How to Cook a Whole Pumpkin and Recipe for Pumpkin Gut Bread

 Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You’ll never throw pumpkin guts away again!

We originally posted this pumpkin gut bread in 2009, and it is our most popular post every fall. I’m so excited to finally bring it up from the archives with new photos, a video, and some healthier ingredient options. But don’t worry, it is the same great recipe that has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media!

PUMPKIN GUT BREAD VIDEO

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

TOOLS FOR PUMPKIN GUT BREAD AND COOKING A WHOLE PUMPKIN

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PUMPKIN GUT BREAD AND HOW TO COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN

For some of you, this may be old news. But the rest of you, prepare to have your minds blown. Did you know that you can use every part of the pumpkin?

That’s right, even those Halloween pumpkins that you turn into jack o’lanterns have plenty of edible parts that typically get thrown away!

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

If you want to cook a whole pumpkin, start by cutting the pumpkin in half.  I set it on its side and stab a large knife into it.  I work the knife around through the side, then the base of the pumpkin and up the other side.  Go back to the original side and work from the cut up to the stem.  Pull the pumpkin apart into two halves.

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN – SEEDS AND GUTS

Now you have two pumpkin parts to be scooped from inside the pumpkin: one is seeds, and the other is guts.  That’s right pumpkin guts. I have to confess that I love playing with the pumpkin guts, they’re slimy and squishy and just feel good between my fingers.  (Hmmm, maybe that’s where my sensory kiddo gets it) More on those guts later!

For the pumpkin seeds, you can roast them however your like. We love using pumpkin pie seasonings to make these pumpkin pie roasted pumpkin seeds.

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

Quick tip: whether you’re taking the pumpkin guts and seeds out of the top of a pumpkin you’re carving, or from a pumpkin you’ve cut in half to roast, it’s easiest to have two bowls and separate the seeds and guts into them as you go.

COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN- HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE

Roasting pumpkin in the oven for pumpkin pureeThe third part of the pumpkin you can use is the flesh. This is the part that makes puree like you can buy in a can.  Once you’ve scooped all the seeds and guts from the pumpkin halves, place the halves cut side down in a pan.  If you have a smaller pumpkin you may be able to use one pan.

Pour some water 1/4 inch high in the pan (about 1 cup).  Place the pans in an oven preheated to 350 degrees, and roast the pumpkin for 45-60 minutes (for a large pumpkin).  It’s done when you can easily pierce the pumpkin with a fork.

Fresh pumpkin is much more fibrous then the highly processed pumpkin in a can, so you need to put it through a food processor before you can bake with it.

Simply puree the pumpkin until it’s smooth and liquidy without any chunks (is liquidy a word?).

You may notice that the pureed pumpkin flesh is pretty soupy. That’s because you still need to drain the excess water from your puree.

Just put a paper towel in a mesh strainer, and dump the puree in.  Let it drain over a bowl in the fridge for a couple hours.  Then you can use it in any recipe that uses canned pumpkin.

I like to freeze my homemade pumpkin puree in ziploc bags in one to two cup portions to make it easy to thaw the right amount (make sure you label it!).

Need some recipes to use your homemade pumpkin puree in?  We love this pumpkin soup recipe. And if you’re looking for baking ideas, these whole wheat pumpkin muffins and oatmeal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are fantastic!

COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN- CUBED PUMPKIN

If you want to get chunks of pumpkin, rather than pumpkin puree, you can do that too.

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

Use your knife to carefully trim the peel off of the pumpkin. You could try a vegetable peeler, but I find that the skin is so tough that a knife is easier.

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

Once the pumpkin is all peeled, you can cut it into chunks and have fresh pumpkin to use in your favorite recipes. You can also sub it into any recipe that calls for squash like butternut or acorn.

We love this squash and sage brown butter pasta recipe.

COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN – DINNER IN A PUMPKIN

Of course, you can also skip the peeling and chopping altogether, and simply cook your dinner inside your pumpkin. Then you just scrape the roasted pumpkin flesh out with the stuffing. It’s pretty easy and makes a gorgeous presentation.

This ground beef dinner in a pumpkin is is not only easy to make, it's also a kid friendly dinner that will have your little ones begging for more! From EatingRichly.com

We love the simplicity of this ground beef dinner in a pumpkin.

For now, here’s my famous pumpkin gut bread.  I sometimes try to be healthier by cutting the sugar down to two cups, it’s still good, but it’s killer with all three cups.  I call this bread famous because last year I brought it to several parties and everyone begged for the recipe, especially when they found out I made it with pumpkin guts.  This is the world’s best pumpkin bread recipe!

THE BIRTH OF PUMPKIN GUT BREAD

Okay, time for the magical recipe you’ve all been waiting for!

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

In 2008, Eric and I were SUPER POOR ($100/month food budget poor), and I felt like throwing away the guts of our carving pumpkin was throwing away money. So I gathered pumpkin guts from all of our family that we carved pumpkins with, did some experimenting, and came up with an incredible pumpkin gut bread recipe.

Now I always ask people for their pumpkin guts, partly in an effort to reduce waste, and partly because I love making the bread!

Pumpkin Gut Bread Uses Up Pumpkin Guts
My original pumpkin gut bread recipe photo from 2008. What a difference 9 years makes!

PUMPKIN GUT BREAD RECIPE TIPS

You could totally use pumpkin puree in this recipe instead of the pumpkin guts. The fun thing with the pumpkin guts is that they are chunky and solid, so you get beautiful golden ribbons of pumpkin throughout the bread, rather than having it all incorporated into the batter.

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

Just make sure to chop your pumpkin guts up a bit. You don’t want gigantic chunks, or your bread will fall apart. I use a pair of kitchen shears, but you could also chop them with a knife.

While homemade pumpkin puree is typically sweeter and more flavorful from smaller sugar pumpkins, or pie pumpkins, you can use the guts from any pumpkin in pumpkin gut bread. Could you imagine how much bread you could make with the guts from the GIANT pumpkins?!

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

We love seeing your comments and pictures of your food. If you make this pumpkin gut bread, please share it with us! You can leave a comment below, and post a photo on our Facebook page.

PIN TO SAVE PUMPKIN GUT BREAD:

Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com

 

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Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You'll never throw pumpkin guts away again! From EatingRichly.com
Print
Diana's Famous Pumpkin Gut Bread
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs
Total Time
1 hrs 10 mins
 


Course: Dessert
Servings: 20 pieces
Calories: 259 kcal
Author: Diana Johnson
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or sub All-Purpose
  • 3 cups sugar or sugar substitute like Swerve
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil we use avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups of fresh pumpkin guts the stringy part separated from the seeds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9x5 loaf pans well, then dust with flour.

  2. Use your fingers and a pair of scissors to separate the pumpkin guts, making sure they'll be able to mix into the batter.

  3. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda, and salt in large mixing bowl. 

  4. Add eggs, oil, water and pumpkin. Stir until you have a smooth batter.

  5. If using pecans, you can mix the nuts in now, or sprinkle them on top once your pour you batter into the loaf pans.

  6. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 1 hour, and check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, your loaves are done. If not, bake them longer, checking every 5 minutes.

  7. Cool slightly in the pans (about 10 minutes) them take out of pans to let them cool on a rack.

Recipe Notes

Approximate cost/serving: This bread is pretty affordable, especially if you buy your flour and sugar in bulk like I do.  Two loaves cost me around $2 to make, and I slice each one into 10 pieces.  So it comes out to only 10 cents a slice!

Vegetarian: This does have eggs, but it's meatless!

Nutrition Facts
Diana's Famous Pumpkin Gut Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 293mg 12%
Potassium 163mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 48g 16%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 31g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 77.3%
Vitamin C 1.3%
Calcium 2.8%
Iron 8.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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68 thoughts on “How to Cook a Whole Pumpkin and Recipe for Pumpkin Gut Bread”

  • ok, so now i’m going to have to get a pumpkin so i can try this out. i can’t believe that i am getting a pumpkin ‘for’ the guts. you inspire me once again!

  • Diana, thank you for your wonderful recipe ! It turned out great and everyone raved about it, I plan on making this again and again-lots of holiday parties. : )

  • Great ideas! I love using pumpkin and Jamaican pumpkin with savory spices in rice and beans. Looking forward to using guts and seeds this time. I’m not letting any part of my pumpkins go to waste this year.

  • I’m so glad this recipe is working out so well for everyone. Krissy, that sounds amazing, if you have a recipe I’d love to try it out!

  • Loved it, but i was so busy reading your instructions I forgot to oil my pans (it’s not written in there…lol)! But the taste is the same even if my bread is all crumbled.

  • We tried the pumpkin bread in Kazakhstan. We didn’t buy the nuts since they are more expensive and I didn’t have them in the house already. This recipe is great, even without the nuts!

  • I tried the pumpkin guts bread yesterday and it is so amazing!!! I couldn’t add the nuts because it has to be “nut-safe” for my kids to take to school, so I just have to imagine that there are nuts in it. This is going to be one recipe that I may have to buy pumpkins for JUST to make this bread. Thanks for the recipe!

  • I like how you have healthier recipes and how you do the cost breakdown because I’m working on getting the food budget under control

  • I tried this recipe today. I didn’t adjust it at all. I AM THRILLED!!! Thank you so much for giving out this recipe. It’s really fantastic and I will totally be using it again and again. THANK YOU! 🙂

    • You are SO welcome! I’m really looking forward to pumpkin time here so I can make some again. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sayward 🙂

  • Can I keep the “guts” overnight in the fridge, if I don’t have time to make the bread the day I use the pumpkin? I can’t wait to try this bread!

    • You can! If you’re not going to use them within a couple days you can freeze them and just thaw when you’re ready to use.

  • I don’t eat eggs, so I didn’t follow your recipe at all, but thanks for the idea! I didn’t want to throw out all the guts.
    I just subbed pumpkin guts for bananas in my favorite vegan banana bread recipe. It turned out great, though not as pumpkiny as I expected.

    • You’re welcome! Yeah it’s not super pumpkiny, The guts don’t have a ton of flavor like a banana will. Glad you found a way to make it suit your dietary needs, that’s awesome!

  • Just made a double batch of this last night and was thrilled to be able to use everything from the inside of our jack o’ lantern. I was amazed at how great it was. I thought it was a perfect pumpkiny spicy bread cake. I added a bit of vanilla and only did the 2 c sugar vs 3 for each part of the batch. I have already sent out emails requesting people’s guts in exchange for some bartered bread! I used mini loaf containers for gifts and the double batch made 9 perfect mini loafs. I’ll be getting another pumpkin at the farmers market this weekend and doing all of the pumpkin along with preserving/canning the pumpkin for future use. Thanks for this great recipe.

    • You’re so welcome Katie! I think I’ll be making mini loafs this year as well. We’re carving pumpkins on Saturday and I can’t wait to make my bread!

  • Ok, so nobody’s ever accused me of knowing anything about cooking, but my family carved jack-o-lanterns last night, and I had the bright idea to make pumpkin bread. I have to admit I was getting a little discouraged when all the recipes I could find said to throw out the part I saved. Thank you a million times over for coming up with this and saving my dream of yummy pumpkin bread!

      • The pumpkin gut bread I made at Halloween went over so well, I made some more for Thanksgiving with the frozen remains of my husband’s jack-o-lantern. It’s SO good and everyone loves it! I didn’t care for the big chunks of pumpkin, so I beat the guts with a mixer so it was smoother… much better! Thank you again! 🙂

  • As a broke college student, I felt bad about throwing away the “guts” of the pumpkin, after I carved it and took the seeds. I was very happy with this recipe and how it turned out. I now have a carved pumpkin for my Halloween party, bread, and pumpkin seeds as well. Thank you for your recipe.

  • Just made a batch of this yesterday for Halloween. Thought it would be fun to do with my little girl…and it was:) Had to substitute in some light brown sugar with reg sugar since I did not have enough and it still turned out great. Added golden raisins instead of nuts and used a bundt cake pan since I didn’t have any bread pans. It was Delicious and we could not stop eating it! Thanks Diana. I will keep coming back to this recipe and want to go pick up another pumpkin to make some more this Thanksgiving! Love that we used the whole pumpkin including the seeds (roasted) this year as well. Fantastic!!

  • I made this bread at Halloween and we loved it. I later made pumpkin bread with canned pumpkin and a different recipe and it was not nearly as good. I am wondering if you think this recipe will work with canned pumpkin, I don’t have any guts right now but the bread was so good am hoping to get a similar result. Don’t know if it has to be guts.

    • Hi Kristen, I haven’t tried using canned pumpkin before. I think it might work but the texture would be different. With the pumpkin gut bread you’ve got actual pieces of pumpkin spread throughout the batter. With using canned pumpkin it would be mixed into the batter. But you can always give it a try and definitely let us know how it turns out!

  • I notice you use Ziplocs for freezer storage? I’d love to find a way to reduce THAT waste, but just can’t figure out another way to store things “flat” without using them. Any alternatives anyone can think of would be helpful!

    • I’d love to know that too! I’ve started saving plastic containers from sour cream and things to use in the freezer, and I try to reuse the Ziplocs if possible, but yeah, I’d be excited to learn a way to reduce that waste!

  • I loved this recipe! It worked beautifully. I only had a cup of guts, so I halved the recipe. In the process, I goofed and didn’t half the amount of water. The loaves came out very moist that way.

    I’m making the puree now. The seeds are already roasted. I got the pumpkin free at a local festival, so all this food is a bonus. (.:

  • Thank you! This year is my first time cooking pumpkins and up until now I was just throwing the guts away, feeling a little guilty each time I did. You are the first person I’ve found who talks about actually using them. The recipe looks delicious.

    How well do you think this bread would keep? Long enough to pack up and send through the post in cold weather?

  • I’m so glad I found a recipe that uses the stringy guts! I always feel terrible wasting them. I was wondering if this could maybe be easily modified into muffins, as well? I’m going to contact my dormant inner baker for this. I’m also planning to use the excess juice from the guts to make Harry Potter style Pumpkin Juice. Very excited!

    • I tried it as muffins as well. All I did was put the mix into a muffin tin instead, and I cut the time about in half, maybe a little bit longer. It isn’t fluffy, but it makes a delicious dessert and/or breakfast option! I used whole wheat flour, which made it somewhat dense. The loaves turned out perfect, too! Fantastic recipe!

      • That’s cool that it worked for muffins. I created this before I switched my kitchen to all whole wheat flour and, you’re right, whole wheat does make it denser. But so good! Thanks for letting me know.

  • Thank you so much for this recipe! EVERYONE who tries it absolutely raves about it, and now, they’re even donating pumpkins for more 🙂

  • Hi, Diana! I made your Pumpkin Gut Bread, substituting nuts for chocolate chips, and it was fantastic!! I can’t stop eating it!
    Now I need to make more bread, in muffin form, for the kids cross country meet. But, now I have no pumpkin guts. How do I modify the Pumpkin Gut recipe with the home made pumpkin puree I just made? Any ideas?
    Aloha,
    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle, I haven’t tried this, so it would be an experiment for you. I’m guessing that because the canned pumpkin is so wet and will blend into the batter rather than be chunks in it, I would try substituting the pumpkin for the oil. Maybe still use a couple Tablespoons of oil with one and a half cups of pumpkin puree. Haven’t tried this myself so play around with the amounts a little to try and get the right texture. Let me know how it goes!

      • Hi, Diana! I will try your suggestions. I plan to make the muffins in a few days, so I’ll let you know next week how they turn out.
        Mahalo in advance,
        Michelle

        • Update!
          I made the muffins and they turned out great! I had portioned out 2 Cups of Pumpkin Puree into plastic bags, so in each batch I used the 2 Cups of Pumpkin Puree, 1/2 Cup of Veg. Oil, and enough water to make the batter to a cake mix like consistently. I also adjusted the amount of nutmeg because I’m not used to that much nutmeg.
          Thank you, Diana, for the recipe and help with the adjustments!
          Aloha, Michelle

  • hello, i was wondering how can i use the skin also in the puree? i did it by mistake and it is all mixed together. also how about high altitude?

  • So excited to try this recipe.

    More often than not I substitute applesauce or pumpkin puree for eggs. Given that this is already a pumpkin recipe, I’m not sure how that would work. But I plan to experiment with both. Probably won’t use the puree, but the applesauce will be tested.

  • Everything I was looking for was on this page when I was staring down a pumkin last year. Used it all. The page is a favourite and a regular go-to, and the bread is so moist and delicious, perfect every time. Thank you!

  • I just made this with a leftover pumpkin we never carved. In an effort to make it slightly healthier I substituted all purpose flour for whole wheat, I threw in one mushed up banana, used 2 1/2 c sugar and half c oil and half c unsweetened apple sauce. And it is delicious!! Thank you for this great fall recipe! My toddler loves it too 🙂

  • I have made this twice now. It is, hands down, my favorite bread recipe and I have made alot of breads. I find myself pacing around waiting for it to finish baking. Thank you for the creative, fun, delicious recipe. I have used nuts and no nuts and love it both ways!

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