How to Steam Fresh Pumpkin

Rather than buying a can of pumpkin puree, you can steam your own fresh pumpkin and use the tender, cooked meat as pumpkin pie filling or in a host of other baked goods, such as tasty seasonal cakes and cookies. Choose a pumpkin that is designated for cooking, such as a small pie pumpkin, instead of a pumpkin grown for carving and decorating. Carving pumpkins tend to have less flesh and more seeds than small baking pumpkins.

Step 1

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the entire pumpkin. Discard the skin.

Step 2

Cut the pumpkin in half with a sharp chef's knife. Use a large metal spoon to remove the seeds and stringy innards from the pumpkin halves.

Step 3

Chop the pumpkin flesh into 2-inch-square cubes with the chef's knife.

Step 4

Set a steamer basket into a large pot. Fill the pot with water until the water just touches the bottom of the basket.

Step 5

Place the pumpkin cubes in the steamer basket and set the lid on the pot.

Step 6

Set the pot on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. Bring the water to a boil.

Step 7

Reduce the heat and simmer the water for 25 minutes.

Step 8

Stick a fork into a pumpkin cube to check for doneness. The pumpkin will be soft when cooked. It can take up to 40 minutes for the pumpkin to be fully cooked.

Step 9

Remove the steamer basket from the pot and pour the pumpkin chunks into a bowl.

Step 10

Puree the mixture with a stick blender or potato masher if you are replacing canned pumpkin puree with the freshly cooked pumpkin.

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable peeler

  • Chef's knife

  • Large metal spoon

  • Steamer basket

  • Large pot with lid

  • Fork

  • Stick blender or potato masher


You can use steamed pumpkin in savory dishes, such as soups and stews.


Do not cook a pumpkin that has already been carved. Once cut, pumpkins begin to develop mold.

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