How to cook pumpkin

One of the easiest and best ways to prepare pumpkin, squash, potatoes, yams, parsnips or any other root vegetable is to roast it.

Credit: iStock / jamievanbuskirk


Rosemary roasted potatoes

Roasting root veggies is quick, delicious and always a crowd-pleaser

One of the easiest and best ways to prepare pumpkin (and squash, potatoes, yams, parsnips or any other root vegetable) is to roast it. Roasting brings out the subtle, savoury flavours of the vegetable, pumps up its sweetness and always seems appropriate in fall and winter. Plus, it fills the house with an intense, delicious aroma that’ll bring you to your knees.

Roasted pumpkin is a favourite in our house, not just because it’s delicious but also because it’s a very quick, no-fuss dish that’s hard to mess up—a plus when you’ve got a million to-do’s on your list—and incredibly good for you, with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, plus vitamins C, K and E and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium and iron. Getting a good dose of these flu-fighting nutrients will help you stay healthy during what can be a very hectic time of the year.

How to Roast

Choose your pumpkin, squash or root vegetable and your flavouring. Pumpkin tastes great with Indian curry spices, like cumin, corriander, tumeric and garam masala. Green herbs are another way to go—especially when preparing yams, potatoes and carrots. Try rosemary, italian parsley, sage, oregano or thyme. Rosemary is probably the most autumnal flavour, and often the most satisfying. But experiment! Try different combinations or use each spice or herb on its own. This is a hard dish to mess up, so get creative! The best judge is your nose, so just be sure to use it.

Step 1

Set your oven to 425 degrees F or higher or use the broiler.

Step 2

If you’re roasting pumpkin or another vegetable with a hard outer layer, wash and peel. Then chop into 1/2 inch wide finger shapes or wedges. Either works. Just don’t make them too thin or they’ll get super sweet and starchy.

Step 3

In a large bowl, make a big puddle of olive oil (the better the quality, the better the taste—and always buy organic!) and add your spices or herbs, plus a generous sprinkling of salt (rock salt or sea salt is best) and freshly ground black pepper, and mix. Next, toss in your pumpkin and/or other vegetables and mix thoroughly, being sure to cover each piece evenly with the oil mixture.

Step 4

On a baking sheet, spread the pumpkin out evenly, being sure that each piece is flat and making contact with the bottom. Place on top rack of oven or in broiler and set your timer for 15 minutes (longer if veggies are cut extra-thick).

Step 5

Pull the baking sheet out and, using tongs, flip each piece over on its the opposite side. If the pumpkin pieces are a bit dry, add a splash of olive oil. Put back in the oven or broiler for 8-10 minutes.

Step 5

After 8-10 minutes, check your veggies to see if they are lightly browned on the bottom. Taste one, too. If they’re not quite soft or crispy enough, let them hang out in the oven or broiler a bit longer. But be sure they don’t over cook or they’ll char and be inedible.

The finished product should be slightly crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. Eat with mayo or veganaise (you can infuse it with garlic and olive oil for a real treat!) or on its own. Yum!

More Recipes for Preparing Pumpkin

1. Stuffed Pumpkin
2. Bhopla Bhaji-Pumpkin Vegetable Recipe
3. Curried Pumpkin Soup
4. Pumpkin Pie

More ways to use pumpkin+++