Getting mega-value from your pumpkin. Have your pumpkin yet? Good. Now, to get more value from it:
Roast the seeds
There are lots of different ways to do this, based in part on personal preference. We’ve had good results cleaning them off, tossing them with some vegetable oil and soy sauce, and baking at 350 degrees until crispy, about 20 minutes or so. A slightly more complicated version can be found here, and an Alton Brown how-to video here.
Roast the pumpkin
Check out these instructions from the Kitchn. Or follow these instructions: If you carve the pumpkin, save the pieces that you cut out to roast. If you don’t carve the pumpkin, you can roast the whole thing. Cut the pumpkin in chunks that fit into a baking pan (half will work for a small pumpkin), pull out the seeds and stringy stuff, and bake at 350 degrees until soft, probably 45 to 50 minutes but possibly longer.
Let cool, then scoop out the insides from the skin. Mash with a fork, push through a potato ricer, or puree in the food processor, whatever you prefer. Divide into 2-cup portions and freeze. When you’re ready to use, thaw and add to your recipe. The flavor will not be as sweet as the canned stuff, so this is probably not a good bet for a recipe where the pumpkin is front and center like a pumpkin pie. It is great in soups, pumpkin bread, and other recipes that have additional spices and textures.
Any part of the pumpkin you don’t use, including a carved jack-o-lantern come November 1, can be put in the compost pile to make good soil for next year.