Pickled Sugar Pumpkin Recipe

What You'll Need

  • 5 half pint jars
  • water bath canner with rack
  • canning funnel
  • canning jar lifter
  • clean kitchen towels
  • medium stock pot
  • spice sack, muslin bag or cheesecloth
  • 2 small sugar pumpkins (about 3 pounds)
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 16 whole cloves
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves

Many of tend to think of pumpkin as purely for pie, and indeed, that’s what these little cuties were bred for. But this venerable winter squash has more to offer the palate. If you’re a fan of pumpkin curry, you’re halfway to loving this recipe already. Make the leap to Pickled Pumpkin, with this recipe adapted from the delightful Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces from the author of Food in Jars. (We doubled the recipe, because we had the two cutest little pumpkins to play with, and found that the recipe made slightly more than the book suggested it would. Lucky us!) Dense and brilliant, sweet and tangy, these orange nuggets walk the line between sweet and savory, with a little spice to boot.

Picture them as part of a cheese plate, as a Thanksgiving condiment, or in a salad with arugula, cranberries, and goat cheese.  Picture it, then pickle it. Plate it. Say you ate it. 

If you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything. 

pumpkin recipe

Makes about 5 half-pints


1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 5 half-pint jars 

Set a water bath canner on the stove to boil, with the clean jars inside.

2. Prep your Pumpkin

Peel the pumpkin and remove the inner seeds and strings. Cut into 1/2-inch dice.

3. Make your spice sack

Tie the peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, and bay leaves into a muslin bag.
make a spice sack

4. Make your syrup

In a medium pot, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and spice bag. Heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
steep spices

5. Cook the pumpkin in the syrup

Add the pumpkin chunks to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the pumpkin mixture in the pickling liquid for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the chunks are translucent and fork-tender.
cooked pumpkin

6. Pack your hot jars

Ladle the pumpkin into prepared jars, and cover with syrup, leaving 1/2” headspace.

7. Process in your water bath canner

Secure the lids and return the jars to the boiling water bath canner. Process for 20 minutes. 

8. Cool and store

Remove the jars from the canner and place on a kitchen towel. Let cool completely and then store in a dark cool place. These pickles are best if allowed to rest for 2 weeks before eating.
pickled sugar pumpkin

If you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything. Keeping a great journal leads to delicious results! Get inspired by new recipes, expert articles and homemade food adventures in our Monthly Journal.