Which Part of The Pumpkin Plant Is Edible?

Not just around Halloween, pumpkins are a unique food item throughout the year. What makes it special is that the taste and nutrients are incomparable. Pumpkins go with most cuisines, and there are some fantastic dishes that you can make with them. There are many myths regarding which part of the pumpkin plant is edible.

Interestingly, pumpkin plants are so versatile that you can eat all of them. Fruits, seeds, flowers, flesh, leaves—you can eat them all!

So, if you are interested in the culinary uses of pumpkin parts, you first need to know which domain has what uses and how to prepare them. Also, you must know the nutritional benefits of each of the edible parts of a pumpkin plant. So, to have a brief overview of all these pumpkin facts, please read the entire article till the end.

Can You Eat All Parts Of A Pumpkin Plant?

Yes, it is true! You can consume all the parts of a pumpkin plant. Not only the pumpkin, but you can also eat the flesh, flowers, leaves, seeds, stems, and everything that comes with the plant.

Pumpkins belong to the genus “Cucurbita.” Cucurbits are unique in the sense that you can eat all the parts of the plant. For example, another such vegetable is squash. Now, let’s learn about consuming the pumpkin in detail.

 The Pumpkin

There are several kinds of pumpkins available for our consumption. Among these, you have probably seen some of the Jack-o-lanterns during Halloween! However, there are several varieties of pumpkin.

Some are so sweet that you do not even have to add any extra sugar to make pies, puddings, or desserts with them. For example, the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin is a little extra sweet, and these pumpkins are suitable for sweet dishes. Also, some varieties are not that sweet, so you can use them to prepare soups, curries, etc.

Besides, you must peel off the skin and extract the seeds when making the curries. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t eat them. Indeed, they won’t taste good in your curries and soups if you use them raw! There are some particular ways to prepare the flesh and seeds after which you can enjoy them. 


Pumpkin flowers are some lovely soft yellow flowers with a mellow taste of pumpkin. They taste sweet and have a natural, earthy flavor. Although it may sound weird enough, you can consume raw flowers (use the bright yellow flowers for garnishing salads) or cook them.

The flowers of almost all cucurbits are edible. You may have heard of or even consumed the summer and winter squash flowers. They are delicious and look great too!

But keep in mind, if you wish to eat the flowers, always make sure you are plucking the male flowers. It is not hard to differentiate between male and female flowers. 

Female flowers are larger and have an immature fruit at the bottom. This fruit gives rise to the future pumpkin. On the other hand, male flowers are thinner and have longer sepals. So, spare the female ones as these produce your future pumpkin babies. But do not pluck all the male flowers. You need to save some for pollination


Some plants are entirely consumed for their leaves only. For example, there is kale, lettuce, spinach, etc. However, the pumpkin is not a plant that you would consider consuming its leaves. But to your surprise, pumpkin leaves are edible too, and they taste somewhat like lettuce!

These leaves have a fleshy, leafy taste when cooked. But most people disapprove of eating the pumpkin leaves. It is because the leaves have a long thick spine, and there are spikes at the margins of the leaves.

But it would be best if this didn’t keep you from eating such a healthy dish. If you cut and cook them properly, there shouldn’t be a problem.


Is pumpkin a fruit or a veggie? That debate can still go on. However, since it has seeds, it is safe to mention fruits and vegetables.

Now, there are some non-hulled breeds of pumpkin seeds that do not have the hard, fibrous coat. So, these taste better. And you can buy them from the market under ‘Pepita’ pumpkin seeds. 

Besides, non-hulled seeds are most easily extracted from Styrian pumpkins. These grow well in Austria.

These seeds are naturally hulless; you can even eat them without cooking. They taste delicious! Other breeds include – the Kakai Hulless, Naked Bear, the Lady Godiva, Gleisdorfer, etc. 

Also, if you want to consume the seeds from your Jack-o-lanterns, you can scoop them out and eat them! But these are hulled seeds, so it’s better to cook them first.

The Skin

In most households, you will see the skin thrown away. Most people peel off pumpkins and discard the flesh. But the flesh holds several nutrients and can also be used to make tasty dishes. 

Also, some people may prefer not to peel off the pumpkin thoroughly. So, when you cook with the skin, it gets soft. And it doesn’t taste bad in curries, either.

Culinary Uses Of Pumpkin Leaves

You must learn to prepare pumpkin leaves before using them in recipes. There are several tasty cuisines that you can make from these leaves. 

The easiest way to prepare them is to cut off the spiky edges. You can use a pair of kitchen scissors and just cut the edges. Also, you can discard the spine and use the leafy part only. Now, there are some dishes that you can prepare out of these leaves. These are-


It is a soup made from pumpkin leaves. It is a popular dish in West Africa. They refer to sauces as soups. For making Ugu, you need pumpkin leaves, some protein (e.g., smoked fish, meat like beef), garlic, sauteed onions, tomatoes, peanuts, peppers, etc.

Once you throw in all the ingredients and start cooking, the spiky parts will ferment and soften.

So, you do not even feel the spines. For making Ugu, try to pick the younger leaves. But don’t pluck the youngest vines. These bear the apical buds for growth.


You can use older leaves to make Mediterranean wraps. These leaves are more extensive and rigid to hold the stuffing. 

Make a stuffing of your choice and just put it in the center of the leaf. Then, wrap it around the same way grape leaves are used in Mediterranean dishes. After that, you can cook or bake it and enjoy your wrap!

Some people also prefer to consume the leaves raw. You can also add them to salads or make desserts with them.

Yam And Pumpkin Leaves 

It is a dish from Nigeria and is pretty easy to make. You will need white yams, pumpkin leaves, peppers, onions, oil, salt, and some protein (fish or meat). 

It is a delicious dish and quite nutritious too. Use the younger leaves for this dish. But be careful because the young leaves may have thorns in them. However, most thorns are tender enough, so they soften when cooked.

Nutritional Benefits Of Pumpkin Plant Parts

The pumpkin is an enormous storehouse of antioxidants, nutrients, and flavors. You know, bright, colorful veggies are good for your health and eyes. Not only that, but they also come with several other health benefits.

The most underrated pumpkin plant parts are the leaves and seeds. So, you will be surprised to find out how many nutrients they hold! 

A cup of pumpkin flower contains:

Vitamin A643 IU
Vitamin C9 mg
Potassium57 mg
Other MicronutrientsTrace

Pumpkin seeds contain proteins, zinc, copper, magnesium, etc. The hulled seeds have a thick fibrous coat, which is rich in fiber.

Also, pumpkin seeds have a good quantity of oils like oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. The seeds help to prevent Benign Enlargement of the Prostate and raise serotonin levels, which is the happy hormone!

Besides, the entire pumpkin is rich in antioxidants that help prevent many diseases like cancer, geriatric problems, etc.

They have a good amount of ascorbic acid, which is good for your immunity and keeps the skin in good health.


Pumpkins are the most versatile and incredible plants in terms of consumption or nutritional value. If you thought which part of the pumpkin plant is edible, you must know by now that all parts can be eaten and enjoyed! Perhaps, you discarded these parts all this time, thinking they were useless. But they are a great store of nutrients and taste great as well.

So, try to prepare the dishes utilizing the aforementioned parts of pumpkins next time you have some lying around in your kitchen. Thank you for reading with patience. Have a great day!