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How to Break Down a Pumpkin 07:36

Elia Aboumrad

“Pumpkin season is just once a year, so make sure to enjoy it and to have fun with it.”

How to Break Down a Pumpkin 07:36

Elia Aboumrad

“Pumpkin season is just once a year, so make sure to enjoy it and to have fun with it.”

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. Insert the tip of a sharp chef’s knife into the pumpkin, about an inch from the stem, until it feels like the knife has pierced through the thick skin. Carefully give the knife a wiggle to pull it out of the pumpkin. Repeat this process, making deep cuts around the stem, until the stem can be removed. You will most likely end up with a pentagon shape with five adjoined cuts or a hexagon with six cuts. 00:19

  2. 2. Once the stem is removed, slice the pumpkin into large wedges, cutting from the corner of the pentagon down to the bottom of the pumpkin. Be sure to grip the knife blade with the thumb and index finger in addition to the handle. This will give you extra control and leverage to cut through the thick pumpkin. Finish cutting the pumpkin into five or six wedges then cut each wedge into thinner halves. Working with smaller slivers of pumpkin will make the process more manageable. 01:16

  3. 3. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, scrape out the pulp and seeds, and discard or use for compost. 02:25

  4. 4. Place the knife blade into the pointy end of one of the wedges just beneath the skin, then move the knife down so it follows the curve of the wedge. Use your other hand to help guide the wedge with the knife. Once the peel has been removed, dice the wedge into even-sized pieces to use as needed. 04:16

What You'll Need


- Chef's knife
- Large metal spoon or ice cream scoop
- Cutting board


- Pumpkin

Chef Notes

Pumpkins are a type of squash that are round and deep orange in color. The cooked flesh can be used to make pies, mashes, and soups. The seeds, sometimes called pepitas, can be roasted and eaten as a snack. Pumpkins are packed with nutrients. They are high in vitamin A which helps with vision. They are also high in fiber, potassium, and the antioxidant beta-carotene which may help to prevent cancer. When selecting a pumpkin, be sure to choose one that is specifically grown for eating, as the ones designated for carving may be edible but not as good.

Chef Elia mentions the option of preserving the sliced pumpkin for up to a week by covering it with oil. Use a neutral oil, like grape seed, for sweet dishes or an earthy oil, like olive, for savory dishes.

To cook the pumpkin, Chef Elia recommends adding 10 grams of salt per 1 liter of liquid. Cover the evenly chopped pieces of pumpkin with water, add the appropriate amount of salt, and bring the contents to a soft boil until the pumpkin is cooked through.

To use the pumpkin to make pumpkin pie, refer to Chef Elia's "Pumpkin Pie" tutorial located at the bottom of the page.


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Taught by


Chef Elia Aboumrad

Los Angeles

Born and raised in Mexico City, Elia Aboumrad made herself a household name as a fierce competitor on season 2 of Bravo’s “To... read more