How to Peel a Pumpkin

pumpkin image by Maria Brzostowska from

Pumpkins are vegetables native to North America that can be used to prepare a wide variety of foods, including soups, breads and pies. Pumpkins are a nutritious source of beta carotene, an anti-oxidant, and contain only 49 calories per cup. Peel away the tough pumpkin shell prior to cooking.

Rinse the outside of the pumpkin in cool water and pat dry with paper towels.

Insert the tip of the chef's knife at a 45-degree angle into the top of the pumpkin approximately 2 inches from the stem. Using a sawing motion, cut a circle around the stem all the way through the flesh of the pumpkin. Remove the cut piece from the pumpkin and discard.

Cut the pumpkin in half using the chef's knife.

Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the flesh of each pumpkin half using a large spoon. Discard the seeds and pulp, or keep the seeds for roasting.

Cut the pumpkin halves into slices about 2 inches wide at the widest part.

Lay a pumpkin slice flesh-side up on the cutting board and center the blade of the chef's knife at the tip of the right end of the slice where the shell meets the flesh.

Slide the knife downwards between the shell and the flesh, following the contour of the pumpkin, until the knife reaches the center bottom of the slice. Pull the knife out of the pumpkin and turn the slice 180 degrees so the uncut side is on the right.

Repeat the downwards cutting action, bringing the knife to the end of the initial cut so the flesh releases from the shell.

Repeat the cutting for each pumpkin slice, discarding the shells as they are removed.