Raise your hand if you’ve eaten pumpkin. No, not the mushy, canned stuff, but the real orange deal. If you’ve never cooked fall’s favorite veg yourself, we strongly recommend giving it a try. It’s just as easy to break down as a spaghetti or butternut squash, and has a pleasantly sweet flavor. Plus it comes with a bonus snack: seeds! So before you carve that pumpkin and leave it out to rot, try throwing it in the oven instead. Note: It’s best to roast the smaller pumpkins (often referred to as sugar pumpkins) because they have way more flavor.

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Rinse a small sugar pumpkin to remove any dirt (this may require the scrubby side of a sponge), then slice off the stem. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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Insert large (and sharp) chef’s knife tip into the top of the pumpkin and slice around half from top to bottom. Flip around the pumpkin and repeat.

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Cut through the pumpkin to fully slice in half.

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Scoop out pulp and seeds from the two halves. Save those seeds!

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Rinse seeds free from pulp and dry on a dish or paper towel. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil (about 1/2 teaspoon), then sprinkle with salt.

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Rub inside of pumpkin with a bit of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon per half), then place skin-up on the baking sheet with seeds.

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Roast pumpkin and seeds at 350 degrees until the pumpkin is fork-tender (about 40-50 minutes, depending on size) and the seeds are golden-brown (about 30 minutes).

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Let pumpkin cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh from the skin with a spoon. For a super-easy side, mash with a bit of coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Better yet, purée the veg and use it in your next pumpkin pie.

Recipe by: Rebecca Firkser Makes: 1 sugar pumpkin and about 1/3 cup seeds1 small sugar pumpkin (6-8 inches wide) Large chef’s knife Baking sheet Parchment paper 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil Salt1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.2. Rinse pumpkin to remove any dirt (this may require the scrubby side of a sponge), then slice off the stem. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Insert knife tip into the top of the pumpkin and slice around half from top to bottom. Flip around the pumpkin and repeat. 3. Cut through the pumpkin to fully slice in half. 4. Scoop out pulp and seeds from the two halves. Save those seeds! 5. Rinse seeds free from pulp and dry on a dish towel or paper towel. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, then sprinkle with salt. 6. Rub 1 teaspoon of olive oil on the inside of each pumpkin half, then place skin-up on the baking sheet with seeds. 7. Roast pumpkin and seeds until the pumpkin is fork-tender (about 40-50 minutes, depending on size) and the seeds are golden-brown (about 30 minutes). 8. Let pumpkin cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh from the skin with a spoon. For a super-easy side, mash with a bit of coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Better yet, purée the veg and use it in your next pumpkin pie.