How to roast a pumpkin? Easy! Pre-soften it in the microwave, cut it in half, then let the oven do all the work!
I love roast pumpkin. It smells so good as it bakes, and its flesh becomes tender and buttery. All it needs is a sprinkle of coarse salt, maybe a drizzle of sweet butter. Yum!
It’s better to use small sugar pumpkins
Make sure you use sugar pumpkin when making this recipe. Reserve large pumpkins for carving jack-o-lanterns – their flesh is watery, stringy and not very flavorful.
Small sugar pumpkins have a sweet, smooth and very flavorful flesh. As the pumpkin bakes, its skin and flesh soften.
The flesh of a tender baked sugar pumpkin is extremely flavorful. In fact, I think it’s very tasty just as it is, with no added seasonings whatsoever!
How to roast a pumpkin
It’s very easy! Despite its thick skin and hard-as-rock flesh when raw, all you need to do is microwave the pumpkin for 2 minutes, to make cutting it easier.
After microwaving, cut the pumpkin in half (it does make cooking it faster and more even). Remove the seeds and pulp, then roast it in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes.
The detailed instructions are included in the recipe card below.
Why not just use canned pumpkin?
This is a valid question. Why should you roast a pumpkin, when canned puree is readily available?
In addition, I often make this recipe not as a base for other recipes, but as a tasty side dish. A drizzle of sweet butter and a sprinkle of coarse salt are all it takes to make this into a delicious side dish that my entire family enjoys.
Roasted pumpkin slices
Sometimes I brush pumpkin slices with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, garlic powder and chili powder, then bake them.
These slices come out incredible. So if you don’t want to cook a whole pumpkin, you should definitely give them a try. They need about 30 minutes in a 425°F oven.
Don’t discard the pumpkin seeds!
Whichever way you decide to cook pumpkin, don’t forget to keep the seeds! Wash them and roast them. Spicy pumpkin seeds are wonderful.
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- 2 small sugar pumpkins, about 2 lb. each
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wipe the pumpkins clean with a wet paper towel.
- Microwave each pumpkin for 2 minutes (1 minute on each side), to make them just a little softer and easier to cut.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the pumpkins in half. Scoop out the pulp and seeds, reserving the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Place the pumpkins, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until fork tender, about 30 minutes.