Freezing Pumpkins

July 22, 2006

Selecting High-Quality Pumpkins:

Leave pumpkins on the vine until they are fully mature and are vibrant orange in color. They should appear firm and have a hard outer skin. Leave 1 inch of the stem on when you harvest to make pumpkins easier to handle.

Preparing for Freezing:

Wash pumpkins and cut into quarter pieces or smaller for cooking. Scrape out the seeds with an ice cream scoop. Steam, bake or cook in boiling water until fully tender (45 to 60 minutes depending on size of pieces). Wearing gloves, remove hot pulp from the rind and mash with a potatoes masher or run it through a hand-cranked strainer.

Freezing Method(s):

Boilable Bags:

Pack warm pulp into 1-pint boilable freezer bags. Add butter and seasoning, if desired. Seal. Cool, pat bags dry and freeze.

Dry Packs:

Pack cooled pulp in suitable containers leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Seal, label and freeze.

Suitable Packaging:

Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing asparagus includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Maximum Storage Time:

10 to 12 months at 0 F.


Defrost pulp in the refrigerator or microwave, or reheat in boilable bags.


Prepare and freeze winter squash varieties using this same method.
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Pumpkin can be peeled cut in cubes and blanched in water, cooled and packed in ziplock bags to freeze.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 18, 2012

Can I freeze uncooked cubed pumpkin?

By Rosie


November 18, 20120 found this helpful

No because it going to be hard to cook it.

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November 18, 20120 found this helpful

And it will be rough.

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My husband and I bought some extra pumpkins for this Halloween season. We carved one but will use the other others to eat. Of course we'll roast the seeds.

Does anybody know what is the best and easiest way of cooking a pumpkin so that I will have pumpkin puree/mix for future pumpkin pies?

I plan on packaging and freezing extras and using them for pies in the future. Methods of cooking and duration of cooking time tips would be greatly appreciated.


By (Guest Post)
October 29, 20040 found this helpful

You'll want to cook the pumpkin first--cut it in pieces, remove the seeds, and bake it in the oven (at 350 degrees until tender--about an hour?). Some people boil it, but that leaves the flesh too moist and runny after processing. Baking will cook it and dry it out a little. You can peel it either before or after the baking. I have a contraption called a Victorio Strainer that I run my squash through, but if you don't have one, I'd mash the pulp with a potato masher or try a blender.

Package it in 2-cup portions, put it in a sandwich bag, lay flat and freeze.

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By Faye (Guest Post)
October 29, 20040 found this helpful

I find the easiest way is to bake the Pumpkin. First my husband cuts them into large chunks. Then I put them on a foil covered baking sheet with sides & bake at 325°F
for about an hour.(this depends on the thickness of the pumpkin & the size of the chunks) Just bake until tender. Then let cool for a bit and scrape the pulp our with a large spoon. Then whirl in the food processor in small batches until it resembles the pumpkin you buy in the can. If it is too wet, drain it before you package it for the freezer.
ps - package in amounts that your favorite recipes call for.

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By (Guest Post)
October 30, 20040 found this helpful

Cut your pumpkin in half and deseed. Faster than the some plastic wrap over each half and cook on high in the microwave for about 7 minutes per side. The microwave does not dry it out like the oven will. Puree and freeze in amounts you need for your favorite pumpkin muffin, cheesecake or pie.

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November 4, 20040 found this helpful

thanks everybody for your great tips!

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December 2, 20040 found this helpful

I wouldn't use carving pumpkins for things like pumpkin pie. The flesh is really too tasteless. The best for pumpkin pies, etc, is a sugar, or pie, pumpkin. Cut in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits and place cut-side down in a baking dish and bake at 350 until the flesh is soft. Scoop out the pulp to use. I've found that one average-size pie pumpkin will yield enough puree for 2 pies, or the equivalent of 2 small cans of pumpkin. Good luck!


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By Hannah (Guest Post)
November 3, 20060 found this helpful

Has anyone ever used a regular carving pumpkin?

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By melanie (Guest Post)
October 20, 20080 found this helpful

You should make pumpkin doughnuts with an apple cider glaze! It sounds gross but they are really good! I don't know the recipe but I am sure that you can just type it in to google!

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By Crisanne (Guest Post)
November 23, 20080 found this helpful

When you cook your pumpkin, you can just wash it and place on a cookie sheet, I use an old one and bake it like you would a bake potatoe in the oven, depending on the size, poke it with a fork if it goes in smoothly, then it is done, if not what a little longer and try again. I got this from a recipe book from the 20's it was given to my mother when she got married. I think she said its Meta Given, or gibbons?

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Does anyone know if you can freeze those little miniature pumpkins and reuse them as decorations again next year? I bought two dozen of them and hate to throw them away. I've had them outside and they still seem to be ok.


November 26, 20070 found this helpful

If you tried freezing them, and then thawed them out, they will turn to mush.

If you see that they are in good condition, you can cut them open, remove the seeds and boil them until they are soft like squash and make pumpin pies and bread.

Why don't you make some pumpkin bread and share it with family, friends and neighbors.

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November 29, 20070 found this helpful

She's probably talking about those mini ornamental pumpkins which you cannot make any food out of to my knowledge. You can't freeze them either. We used to grow them in the garden and I just kept them in a basket as a decoration for as long as they'd last. They do last quite a while but eventually will start getting soft and even moldy and then it's time to pitch. I used to keep gords and the mini pumpkins long after the Fall so just enjoy them for as long as you can.

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By G Butler (Guest Post)
September 15, 20080 found this helpful

Not sure about freezing them, but here's a fun way to extend their use. After Thanksgiving spray paint them white, stack them up and decorate to look like snowmen!

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By Lora (Guest Post)
November 3, 20080 found this helpful

I think freezing would retain too much moisture and damage the "tissue" of the pumpkin. BUT, has anyone tried to dry them on low heat or some other way, maybe like gourds?

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November 4, 20160 found this helpful

If they are sugar pumpkins you can cut them in to remove the pumpkin seeds and put them on a baking sheet flesh side down, drizzle with olive oil, roast at 350 degree for 45 minutes until soft, puree and add no seasoning. Use to make pies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup or any pumpkin recipe;remember that you control seasonings and herbs kin recipes with freshly roasted pumpkin.

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July 11, 2011

Can you freeze whole pumpkins?

By Ellen


July 11, 20110 found this helpful

I guess you can, but whole pumpkins take up lots of freezer space. It would make sense to remove the seeds and rind, cube the flesh and pack in freezer bags.

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July 11, 20110 found this helpful

You probably can, but they would be soft and mushy when thawed. I have allowed whole pumpkins to freeze under the porch for my chickens and brought them in over night to thaw (in a bucket), so I cannot say how they taste. The chickens seemed to enjoy them though! If stored correctly, pumpkins will keep a long time without needing to freeze.

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November 22, 2014

Can you eat pumpkin that has been frozen in the field and brought home to make pies?

By Steve


December 17, 20180 found this helpful

yes; if they were only setting there in an overnight freeze.

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November 15, 2014

I have some pumpkins that froze outdoors. Can I still cook them and freeze them?

By Julie B


December 6, 20170 found this helpful

If you did it immediately, but I am inclined to think that if you waited more than a few hours to do it, they will be getting mushy and starting to go bad.

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June 5, 2012

How do I freeze pumpkin?

By Stephanie G


June 21, 20120 found this helpful

Peel pumpkin, cut in cubes, blanch in boiling water and drain all the water and fill in freezer bags or airtight containers, use when needed.

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