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For all of these recipes winter squash are counted as "pumpkin". Winter squash (eg Crown Prince, butternut) are superior in flavour to most orange pumpkins. Marrow will also cook as well as squash, but may be more watery, less orange and more bland in flavour.


Pumpkin can be stored in a cool,  place for a few months, but this depends on the variety . Pumpkin puree (recipe below) can be frozen for long-term storage.  If you want to save seeds for growing next year, separate them and lay them flat on a sheet of kitchen tissue. Allow to dry for a day then store in a paper bag or envelope in a dry place.Pumpkin seeds are also delicious roasted in a little oil and salt.

As a vegetable

Peel pumpkin and remove seeds. Dice the pumpkin flesh into approx 2-3 cm cubes. Steam until soft or microwave for a few minutes, depending on the size of portion and power of microwave. Do not add extra water.


Delicious roasted along with other vegetables, including parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes etc. Better if peeled first and roasted with garlic and oil.

Easy method without peeling

Cut the pumpkin or squash into large pieces. Do not peel.  Place in a oven dish with a lid. Do not add water. Roast in an oven @ 160-180˚C until the flesh is soft. Microwave cooking also works. Scoop out cooked flesh with a spoon to discard the skin if you prefer. This cooked flesh (puree) can be frozen and stored, blended into a soup or eaten immediately. The cooked flesh is the ideal ingredient for scones, pancakes, pies and many other recipes. Cooked pumpkin flesh is the equivalent of "canned" pumpkin sold in shops and used in recipes, especially North America.

Spicy pumpkin soup 

2 tablespoons cooking oil.
1 large onion and 2 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 cups  stock, more water may be needed depending on taste and how watery the pumpkin is
half cup of split red lentils and/or pearl barley if a thicker soup preferred
3 cups pumpkin puree or chunks of diced pumpkin
teaspoon your preferred spices. I suggest turmeric (1 teaspoon or more), coriander, curry powder and chilli powder (according to taste)

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion, garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Add the spices, stock, lentils and pumpkin. Simmer gently until mixture boils.
3. Simmer until soft, eat or blend if your prefer a smooth soup.

Pumpkin Puree

Peel pumpkin and remove seeds. Dice the pumpkin flesh then cook it - either roast as outlined above,  stew in a saucepan until soft or microwave (no added water). Then blend with a food mixer or hand blender.

Pumpkin puree can be frozen in 300 ml (half-pint) portions for later use in pies or soup.
Pumpkin Scones - see this link

Pumpkin Pancakes

pumpkin puree   (see other recipe)
50g   + 15 ml (1 tbsp) plain flour
2 large eggs
1.25 ml  (one  quarter teaspoon ) sugar
1.25 ml salt
pepper to taste
vegetable oil for frying

In a medium bowl mix flour, eggs, sugar , salt and pepper to a very thick batter. Add to mashed pumpkin and mix very well. Taste for seasoning.
Heat 60 ml oil in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Fry pumpkin  mixture tablespoons, flattening each after adding it, for about 2 minutes or until golden brown on each side. Turn carefully using slotted spatulas. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Continue making pancakes, adding more oil to pan if necessary. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Pumpkin Curry

large onion
2-3 garlic cloves
500 g pumpkin flesh diced
spices - turmeric, coriander, cumin, chilli, paprika or curry powder according to taste
packet of tomato passata or tinned copped tomatoes and tomato puree
half cup split red lentils
can of chickpeas, drained

In a large saucepan heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the spices according to taste and stir well for a minute. Add half the tomato passata or chopped tomatoes then the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then simmer until lentils and pumpkin cooked. Use the remaining tomato juice or passata to get the moisture level correct so it is not too dry or watery.

Serve with raita made by grating a cucumber into natural yogurt and rice or nan bread.

Pumpkin and beans
Diced peeled pumpkin chunks, cook by boiling or microwaving. Sprinkle cooked pumpkin with chopped or dried dill leaf. Add a can of heated black-eyed beans or butter beans and a squirt of tomato puree and serve.

Pumpkin Risotto

Cook risotto rice, following instructions on the packet with chopped onion and stock. Meanwhile dice pumpkin into small chunks about 2-3 cm long. When you have added half of the stock to the risotto add pumpkin and dill leaf with the rest of the stock. Continue cooking until the liquid has been absorbed, then fold in Parmesan cheese. Cooked bacon can be added when serving.

Pumpkin Pie

4 oz short crust pastry
half-pint pumpkin  puree
2 eggs
half-pint milk
2 oz sugar
a grating of nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Make the pastry and line a flan ring or pie plate with it. Beat the eggs ; add the milk, sugar, flavourings and pumpkin puree. Stir well and pour into the pie shell. Bake in a very hot oven (mark 8, 4500 F ,2300C)  for 15 minutes, then finish cooking in a moderate oven  ( mark 4 , 3500  F ,1800C) for at least 20- 25 minutes, or until filling is set. Allow to cool before eating. May be served with cream and stored in fridge.

Pumpkin Jam or Marmalade

3 pounds of pumpkin, peeled and diced
grated rind and juice of 3 lemons and/or oranges
3 pounds of sugar

Boil the pumpkin until it is tender, drain well and mash thoroughly.  Add the grated lemon rinds and juice and put it all into a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Add sugar and stir until dissolved.  Boil for 20 minutes or until thick and pour into sterile jars.   This is quite runny marmalade, so use pectin if you want it more jelly-like.

Spicy Pumpkin Chutney

4 tubs (1kg) cooked pumpkin. A dense winter squash (eg butternut) will be better than a watery Halloween pumpkin. I cook this by placing in an ovenproof dish with lid and baking at 180˚C until the flesh is soft. I then scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1-2 large onions, chopped
1-2 sweet red peppers, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger root, grated finely
225g sugar
2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder, (or to taste)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
approx. 500 ml vinegar - adjust this according to how watery the pumpkin is to get the right consistency. I use some of the vinegar to rinse out the food processor after chopping ingredients, add more vinegar if the mixture is too thick.

Place clean jars and their lids in an oven at 100˚C to sterilise.

Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes until the apple cooks and the mixture thickens.

Funnel into the sterile jars and tighten lids. Wear heavy duty rubber gloves to handle these.

Link to information about how my special pumpkin recipe

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