the big pumpkins for Jack-o-lanterns, not for cooking.
What main dishes go with baked pumpkin?
Anything goes with this side dish. It’s as versatile as potatoes. Since I bake the pumpkin in a 425°F oven, I like to serve it with a main course that I can cook in the same oven. So I often serve it with baked salmon, with Parmesan crusted chicken, or with crispy oven baked chicken legs.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers of this savory baked pumpkin keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power.
More tasty savory pumpkin recipes
Other savory pumpkin dishes that I love and make often include mashed pumpkin, pumpkin chili, and stuffed pumpkin. Sometimes I make roasted whole pumpkin. It’s a bit more time consuming, but it’s a very versatile recipe.
Savory Baked Pumpkin
- 1 sugar pumpkin, 2 lb.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Set oven rack to the lowest position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash the pumpkin and cut the stem off. Place in the microwave and microwave 1 minute on high, to soften.
- Carefully, using a very sharp chef’s knife and back-and-forth sawing motions, cut the pumpkin in half. Use a large metal spoon to remove the pulp and the seeds. If stubborn pulp remains, cut it with kitchen scissors.
- Back to using the sharp knife and the sawing motions, cut each half of the pumpkin into four 1-inch-thick moon-shaped slices, discarding the ends.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin.
- Cut each pumpkin slice into 1-inch cubes.
- Arrange the pumpkin cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the seasonings, and use your hands to evenly coat the pumpkin.
- Bake the pumpkin cubes until tender, 30-40 minutes, tossing them halfway through. Serve the savory baked pumpkin immediately.