Pumpkins are so fun this time of year. They make great decorations, but then October comes and goes and what do you do with the leftovers? Leave them on the porch like I do until they start rotting? There’s a better solution! Cook them and eat them! I want to share with you how to cook a pumpkin in your instant pot. It’s really easy!
We had some beautiful pumpkins on our front porch for the month of October. The kids always enjoy this tradition, and this year was more fun and special because we got them from friends. And the colors! We had white pumpkins (which I didn’t even know existed!) and a blue pumpkin to go along with a couple of traditional orange ones.
Why cook a pumpkin in your instant pot?
I have a true love for my electric pressure cooker. I do, I do. And so if there is something that needs cooking, I must figure out how to do it in the instant pot. In years past I have cooked a pumpkin the traditional way, cutting, and scooping out the pulp for homemade pumpkin puree. And this definitely does the job. But I have to say I think cooking pumpkins in the instant pot is the way to go.
Cooking your pumpkin in the electric pressure cooker is SO. much. easier. Pumpkins and winter squash can be hard to handle. If you are cooking your pumpkins purely for making puree to use in other recipes, then this is the way to go. When you cook them in the instant pot whole, or even in halves or quarters you don’t have to struggle so much against the cutting, peeling and scooping of the seeds. Once cooked everything becomes super soft and much more manageable.
How to cook a pumpkin in your instant pot:
What you need:
Electric Pressure Cooker
1 1/2 cups of water
A knife and cutting board (for cutting larger pumpkins to fit)
A spoon for scooping the seeds and pulp out and scraping the skin off
Directions for cooking the pumpkin:
Place 1 1/5 cups of water in the bottom of your pot.
Place the trivet (the little wire rack) in the bottom of the pot on top of the water.
You can place a small pumpkin in the pressure cooker whole.
If your pumpkin is too large to fit into the pot whole then you’ll need to cut it in half or possibly even quarters for one of the really large pumpkins.
Cooking time: Varies on the size of your pumpkin, but if you are filling your instant pot fairly full it’s pretty safe to say you can cook for about 30 minutes, the mini pumpkins more like 20.
Which pumpkins are best for cooking?
The one you have sitting around already! But in all seriousness definitely use what you have already! If you haven’t already bought your pumpkins already and can plan ahead and choose then here is some information to consider.
There are SO many varieties of pumpkins. What you will find in the grocery store is typically the large carving pumpkins, and the smaller pie pumpkins. If you have access to a farmer’s market or even better have a garden you can find some really fun and delicious pumpkins to decorate and cook with. The best ones for cooking have a sweeter, thicker flesh. Sugar, pie or sweet pumpkins are common names for pumpkins that work well for cooking to eat. The blue pumpkins (Jarrahdale) also have a good sweet, thick flesh for cooking. The white pumpkins have a texture that reminds me more of a spaghetti squash. There’s even one called a Cinderella pumpkins! Must. buy. all. the. seeds. HA!
I have even heard of people cooking up winter squash and pureeing them in place of pumpkin recipes. They tend to be cheaper and taste the same in recipes! So keep that in mind for other times of the year as well.
Uses for your cooked pumpkin:
- Use it as baby food.
- Hide it into soups, casserole, stews, breads etc. (anything you are cooking).
- Bake with it-cookies, muffins, breads and cakes.
- Drinks! Lattes, protein shakes.
Storing for later:
If you can’t get around to cooking your pumpkin it will actually store at a cooler room temperature for quite awhile.
Cook it up and store in the refrigerator and do like I do, start shoving pumpkin in to everything you can think of haha! It lasts in the fridge 3-5 days or so.
Package into containers or freezer bags in 1-2 cup amounts to use later. One cup seems to be a common amount for recipes. You may want to check your favorite recipes and see how much puree they call for to decide on what amounts to freeze.
And don’t forget you can save the seeds (before you cook them) and grow them at home next year!
So there you go, a quick and easy way to cook up your pumpkins! I hope you enjoy all the pumpkin goodness you can this fall and maybe on into winter and spring if you store some away in your freezer.
Be sure to check out 20 of the Best Cozy and Simple Fall Pumpkin Recipes. There are so many wonderful looking recipes on it. It includes some traditional recipes, but also some more unique ones you wouldn’t have thought of kinds of recipes.
Also my Pinterest Recipes Board has a ton of pumpkin recipes saved. So take a look if you are needing some more good pumpkin recipes and way to use up your homemade pumpkin puree.