reuse Halloween pumpkins

5 ways to reuse Halloween pumpkins

Don’t throw away those Halloween pumpkins – they can still dish out more tricks & treats!

– By the Veggie Fairy Team

Is there a jack o’lantern sitting by your door? If the nearest cat is less enthusiastic about your pumpkin’s fashion potential than the kitty pictured here, we’ve got 5 other things you can do with it after the trick-or-treaters are gone. So here are our favorite suggestions for how to reuse Halloween pumpkins.

1. Turn it into pumpkin puree

Puree is incredibly versatile. Use it to make pumpkin muffins, breads, soups, even Thanksgiving pie – or if you have a carving pumpkin (which is bred for thick walls, not nutrition or taste) a facial scrub. Puree is simple to make. Just boil, bake, or steam your pumpkin. Good Housekeeping has step-by-step instructions. If you used a real candle in your jack o’ lantern, cut off and discard any burned sections or leftover wax. Puree freezes well for future use. Put it in zip-top freezer bags, filled and flattened for easy stacking.

2. Build a pumpkin catapult

Are you a home schooler or just need to keep the kids (or yourself) occupied for a few hours… or days? This video shows how one teacher turned it into a lesson in both history and physics. And this website provides plans for catapults large and small.

3. Leave it for the squirrels

One person’s has-been holiday decoration is another person’s feast – if you’re a squirrel. Move it away from your front door unless you like passing by an increasingly macabre-looking horror show every day.

4. Make a pumpkin bird feeder

This is a cuter way of letting the critters have at it. All you need is your gutted pumpkin, a knife, some string, and a stick. Oh, and bird seed. Details here.

5. Compost it

Your leftover pumpkin can help you grow your garden next year. Cut it into smaller pieces and toss it in the compost pile, or just bury it in the garden.


Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at