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Microwaving a Pumpkin

Pumpkins are yummy.  They make great pies, delicious breads, and hearty soups. 

But there’s always the challenge of going from the round, orange pumpkin itself to the puree you need in recipes.  The quickest, simplest way we’ve found to prepare a pumpkin is to microwave it.

  • Choose a small pumpkin (4”-6” across works for us, but it depends on your microwave).
  • Wash it, remove the stem, and stab it all over with a fork (just like you do for a baked potato).
  • Put it on a plate and microwave it on high for 10 minutes.
  • Turn it over, and microwave for another 10 minutes.
  • If the pumpkin is soft, it is cooked.  If the sides are still firm, you may need to turn it over again and cook it for another 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin and the power of your microwave.  (see Caution below)  .
  • Let it cool, and then peel off the skin (it will come off easily), cut it in half, and remove the seeds.
  • Depending on the recipe, we either mash the cooked pumpkin with a fork or blend it with the liquid ingredients in the recipe we’re using.

CAUTION:  Make sure that your microwave does not overheat!!   If the outside of the microwave is getting too hot, you must give it an hour or so to cool down.  If the pumpkin isn’t quite cooked, continue with the cooking later, and use a smaller pumpkin next time.

For more tips and hints see Canada Girl’s Tightwad Tuesday  and Being Frugal’s Tightwad Tuesday.   You should also check out Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. solidrock says:

    Wow I had no idea! I will be doing this as I always cook all our pumpkin and freeze it for bread and pancakes.

  2. proverbsmama says:

    What a great tip! I would never have thought of that one. I'll have to try to remember this one for next year.

  3. jenn4him says:

    This may seem silly, but I bought 3 pumpkins to carve, but we never did. Can I use those or do they need to be pie pumpkins? These were from an orchard and are medium in size.



  4. AnnieKate says:

    Any kind of pumpkin works, but if it is too big, you'll have to be careful not to overheat the microwave. That could destroy it. Just give it time to cool down before continuing.

    Annie Kate

  5. IllinoisLoriH says:

    Hi, A.K.! I put up a 2nd TWT entry at my blog when I read this one from you…I've had too many appliances go south on me this year, so I was looking for another way that's a bit safer for me with a larger pumpkin! Anyway, in addition to finding the oven instructions for steam-cooking a pumpkin, I came across some awesome recipes for pumpkin pickles, canned pumpkin bread (yes, in glass canning jars!), and a swiss pumpkin dish! I had to share them, they're on my blog…so yummy, I love pumpkin!

    God Bless,

    Lori (aka Plans4You)

  6. Anonymous says:

    So does it taste different than roasting it in the oven?


    BerryMorins Bits and Tips

  7. AnnieKate says:

    Thank you, Lori. I've never cooked pumpkin in a conventional oven (didn't know how). But some of my pie pumpkins this year are waaaay too big to fit into the microwave, so I'll be trying your method.

    Rona, the pumpkin cooked in the microwave just tastes like pumpkin. It doesn't have the waterlogged texture of stove-top cooked pumpkin, though. I don't know, yet, how it compares with oven-baked pumpkin.

    Annie Kate

  8. AnnieKate says:

    For a huge list of pumpkin recipes, visit Solid Rock's blog. This list looks so wonderful, and is saving me a huge amount of surfing time. 🙂


    Annie Kate

  9. proverbsmama says:

    I wanted to share this website with you:


    Tina has lots of links on her most recent post for pumpkins. Don't you use a lot of gluten-free recipes? If so, there are links to those types of recipes too! I hope you find something there you can use.

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