Idaho’s favorable growing conditions allow the state’s pumpkin harvest to produce many varieties that are pleasing to the eye and rich in flavor. There are two different types of pumpkins – carving pumpkins and pie pumpkins – and they are very different in structure and taste.

To find a local pumpkin patch in your area please visit Idaho Pumpkin Patches and More.

Pumpkin Basics

What To Look For 

Pumpkins grown for carving are large, have a thick hard rind on the outside and thin, stringy pulp on the inside. These pumpkins are filled with seeds (which can be baked and made into a delicious snack!) but the flesh on the inside will have little or no flavor if cooked. These pumpkins are perfect for carving jack-0-lanterns or using as a festival fall display. Choose a pumpkin that has a bold orange color with no bruises or soft spots and a nice sized, sturdy stem.

Pumpkins grown for baking are smaller in size and labeled as a “cooking”, “pie” or “sugar” pumpkin. These types of pumpkins have a sweet, tender flesh that are particularly good for cooking and baking. Choose smooth, deep-orange pumpkins that are heavy for their size. These small varieties weigh 4-6 pounds and will yield 1 ½ – 2 cups of pumpkin puree. Baking pumpkins are perfect for making pumpkin bread, pie, cheesecake, muffins, pancakes, cookies, rolls and soups.

How to Store: Store baking pumpkins in the pantry for up to one month.

Fun Facts

  • Idaho pumpkins are available from September through November.
  • The pulp of Idaho pumpkins is great for soups, breads, desserts and even main dishes.
  • Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is vital for healthy vision.
  • Pumpkins are loaded with Vitamin C to help fight off colds.
  • Pumpkins are a type of winter squash. Winter squash differs from summer squash in that the skin is hard, thick and inedible.

Find Idaho Preferred pumpkin growers here.

RecipesRum Spiced Pumpkin Trifle


Pumpkin Video

Idaho Pumpkins and Winter Squash from Idaho Preferred on Vimeo.