Roasting a whole pumpkin in your air fryer couldn't be easier! This fantastic Fall vegetable can be used in so many ways. Turn your Air Fryer Pumpkin into a homemade puree to use in your favorite fall recipes, make mashed pumpkin to serve with dinner and on holidays and even use it to make baby food!
Roasting a whole pumpkin in the air fryer is a simple and great way to use fresh, seasonal pumpkins in your cooking during the fall. An air fryer pumpkin turns out soft and tender inside and then can be made into a mash or homemade puree. Use it in place of store bought pumpkin puree in your favorite pumpkin recipes, like pumpkin cream cheese muffins, pumpkin pasta, sweet pumpkin bread, chewy pumpkin cookies and even pumpkin soup!
This recipe uses pie, or sugar, pumpkins which are sweet enough to eat plain too. It doesn't require any olive oil, salt, pepper, or seasoning. Just a simple roasted pumpkin to use in your favorite pumpkin-inspired recipes.
One of the coolest things about roasting a whole pumpkin is that there is no waste- you can easily use the entire pumpkin to make delicious snacks, including roasting the pumpkin seeds and even turning the skin into crunchy pumpkin chips! You can also use the same method I give here to roast butternut squash, acorn squash, and other winter squashes in your air fryer.
Pumpkins can be cooked in any brand basket-style or oven-style air fryer. I tested this recipe in both my Instant Pot Duo Crisp and Omni Plus, and there was no difference in cooking time or outcome. You can also cook a pumpkin using your Instant Pot, so if you have more than one pumpkin and both of these appliances, use them both!
What Type of Pumpkin to Air Fry
Pie pumpkins, also known as sugar or sweet pumpkins, are one of the best for cooking. They are small, readily available and sweet tasting with a creamy inside. Long Island Cheese and New England Pie are also fantastic pumpkins for roasting and eating.
You should not use field pumpkins for cooking. These are the pumpkins found in pumpkin patches and used traditionally for carving and decorating. They tend to be too large to fit in an air fryer and have watery, stringy flesh.
How To Prepare a Pumpkin for Roasting
Because we are roasting the whole pumpkin, you only need to wash it and scrub away any dirt. You can cut the stem off prior to cooking or leave it on. After the pumpkin has been air fried, the stem is easy to pull off. If you have a small air fryer that does not fit the whole pumpkin, cut it in half and remove the stringy fibers and seeds before air frying. If the pumpkin fits in your air fryer whole, you'll do this once it's done and cooled.
How Long to Air Fry
Whole, uncut pumpkins should be air fried for approximately 12 minutes per pound. I had a 2 pound pie pumpkin that took 24 minutes. You can test to see if it's done by inserting a knife into the flesh. The knife will easily pierce through the skin and slide through the inside.
Ways To Use Air Fried Pumpkin
I use my air fryer pumpkin as an alternative to canned pumpkin in my favorite autumn recipes. Here's how to easily turn it into a puree. Here are some delicious recipes to use your air fried pumpkin in:
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Chili
- Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Nutmeg Crust
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Bread
- Bread Machine Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Cornbread with Sugared Walnut Topping
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal with Walnuts
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto
Or, turn it into mashed pumpkin, similar to making mashed sweet potatoes. To do this, mash the cooked pumpkin using a potato masher or immersion blender. Once smooth and creamy, mix in a little brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter for a sweet side dish or just a little salt and pepper for a more savory version.
Want to make baby food? All you need to do is mash the pumpkin and season as desired. It's full of wholesome vitamins and minerals!
- Wash your pumpkin, scrubbing away any dirt. Remove the stem if doing so is necessary for it to fit in your air fryer basket.
- Set the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 204 Celsius) for 24 minutes. *The timing here is for a 2 pound pie pumpkin. You should alter the timing to air fry your pumpkin for 12 minutes per pound. Use a kitchen scale to get an accurate weight.
- When done, carefully transfer the pumpkin to a cutting board and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the fibers and seeds. Peel the skin off using tongs or your fingers. A knife can be used to cut away any skin that is difficult to peel. Bonus- use the skin to make pumpkin chips!
- Use a food processor or blender to create a puree or mashed pumpkin.
Don't forget to save the seeds to roast in your air fryer too!
How to Store
If you've made a puree, store it in mason jars in the fridge for up to 7 days. If you've kept the pumpkin whole after cooking, cut it into pieces and store in an airtight container. If you'd like to keep it longer than this, store in the freezer for up to 6 months. For easy use all season, divide into ½ or 1 cup increments and put into freezer safe bags. Lay them flat to stack in the freezer. Defrost overnight in the fridge when ready to use. For a quick thaw, place the frozen bag in a bowl of warm water.
- Pie pumpkins are typically 2-3 pounds. This size pumpkin should fit in most air fryers. If it doesn't fit in the air fryer whole, cut it in half. When cut, reduce the cook time by a few minutes per pound.
- If the pumpkin isn't fully cooked using the recommended 12 minutes per pound, continue cooking in 3 minute increments until a knife easily pierces the flesh.
- Don't worry about peeling the pumpkin before air frying. The skin will fall right off once it's air fried.
You will get approximately 1 cup of cooked pumpkin per pound. So for example, my 2 pound pumpkin made about 2 cups of cooked pumpkin.
No, this method is easy and does not require peeling prior to cooking. The skin will peel right off the pumpkin after it's air fried, so don't give yourself any extra preparation work!
400 degrees Fahrenheit, or 204 degrees Celsius.
No, you should not use a field or jack o lantern style pumpkin intended for fall decorating. These pumpkin lack flavor, have tough flesh and are too large to fit in an air fryer. Stick to pie/sugar pumpkins.
Air Fryer Pumpkin
- Large spoon
- 2 lb pie pumpkin *see notes
- Wash your pumpkin, scrubbing away any dirt. Remove the stem if doing so is necessary for it to fit in your air fryer.
- Set the air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit (204° C) for 24 minutes (*see notes on timing).
- When done, carefully remove the pumpkin to a cutting board and let cool completely.
- Remove and discard the stem. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the fibers and seeds with a spoon. Peel the skin off using your hands. A knife can be used to cut away any skin that is difficult to peel. Discard skin and reserve seeds and skin for roasting if desired.
- Use a food processor or blender to create a puree or mashed pumpkin, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days.