Sautéed Pumpkin and tomatoes is a simple but absolutely delicious way to enjoy pumpkin. In the United States, pumpkin season is typically in the fall and winter. Many gourds are enjoyed in the cooler months and typically in soups and pies. In the Guyana and the Caribbean, pumpkin is enjoyed year round. I LOVE pumpkin anything, including pumpkin spice. I’m not fortunate to find fresh pumpkin (Caribbean variety) where I live. I’ve lived in Colorado for almost 10 years and I’ve only seem pumpkin once in the Asian market. Recently, however, I discovered organic steamable pumpkin in the frozen vegetables section in Walmart and that is now my go to for pumpkin.
Key ingredients for this dish
Like the name suggest pumpkin and tomatoes are the star of this dish. I am not picky about what kind of pumpkin you use and sometimes I even substitute pumpkin with butter nut squash. It really just depends on what I can find in the supermarket. Same for the tomatoes, sometimes I use roma, sometimes vine ripened, sometimes plum, other times cherry tomatoes. At the time that I was updating this post, I have about 4 cups of flavor bomb tomatoes sitting in my refrigerator so I used those. Use whatever you have on had and if you don’t have fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes and well as tomato paste are good back up choices.
Cooking the pumpkin and tomatoes on the stove top
Cooking the pumpkin on the stove top is how I made it for many, many years. It is simple and straight forward and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Most of the time is spent just occasionally stirring the stew to ensure even cooking and prevent the pumpkin from burning. A good sauté pan and little bit of patience is all you really need for delicious pumpkin stew.
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Cooking the Sautéed Pumpkin and Tomatoes in the Instant Pot
Over time and since I am slightly obsessed with my Instant Pot, I started cooking my Sautéed pumpkin and tomatoes in my Instant Pot. It doesn’t cut down the cooking time by much but what I love about it, it that you don’t need to babysit the pumpkin while it is cooking. Just set it and forget it and it’s perfectly cooked with out too much effort.
Adding Protein to the dish
You can add protein to this dish if you like. Add some diced chicken breast or some chopped up chicken thighs (seasoned however you like) by sautéing it first then adding the onions, tomatoes and garlic. Sauté the chicken until it is fully cooked then add the pumpkin. Sautéed shrimp also works really well here. In fact, pumpkin and shrimp is a very popular combination in Guyana. I would sauté my shrimp first, then remove from the pan and set aside. Cook pumpkin as stated in the recipe below, then add the shrimp back in at the end, so as not to over coo the shrimp.
The Printable Sautéed Pumpkin and Tomatoes Recipe
- 1½ lbs peeled and diced pumpkin or Frozen Steamable Pumpkin (completely defrosted)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 cup of plum or cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon of salt or more to taste
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
- 1 wiri wiri pepper (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil or other oil suitable for cooking
- 1 cup of water (optional)
- Bring a large sautéed pan on medium heat up to temperature. Then add the coconut oil, followed by the onions
- Cook onions until soft and slightly brown, then add grated garlic and tomatoes
- Sauté until the tomatoes are a little soft, then add the pumpkin, salt, black pepper and thyme
- Sauté for about 5 minutes, then cover and let cook for another 5 minutes occasionally stirring
- Pumpkin should "spring" / sweat and create some liquid in the pot. If this doesn't happen you may add 1 cup of water. You may also add the wiri wiri pepper here, if using. Stir well then replace cover
- Continue to cook for another 10 minute until the pumpkin is tender and all of the liquids cook down
- Then increase the heat to high heat and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes. This will give the pumpkin a rich sautéed flavor
- Then remove from the heat and serve it up
- Turn Instant Pot on in Sauté mode
- When the display indicates that the pot is hot add the coconut oil and allow the oil to come up to temperature then add the onions and cook until soft (this should take about 5 minutes
- Then add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper, thyme and pumpkin
- Mix together well then press cancel to get the Instant Pot out of the sauté mode, seal up and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes
- When the Instant Pot has completed the pressure cycle, release the pressure
- Next, stir the pumpkin stew to mix together all of the ingredients and slightly crush up the pumpkin
- If there is too much liquids in the pot after pressure cooking return the Instant Pot to the sauté mode and sauté for an additional 5 minutes until all of the liquid cooks off
- Then serve your Sautéed Pumpkin and Tomatoes up however you like
When cooking pumpkin in the instant pot, I don't add water unless the pumpkin is really firm and I don't think it will sweat enough liquids during cooking. If you are nervous and must add water, just ¼ cup of water is all you need.
If you want some heat in this dish. You can cut open the wiri wiri pepper at the end or chop it up in the beginning. I like the flavor of the pepper without the heat.
Try this other great Whole30 friendly vegetable sides