Pumpkins can be used for cooking and also for carving jack-o-lanterns around Halloween time. Since the shell can be quite tough, we will show you here how to peel a pumpkin easily for cooking, in just 4 quick steps -- 1. Slice in half and Clean, 2. Cook, 3. Let Cool, 4. PEEL.
To make peeling the shell easier and quicker, it is best to cook it first! Yes, that's right!!!!!! Cooking it -- either in the microwave or oven-- will make the outer skin soft enough to peel with just your fingers.
Try out our method and simplify your life! After all, who could ever imagine that peeling a member of the squash family could be so simple, no matter what size it is...
As if that weren't enough, you can also use cooked pumpkin to prepare your favorite dishes and treats. If you would like some additional suggestions, here are a few to add some variety to your table:
PUMPKIN BRIGADEIROS (Great for Halloween)
CHICKEN STEW IN A PUMPKIN SHELL (Use Thanksgiving turkey or other leftovers)
PUMPKIN PIE WITH GOOEY PECAN-CHOCOLATE TOPPING (Two pies in one)
CHOCOLATE-PUMPKIN-PECAN BREAD PUDDING (Not your average bread pudding)
...and coming soon, our very own CREAMY PUMPKIN SOUP!!!
How to Peel a Pumpkin Easily
- Microwave or oven
- Plate or baking sheet
- ice cream scoop or spoon
- 1 medium pumpkin
- SLICE pumpkin in half AND CLEAN it, removing all the seeds and fibrous strings using a large metal spoon or ice cream scoop.
- COOK it! This is the best way to make all the peeling go much easier and quicker. If cooking in a MICROWAVE, place pumpkin half cut-side-down on a microwave-safe dish with a bit of water in it. Microwave one of the halves until the skin can be sliced away easily. Time varies depending on the size of the pumpkin as well as microwave wattage. My medium-size pumpkin took 18 minutes (100 % cooking power) in a 1100 watts microwave. It is fully cooked when fork tender (or it can be easily pricked with a toothpick).
- If cooking in the OVEN, place clean pumpkin half or halves cut side up on a baking sheet (if pumpkin is large, you will have to bake halves separately) and bake in a preheated oven at 375º F for about 15-30 minutes (small), 30-45 minutes (medium), 45-60 minutes (large), or until fork tender.
- LET COOL just enough to handle without burning your fingers.
- PEEL it using a knife (oven method) or your fingers (microwave method). Either chop (oven) or purée the pumpkin flesh (microwave), depending what you are using it for. If you intend to purée, pumpkin can be cooked longer, making it much, much easier to peel the skin.
** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.
Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.
Amanda Lindholm says
My pumpkin had a lot of liquid in it after I cooked and peeled it. Do I discard the liquid?
Denise Browning says
Yes, you discard the liquid, Amanda. Did you cook it in the microwave?