How to Dehydrate Pumpkin

Spooky Delights:
Turning Your Halloween Pumpkins
into Delectable Dried Treats

Spooky Delights:
Turning Your
Halloween Pumpkins
into Delectable
Dried Treats

Are you ready to learn how to dehydrate pumpkin? Of course you are and you've come to the right place!

Carved Pumpkins candle litCreated with Midjourney

Folks write in and ask me, "Can I dehydrate pumpkin?" The answer is, yes, you can (and you should!) dehydrate pumpkins - and it's very easy to do (in true Easy Food Dehydrating-fashion).

Please note this: I am NOT suggesting you dehydrate your old carved-out pumpkins after they've been "in use." No siree Bob.

I'm talking about how to dehydrate pumpkin that is FRESH, so consider picking up an extra one or two smaller pumpkins that are just for dehydrating!

Add a neat little twist to the time-honored tradition - namely the fun of carving pumpkins - by making dehydrated pumpkin treats (more on that farther down this page)... Make it a new routine that you can look forward to every year!

Let's be honest, nothing quite matches the satisfaction of using up discarded pumpkin parts and making delectable and nutritious treats - for humans - and our dogs! Getting the most out of your Halloween pumpkin never tasted so good!

Dehydrating pumpkins can seem like a big task, but think of the rewards! You’ll not only create a scary lantern or two, but you'll also have delicious snacks for your dog - and have fun doing it! (Reminder, we're not dehydrating the old pumpkin carcasses! Just fresh pumpkin!)

Go grab your pumpkin cutting tools (or "treat" yourself to some new ones below - no "tricks" allowed), and then I'll show you how to dehydrate pumpkin!

1. Pumpkin Carving Kit

For Halloween pumpkin carving, you'll want this kit of carving tools for making intricate designs. Look for sturdy tools that won't bend easily.

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2. Sharp Chef's Knife

A sharp and sturdy knife is essential for cutting the pumpkin (and anything else!) into smaller, manageable pieces. I've been using this knife by country singer Trisha Yearwood (and it's my fave - still using it years later!).

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Drat! If the knife above is unavailable here's another chef's knife with a full tang (that means the handle and blade "are one" so they can't come apart when we're slicin' and a dicin').

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3. Cutting Board

Use a cutting board with a no-slip bottom. Pumpkins can be quite slippery, and a secure cutting board can prevent spills, slips... and accidents.

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4. Vegetable Peeler

A good vegetable peeler helps to remove the pumpkin's skin more efficiently than a knife. I'm an "OXO"-brand fan. Just keep your fingers out of the way...

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5. Melon Baller/Scooper

Obviously, this is useful for easily scooping, scraping, and removing the seeds and pulp from the pumpkin.

Check out this page on "Dehydrating Nuts and Seeds" (and how to roast pumpkin seeds).

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6. Mandoline Slicer or Food Processor

Once you have your pumpkin pieces, a mandoline slicer - or a food processor-type gadget that has a slicing blade - make slices of pumpkin that are the same thickness. (Wear gloves if you're accident-prone).

Slice thickness matters. Why? Because we need to dehydrate pieces that are of a uniform thickness so the slices dehydrate at the same rate.

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7. Safety Gloves

To protect your hands while cutting or peeling the pumpkin, consider purchasing a pair of cut-resistant gloves. Safety should always be a priority in the kitchen. (Think I'll get some of those gloves...)

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Remember, always handle these pumpkin-cutting tools with care, especially when children are nearby (and are watching you closely and learning from you).

Pumpkin Nutrition Info.

Pumpkin has great nutrients such as vitamins A, B1, B6, and C, copper, fiber, folate, and manganese.

Pumpkin also provides calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which can help keep your heartbeat regular and your blood pressure low.

Finding the Perfect Pumpkin

Child in a pumpkin field with a farmerCreated with Midjourney

Let's start with picking the right pumpkin. If you're bothered about the picking-the-perfect-pumpkin process, that's okay. You can always ask the farmer to help you pick just the right pumpkin(s). Buy a few smaller ones, too, for dehydrating.

The perfect pumpkin is generally one that feels solid and heavy for its size. Look for smooth, consistent coloring and no visible blemishes.

So, let's get stuck in! Ready, set, dehydrate!

Pumpkin pieces dryingCreated with Midjourney

How to Dehydrate Pumpkin

The dehydrating process for pumpkin is easy. Here are the four simple steps to dehydrate pumpkin:

  1. Clean your pumpkin thoroughly.
  2. Cut it into thin slices. The thinner, the faster it will dehydrate.
  3. Arrange the slices on the tray of your dehydrator, making sure the pieces don't overlap.
  4. Set the temperature at 135°F on your dehydrator.
  • Dehydrated pumpkin will be brittle when fully dried.
  • Drying time: between 9-11 hours.
  • Please remember to rotate your trays for even drying.

What About Adding Spices for More Flavor?

You can add spices to raw pumpkin prior to dehydrating it to add flavor. While you can dehydrate raw pumpkin "as is", adding a bit of seasoning before dehydrating can enhance the flavor depending on the intended use, i.e. a "sweet" or "savory" outcome.


For a desirable sweet outcome, lightly dust the raw pumpkin slices with cinnamon or a homemade pumpkin spice mix (easy recipe shown below) before dehydrating.

or Savory...

For a savory twist, try sprinkling a little salt, pepper. And/or how about some smoked paprika or chili powder? Wow!

Note: Add seasonings sparingly as the flavors intensify during the dehydration process!

Another IMPORTANT Note:
DO NOT add any spices
to your raw pumpkin
if you're going to feed that dehydrated batch
of pumpkin to your dog(s).

Safe Storage Tip

Mason Jars -
Wide Neck Quart Jars

Mason Jars -
Wide Neck Pint jars

Mason Jars -
Wide Neck  1/2 Pint Jars

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Once the pumpkin pieces are hard and brittle, they're ready! Store them in an airtight container such as glass Mason jars and include an oxygen absorber inside the jar. If you prefer to vacuum-seal your pumpkin pieces and store them in vacuum-sealer bags, add the oxygen absorber to the bag prior to vacuuming out the air.

Keep all your dehydrated goodies in a cool, dark area of your home.

TIP: I've even used a closet - see how to make space "where there is none" right HERE.

Pumpkin Spice Blend

pumpkin spice in bowl


  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

How to Make Pumpkin Spice

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Store the blend in an airtight container.
  4. Use this spice blend in your favorite fall dishes and desserts for that extra hint of warmth and coziness!

Did you know this? While dried ground pumpkin adds an interesting twist, traditional pumpkin spice blend does not actually contain any pumpkin. It's made with the simple ingredients above.

Pumpkin Powder - A Healthier Alternative...

Just wanted to add here, you can use your dehydrated pumpkin as a seasoning. Grind it up when it's completely dry!

Dried ground pumpkin can be used to add a unique flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pumpkin Spice: As mentioned earlier, dried ground pumpkin can be mixed with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves to make the pumpkin spice blend. This can be used in baking recipes, coffees, and fall-themed desserts.
  • Soups and Stews: It can be added to soups and stews to give a hint of sweetness and creaminess.
  • Baked Goods: Muffins, bread, cookies, pancakes, waffles can all benefit from a pinch of dried ground pumpkin. It can add a unique and interesting depth of flavor.
  • Smoothies: Dried ground pumpkin can add a flavorful twist and extra fiber to your favorite fruit or vegetable smoothies.
  • Spice Rubs: It can also be used in spice rubs for meats to give a slightly sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Protein Shake: For a fall twist, add some to your post-workout protein shake.

Remember, as with any spice or flavor additive, the key is to start with a small amount and adjust to suit your taste buds.

Also, pumpkin powder can be used as a healthier alternative to wheat flour in cooking or baking.

Along With Google Answers I Agree With!

Do you have to cook pumpkin before you dehydrate it?

No, you do not need to cook the pumpkin before dehydrating. All you need to do is slice it thinly - in evenly sized pieces - and dry it in a dehydrator.

How long does pumpkin take in a dehydrator?

The dehydration process takes between 9-11 hours, depending on the size and thickness of your pumpkin slices.

What about the cost of a dehydrator?

Affordable dehydrators start from around $40 and can go up to several hundred dollars for premium models. Decide how much and often you'll actually dehydrate food. Starter models are fine. Whatever your budget, there’s a dehydrator out there to fit your needs.

Can my dog eat pumpkin?

Yes, see the recipe below for Fresh Pumpkin Dog Treats!

Dog sitting inside a carved pumpkinCreated with Midjourney

Can I Feed Pumpkin to My Dog?

Many dog owners have asked, "Is pumpkin safe for my dog to eat?"

Yes! Pumpkin is edible - and beneficial not only for us humans - but for our four-legged friends too. So, while you and your kids are carving out pumpkin faces, Sheba can watch and drool while she waits for her treats!

And now, for the part you – and Sheba - are probably most excited about! Here’s a tasty healthy recipe for pumpkin dog treats.

Fresh Pumpkin Dog Treats


  • 1 cup of fresh pumpkin puree*
  • 1 and a half cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of dry oats
  • 1/4 cup of cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 cup of water

*To make fresh pumpkin puree: Cut a small pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and bake in the oven cut-side-down on a baking sheet for 45-50 minutes at 375°F (190°C) or until the pumpkin is soft and the skin can be easily pricked with a fork. Scoop out the pumpkin and blend until smooth. Measure out 1 cup for this recipe and save the rest for another use.

How to Make Downright Delicious

Fresh Pumpkin Dog Treats

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large glass bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, eggs, and honey together. Then give your arm a rest (or use a mixer!)
  3. In another bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, oats, and cornmeal together. (Not as hard as the pumpkin mixin'!)
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Stir until it's all combined. If the dough is too dry, add water gradually until it reaches a workable doughy consistency.
  5. Roll out the dough on a well-floured board or countertop to about a 1/4-inch thickness.
  6. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Check out the bone-shaped cutters below! Transfer the cut-out dough pieces to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake them for 35-40 minutes or until the treats are hard and dry. Allow them to cool before serving to your pup!
    (I bet you try one too... and that's OK, just don't let your dogs catch you stealing their treats!)

Here are some handy bone-shaped doggie treat cutters!
Yep, they're on Amazon. Everything's on Amazon.

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Make Your Own Dog Food

Don't forget - it's like a pet food party to your pooch, so introduce new nibbles gradually, and keep your eagle eyes open for any funky reactions. And remember, your best bet is to have a quick chat with your vet to make sure that these new treats are a good match for your dog's specific health profile.

Enjoy cooking for your pup!  Learn how to make your own doggie food here or click the image.

Now you know how to dehydrate pumpkin at home. I do hope you are even more eager to take on this year's Halloween season - full swing!

The author, Susan Gast, used GPT-4 by OpenAI, Bard by Google, and Claude2 by Anthropic, to research this topic. The author then wrote this entire article, optimizing its content and value for you the reader. As such, she takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. Midjourney (and occasionally Leonardo) also helped her bring back stunning images for you to feast your eyes on. Also, utilizing AI as an assistant means she can write better, more interesting articles - just for you - on a regular basis.

Susan Gast owner, Easy Food Dehydrating plus and

Susan Gast began Easy Food Dehydrating in December 2010. Read Susan's story of what sparked her interest in all things related to "food dehydrating."

She is featured on Mother Earth News blog, and on Solo Build It (SBI) who host this site. Read her first SBI interview, and her second SBI interview.

Since 1980, Susan's involvement in publishing - in one form or another - led her to create a "review site" of products related to the publishing industry. Visit ePubTechReviews today, also hosted by Solo Build It. Susan also runs her namesake site on Solo Build It that showcases the books she has written since 2010.

Do you want to send Susan a quick message? Visit her contact page here. She'd love to hear from you!