The best pumpkins for pies

Pumpkins in a field at sunset |
Photo credit: donald_gruener/Getty Images

Field pumpkins, or jack-o-lanterns, are great for carving — but their tough, fibrous flesh is less than ideal for kitchen use. If you’re planning on baking with your pumpkin, look for one of these pie-ready varieties of pumpkin instead.

Cinderella pumpkins

These pumpkins earned their moniker because they resemble the pumpkin that Cinderella’s fairy godmother transformed into a carriage. Cinderella pumpkins are also quite possibly the type of pumpkins cultivated by the Pilgrims. Their flavor is good for any pie or winter squash recipe.

cinderella pumpkin

Pink banana pumpkin

Pink banana squash’s flesh is finer grained and sweeter than a standard pumpkin, making it an excellent choice for pies, baking, canning and homemade baby food. The nearly cylindrical fruit can weigh over 50 pounds!

Sugar pie pumpkins

“Pie” is right in the name of these mini gourds so you know you won’t go wrong! The skin is very thin, the flesh is sweet and fine grained and it’s quite dry – making for a more stable pie.

Sugar Baby Pumpkins

Blue hubbard squash

Native to New England and the basis for many traditional New England recipes, blue hubbard squash has a finely-textured, yellow-orange flesh that’s both medium sweet and medium dry with a very hard rind. It’s excellent in soups and all holiday baking.

blue hubbard squash

Here’s how to pick a great pumpkin and how to cut it open.