Freezer cooking · Slow Cooking

How to Cook Pumpkin in a Slow Cooker

Is it too soon to start talking about pumpkins? It’s still hot where I’m at, with temperatures averaging between 85° and 90°. The calendar says autumn is fast approaching though, as we make plans for Fall Festivals and fall-decorated events around my community. I’m sure looking forward to some cooler weather!

How to Cook Pumpkin in a Slow Cooker -haphazardhomemaker.com
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Unfortunately, I never did get around to planting any pumpkins this year. Luckily, Hubby discovered some volunteer pumpkin plants in the empty chicken coop from us feeding vegetable scraps to the chickens last fall.

 

I love pumpkin, so I was ecstatic to hear of the volunteer plants. Because Hubby is not really into gardening, it’s fun to watch him take it upon himself to water the plants and move the vines so they would climb the fence. He has even rigged some “hammocks” to support the little pumpkins.

These are small pie pumpkins that I planted and grew last summer, but any pumpkin will work. If you didn’t grow your own pumpkins, watch for them to go on sale. Sometimes you can buy them pretty cheap after Halloween.

Note: I took these pictures last fall for this post that did not get written until now.

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Prep Pumpkin for Cooking

Rinse or wipe the pumpkins to remove dirt. To prepare the pumpkins, cut them in halves or quarters, and then scoop out the seeds. I cleaned and rinsed the seeds for roasting, plus saved some to plant the following year.

How to make pumpkin puree - haphazardhomemaker.comSlow Cooker Pumpkin

Place the pumpkins upside down in the slow cooker with about an inch of water. Cover and cook on high for 3  to 4 hours. I actually used both of my  Hamilton Beach 7-Quart Slow Cooker  and set them on the porch to cook. Using both slow cookers makes it possible get it all done at once and not heat up the house.

These slow cookers don’t have all of the fancy bells and whistles, but sometimes simpler is better. How easy can it get? Cook on high or low, and when done, turn it on warm for serving. They get a lot of use in my kitchen.

When the pumpkins become soft and fully cooked, remove them from the slow cooker to cool.

Cook Pumpkin in Slow Cooker - haphazardhomemaker.com

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

How to freeze homemade Pumpkin Puree haphazardhomemaker.com

When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scrape the cooked pumpkin into a large bowl. I like to put the bowl in the fridge for a few hours. Putting food in the freezer before being fully cooled encourages ice crystals on the food.

To blend into a puree, run the pumpkin through a blender or food processor. I just mashed mine a little with a potato masher, since most pumpkin recipes would require using a mixer anyway.

Once cooled, put it in your freezer containers in 2 cup portions. (2 cups is the equivalent of one standard size can) I prefer to use freezer bags, placing them on a baking sheet until frozen solid, for easier storage.

To thaw frozen pumpkin, put a bag in the fridge to thaw overnight.  The flat bags don’t take long to thaw though, so I just put them on the counter for an hour or two. Use thawed pumpkin puree within a couple of days.

Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

Here’s a few of my favorite drool-worthy pumpkin recipes from some of my favorite Blogging Buddies. Be sure to check them out!

How to cook Pumpkin in a Crock Pot -haphazardhomemaker.com

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Happy Fall, Y’all!

Robin

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19 thoughts on “How to Cook Pumpkin in a Slow Cooker

  1. Nice, informative post. I’m envious of your volunteer pumpkins, because I have never successfully grown one. Last year I tried cooking a pumpkin in my Instant Pot. It worked, but was extra work because the pot is not all that roomy. It took at least four repeats of the cooking process to get the whole pumpkin cooked. I’d try your slow cooker method…if I hadn’t gotten rid of mine when I got my Instant Pot. Argh.

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    1. Thank you! This was so easy in the slow cooker with no attending necessary. It’s actually quicker to bake them in the oven. Just follow the same prepping directions and place them upside down on a baking sheet, then bake in a 350°F oven for 30-45 minutes or until done. I’m still thinking about getting about getting an Instant Pot.

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      1. I’ve done the oven method, and actually liked the baked color, which was a deeper orange. I could also attempt a diy slow cooker, with a big pot on the stove with some water in the bottom. We’ll see. First, I need to score a bargain Halloween pumpkin. 🙂

        I highly recommend the Instant Pot, or a similar programmable pressure cooker. It has made so much of my food prep easier and/or faster.

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    1. Thank you for visiting…Canned is good, but I couldn’t bring myself to let these little pumpkins go to waste. I’ve baked them in the oven before, depending on how hot it was outside and if we could keep the indoors cool enough to run the oven. At least with the crockpot, we can sit it outside on the porch.

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  2. Great ideas …. I’m longing for an outdoor kitchen….. maybe someday…. anyway, I have a little secret for getting pumpkins, squashes, etc for pennies that I will share. You know all those Fall festivals and Pumpkin festivals and Apple festivals that are coming up? I go the very last day, at the very last 1-2 hours and offer to buy their unsold produce…. they all but hand it over free, lol…. they hate packing it up and taking it home! If the festivals are near the produce farms, I go to the farms 1-2 days after the festivals end with the same results! I come home with cases of produce for pennies on the dollar. Hope this helps.

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