The Best Way To Keep Pumpkin Fresh After It's Cut

From hearty soups, rich pies, creamy risottos, or even savory curries, pumpkin's unique flavor and texture can elevate any meal. Yet, a challenge arises for the home cook — since pumpkins are often enormous, using an entire gourd in one meal is ambitious, to say the least. Consequently, it's crucial to know how to preserve this delectable fruit once it's been cut. The simplest, most effective method? Refrigeration.

When refrigerating, your primary goal is to retain the pumpkin's moisture, ensuring that the gourd remains succulent and flavorful. Therefore, wrap the cut side of the pumpkin tightly in cling film or plastic wrap. If you have already diced or chopped your pumpkin, storing the pieces in an airtight container before refrigerating will keep them fresh and ready for use on your next culinary venture. Properly stored in the refrigerator, your pumpkin can remain fresh for up to five days. However, if you're looking for a more long-term solution we suggest freezing it.

Freeze cut pumpkin for long-term preservation

Using different freezing methods can keep your pumpkins fresh for six to 12 months and also offers flexibility in how you might want to use them later. The first and fastest process involves freezing the pieces raw. Begin by chopping the pumpkin into desired sizes. Then, to ensure individual pieces don't stick together, pre-freeze these cubes on a tray before transferring them to freezer bags. This method is perfect for dishes where you'll be cooking the gourd pieces whole, such as in stews or roasts. Alternatively, you can blanch these cubes before freezing. 

This process involves briefly boiling and then immediately cooling your pumpkin which helps to preserve the color, texture, and flavor. After blanching, pat the pieces dry and proceed with the pre-freezing and storage method above. Finally, for those who foresee a lot of pies, soups, or baked goods in their future, turning the fruit into a purée before freezing is the way to go. 

After cooking and mashing the cut pumpkin, let the purée cool. Then portion it into freezer bags, or for smaller, more manageable quantities, use ice cube trays. And once frozen, these gourd ice cubes can be transferred to a freezer bag. When you're ready to enjoy your pumpkin, you can either first thaw both the frozen purée and the cut cubes or cook the cubes directly from their frozen state in your dishes.