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. You can even use it 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. The whole pumpkin is air fried until soft and tender, then made into a mash or homemade puree.
It doesn't require any olive oil, salt, pepper, or seasoning. Just a simple roasted pumpkin to use in your favorite pumpkin-inspired recipes!
This recipe uses pie pumpkins, which are sweet enough to eat plain too.
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 amazing appliances, use them both! They both create a delicious, sweet pumpkin.
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. In my Omni Plus oven style air fryer and my Duo Crisp basket style, I was able to fit a 2.6 pound pumpkin. This is a typical size for pie pumpkins so they should fit in most air fryers.
Long Island Cheese and New England Pie are also fantastic pumpkins for roasting and eating. You can also use the same method I give here for roasting butternut squash, acorn squash, and other winter squashes in your air fryer.
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 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.
If the pumpkin isn't fully cooked using this recommended time table, continue cooking in 3 minute increments.
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.
- Wash your pumpkin, scrubbing away any dirt. Remove the stem if doing so is necessary for it to fit in your air fryer basket or oven.
- Set the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 C) for 24 minutes. (*or 12 minutes per pound). If your air fryer preheats, allow it to preheat before putting the pumpkin in.
- Flip halfway through cooking (this prevents one side from becoming too browned).
- When done, carefully remove the pumpkin to a chopping board and let cool.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the fibers and seeds. Peel the skin off using your hands. 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 (see below for specific suggestions for using).
How To Use Roasted Pumpkin
The best way to use an air fried whole pumpkin is to turn it into a homemade puree or make mashed pumpkin as a vegetable side dish for dinner.
You will get approximately 1 cup of cooked pumpkin per pound. So for a 2 lb pumpkin, this recipe created 2 cups of cooked pumpkin.
Once peeled and cut, mash the pumpkin like you would sweet potatoes. A blender or immersion blender work well in making it smooth and creamy. Mix it with brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter for a sweet vegetable side dish. Fresh pie pumpkin is sweet enough on its own that it's also fantastic served with just a little salt and pepper too.
You can also use mashed pumpkin as a homemade baby food. It's full of wholesome vitamins and minerals!
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
If you're turning your pumpkin into a puree, a food processor or cooking blender will do the best job. I use the puree and smoothie settings on my Ace Nova cooking blender. The puree setting uses a combination of heat and pulsing to create a creamy pumpkin puree. Since the pumpkin is already air fried and cooked through, a food processor will do the same. Use your homemade puree to make:
However you use your pumpkin, just don't forget to save the seeds to roast in your air fryer too!
How to Store
To store, cut the pumpkin into pieces and keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 7 days. It will keep in the freezer in a freezer safe bag for up to 6 months.
If you've made a puree, store it in mason jars in the fridge until ready to use. It's also easy to freeze pumpkin puree for use all season long. Store it in 1 cup increments in freezer safe bags laid flat. Defrost overnight in the fridge or put the sealed bag in warm water to quickly thaw it.
I hope you enjoy roasting pumpkins in your air fryer! Leave me a comment if you've tried it out.
Air Fryer Pumpkin
- Large spoon
- 2 lb pie pumpkin see notes for smaller or larger pumpkins
- 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).
- Flip halfway through cooking. When done, carefully remove the pumpkin to a chopping 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 for roasting.
- Use a food processor or blender to create a puree or mashed pumpkin (see notes for suggestions). Store in the fridge in an airtight container or the freezer in a freezer-safe bag.
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Do I need any liquid in the air fryer?
Very new to this.
Hi Jane! Nope, no liquid is needed in your air fryer.
Hi! I don't own any of the modern day appliances. I've been considering an Omni air fryer that you've spoken about. Where do I purchase one; how large are they and what is the approximate cost?? Thank you. I love to cook. I'm 80, but have lots of family in. I'm thinking this would help me.
Hi Angie! The Instant Omni is a larger air fryer and it sits on the counter like a toaster. They can be found quite easily, in stores like Target, Walmart, Macys, etc. I purchased mine from Amazon for about $250. Here is a link to it, and you can find the dimensions there as well. https://amzn.to/3Lr2PGf
I hope this helps!
I do not have any of these very modern kitchen appliances. I've been considering something, but don't know which or what one to get. Reading your info, I'm leaning towards a
great idea instead of oven roasting to use in purees