Pickled pumpkin is a delicious and unique way to use a sugar pumpkin. With a sweet and sour taste and warming spices, these pumpkin pickles are perfect on a holiday cheese board, or as a Thanksgiving side dish.
If you have a sugar pumpkin or two and want to make something besides pie, preserve them by making quick pickles! That’s right, pickled pumpkin is a thing, and it’s delicious!
This recipe is a festive way to preserve any sweet or pie pumpkins, as well as butternut, honeynut, kabocha, red kuri, or buttercup squash.
With a unique sweet and sour taste and perfect fall spices, these quick pickles make a perfect side dish and go great on any appetizer platter this season.
Preserving pumpkin can be tricky, and usually would require a pressure canner. These quick pickles are a super easy way to preserve sugar pumpkins though, they only take a few minutes to throw together.
If you have winter squash growing, cook some up for a weeknight dinner, and preserve some with this delicious pickled pumpkin recipe. Serve it with this delicious spiced pumpkin gin liqueur for amazing fall taste!
How to Make Pickled Pumpkin
This recipe is for quick pickles, otherwise known as refrigerator pickles. It’s a really the easiest way to preserve pumpkin, and just like its name is super quick to make.
Within a couple of days in the refrigerator, the flavors of the spices and vinegar will deliciously meld into the sugar pumpkin, and you’ll be addicted to these pumpkin pickles just like me!
Sugar pumpkin: Any sweet or pie pumpkin will work (not big jack-o-lantern type pumpkins). Or, substitute butternut, honeynut, kabocha, red kuri, or buttercup squash.
Apple cider vinegar: You can substitute white vinegar if you want, but I think the apple cider vinegar goes well with the pumpkin.
Brown sugar: This adds just the perfect sweetness to round out the sour and warm spices. It’s ok to add extra brown sugar depending on how sweet you want your pickled pumpkin.
How to Cut a Pumpkin
The first step of this recipe is to cut your sugar pumpkin into cubes. It might feel kind of daunting, but trust me, it’s super easy once you get going on it. Here’s a no stress method to cut a pumpkin:
Tip: You’ll want a large sharp knife for this to make the job easy as pie!
- Cut the pumpkin in half from the stem down.
- Use a spoon to remove the seeds, and scrape the strings from the sides.
- Then place the pumpkin halves cut side down and cut them in half again, from the stem to the bottom.
- Continue cutting in the same direction to make slices about one inch in size.
- Now you can easily chop the peel off of each slice.
- Once the peel is off chop the slices into one inch cubes.
- Job done without stress!
Here is a great video that shows the process of peeling and cubing a pumpkin!
Quick Pickled Pumpkin Recipe
First, cut the pumpkin into one inch cubes as described above.
Then put the pumpkin, vinegar, water, brown sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a medium pot and bring it all to a boil.
Turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Then let the pumpkin cubes simmer for about 20 minutes or until they just start to become tender. Make sure they don’t get too soft.
Now, put 3 whole cloves and 3 whole allspice berries into each quart jar. Add the pumpkin cubes and a cinnamon stick to each jar.
Pour the vinegar brine over the pumpkin cubes until they are fully covered. If you need to add a bit more apple cider vinegar so the pumpkin will be covered, it’s ok to add more.
Cap the jars and let them cool down until they are at room temperature. Then put them in the refrigerator to do their pickle-y business!
You can technically eat quick pickled pumpkin right away, but it’s best to wait 2-3 days so the flavors have time to develop.
How to Store and Eat Pickled Pumpkin
Pumpkin pickles will last in the refrigerator for several months, so if you make enough jars they can last through the holidays. Plus, they’re so easy to make you can always make more!
Pickled pumpkin has a sweet and sour flavor that goes swimmingly well as a Thanksgiving side dish, or really alongside any fall or winter meal.
I really like to serve it on a cheeseboard or appetizer plate, it makes a unique happy hour snack. Pair it with your favorite wine and cheese, or with a fall spiced pumpkin beer.
With warm spices and kick of sour, pumpkin pickles are perfect for the season!
More Fall Recipes to Try
- Homemade Pumpkin Butter
- Mashed Butternut Squash
- No Bake Pumpkin Cups
- Dehydrated Pumpkin Pie Roll-Ups
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Fermented Honey Cranberries
- Pumpkin Cornbread
- Roasted Pumpkin Wedges
- Quick Pickled Cranberries
Quick Pickled Pumpkin
- Cut the pumpkin into 1 inch cubes (see post for the best method).
- Put the pumpkin, vinegar, water, brown sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer the pumpkin cubes for about 20 minutes or until they just beginning to become tender (but not too soft).
- Put 3 whole cloves and 3 whole allspice berries into each quart jar, then add the pumpkin cubes and a cinnamon stick to each jar.
- Pour the vinegar brine over the pumpkin cubes to cover. More apple cider vinegar can be added to top off the jars if needed.
- Cap the jars and let them cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. It’s best to wait 2-3 days so that the flavors can develop. The pumpkin pickles will last in the refrigerator for several months.
- Pumpkin pickles will last in the refrigerator for several months.
- Any sweet or pie pumpkin will work for this recipe.
- Butternut, honeynut, kabocha, red kuri, or buttercup squash can be substituted for the pumpkin.
- More brown sugar can be added if desired to make the pickles a bit sweeter.
- White vinegar can be substituted for the apple cider vinegar.