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How To Cut A Pumpkin – For a Recipe or for Halloween Step By Step Guide

Let’s face it.

Cutting a pumpkin is not easy.

Especially not when you are doing it wrong. And I have to confess that I didn’t know how to properly cut pumpkins for a very very long time.

No matter if it is for Halloween or for a nice pumpkin soup, either way, you will need to get through the thick skin to reach the pumpkin flesh.

Let me share with you how I cut a pumpkin nowadays.

How To Cut A Pumpkin

To cut a pumpkin push the blade deep into the pumpkin starting at the center. Let it naturally split as you hit the heel of the handle. Cut the pumpkin in half, then cut each half into quarters separately. If you want to remove the seeds, use a tablespoon to do so. Cut off the head and tail and start cutting strips and cubes. Decide if you cut off the skin or if you want it to remain on the pumpkin. Both options work.

Cutting a Pumpkin – Step By Step

Step 1 – Arrange the working area

Arrange the working area before starting to cut a pumpkin
Arrange the working area before starting to cut a pumpkin

Arrange the working area so you’ll be able to cut and dice the pumpkin easily.

Use a large chopping board and ensure that it doesn’t move by placing it firmly.

Use a moist, heavy cloth underneath the board to hold it in position as you cut.

Step 2 – Cut the pumpkin into quarters

Cut the pumpkin into quarters
Cut the pumpkin into quarters

The pumpkin’s body and skin can be sliced by using a sharp, heavy knife.

Enter the knife in the middle of the pumpkin.

Cut it and once you are halfway through make sure that it splits naturally.

Now that you have two halves, half them again and you end up with quarters.

Step 3 – Decide if you need the skin and seeds

Deseeding a pumpkin
Deseeding a pumpkin

Both, the skin and the seeds can be eaten.

It depends on the recipe and your personal preference if you want to use them.

A metal spoon should be used to scrape out the seeds from each wedge.

The same goes for the skin. You can either leave it on or remove it completely.

If you want to roast a pumpkin it can be done with or without skin.

Pumpkin wedges can be roasted along with the skin and served as a side dish.

As a next step divide the quarters into multiple two-centimeter strips.

Slice the strips into cubes. Voila, you cut a pumpkin.

Cutting a pumpkin into wedges

Pumpkin wedges make a great dish
Pumpkin wedges make a great dish

Alternatively, you can cut a pumpkin into wedges.

Place the pumpkin flat and cut it into wedges with a large sharp knife.

You can use the natural ridges as guides.

How To Skin A Pumpkin

Skin a pumpkin if you don't need the skin for your recipe
Skin a pumpkin if you don’t need the skin for your recipe

Removing the pumpkin skin can be challenging but often necessary when making soups, risottos, and scones. 

Make sure your knife is sharp so it will glide through the tough skin effortlessly.

This has the advantage that you won’t hurt yourself or waste any flesh.

Cut at least half the pumpkin in order to get to the grooves in the pumpkin.  

If you deal with butternut pumpkins you will notice that they have quite thin skin.

You can use a knife to cut them into half and then peel them off using a sharp peeler.

Tips For Cutting Pumpkin

Cutting a pumpkin the right way
Cutting a pumpkin the right way

If your pumpkin is a Kent, Queensland Blue, or Dumpling, slice it into wedges once it has been stripped of its skins and seeds.

When slicing Butternut pumpkin, use thick slices.

It can be hard to cut through the pumpkin’s solid body since it is often very hard and solid!

Therefore, applying weight to the heel part of your hand will ensure the knife glides through the pumpkin in the most efficient manner while avoiding cutting your fingers.

Finally, while all pieces are not the same size, they should be similar so that they cook quickly and at the same pace.

How To Cut A Pumpkin For Halloween

Halloween is the favorite time of the year for my kids, by far.

They always have a great time carving Jack O’Lanterns together.

Tips When Carving Jack O’Lanterns

Tips When Carving Jack O'Lanterns
Tips when carving Jack O’Lanterns

You should keep the following things in mind before you start carving.

It’s not a good idea to carve the pumpkin straight away.

Pumpkins should be washed in warm, soapy water.

Mold will not grow inside the pumpkin using this method.

Ensure that the pumpkin top is not cut.

The pumpkin will retain more moisture if you cut the bottom of it instead.

The pumpkin interior must be scraped in spiral motions until all strings and seeds have been removed from the walls of the inner cavity.

I would advise you not to carve large pieces first.

Make sure you deal with the details first so that you do not break anything.

After you’ve finished carving your pumpkins, DO NOT put them outside.

Vaseline should be applied to all pumpkin’s edges first to prevent damage.

What To Do With Left Over Pumpkin

There are many uses for leftover pumpkin
There are many uses for leftover pumpkin

When you carve a pumpkin for Halloween or for a recipe, you often have leftovers.

The pumpkin leftovers do not have to go to waste.

There are many things that you can do with the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup is delicous
Pumpkin Soup is delicious and it goes well with added cream, lemongrass, onions, and ginger

A velvety soup with creamy pumpkin flesh, mmh!

Make your bowl of pumpkin soup more interesting by adding lemongrass and ginger alongside onions, cream, and stock.

You can also add seared bacon and bread if you like and pour some creme fraiche into the served pumpkin bowls

For the ultimate dinner party soup, serve roasted pumpkin and squash with pancetta.

Pumpkin One Pot

Pumpkin one pot
Pumpkin one pot

As pumpkin has a mild flavor, it sits easily in curries and tagines, absorbing flavor and spices easily.

In a fragrant fish dish, chunky pumpkin pairs well with prawns and makes a rich and creamy risotto.

You can cut pumpkin any way you want for this, but many choose to go with diced pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pie

The grated sweetness of pumpkin works perfectly in cakes and bakes.

If you are looking for a way to update your favorite pumpkin cake recipe, try mixing cinnamon with honey.

You can squeeze out any excess moisture from the grated pumpkin before using it.

Bake it for longer if it seems to need it due to the added moisture.

For this, you can simply use grated pumpkin or pureed.


Choose a gourmet pumpkin recipe that will serve as inspiration for your pumpkin-themed feast once you know how to peel and cut a pumpkin properly.

There are loads of pumpkin recipes to enjoy this holiday season readily available on the internet, including soups and desserts.

Try a pumpkin risotto served in a whole pumpkin to match the vibrant colors of fall.

You can also beat the chilly autumn air with a curry velouté and warm autumn flavors, including apple and gourd.

A vegetarian side dish that uses pumpkins and chestnuts can be enhanced with piquant onions and thyme.

What are you going to create with your pumpkin?

Frequently Asked Questions about How to cut a Pumkin

Can I Blanch Pumpkin To Make It Easier To Cut?

The easiest and fastest way is to use your microwave to blanch the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in thirds or fourth and place it with a bit of water on a microwave suitable dish. It is recommended to place the cut side down. Leave it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, once you can remove the skin easily the process is finished.