Pickled Pumpkin Recipe

Preserving your fall pumpkin harvest is easy with this canning recipe that combines the luscious squash flavor with cinnamon and cloves.

| September 2019

Makes 1 liter/1 3/4 pint jar

Pickling pumpkin with intent is a great way to consider what it is that you aim to preserve as you embark on the making process. Sure, as an outcome you’ll have pumpkin for salads, snacks and sandwiches throughout the winter. But the making process is even more important for honoring time, place, heritage and your part in the cycle of life. What are you trying to preserve? What are you trying to innovate?



  • 225 g/8 oz sugar
  • 240 ml/8 1/2 fl oz white wine vinegar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 750 g/1 lb 10 oz peeled and diced pumpkin


  1. Put the sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, cloves and mustard seeds in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, add the pumpkin and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, process your bottling jars.
  3. Spoon the pumpkin into each jar and fill with the pickling liquid, ensuring that you leave a 1 cm to 1/2-inch gap at the top. Immediately place sterilized lids on each filled jar and seal. When all the jars are sealed, process them to keep them shelf-stable for up to six months.


How do you honor yourself, when you honor other forms of life?

“It would be becoming of us to speak modestly of our place in the universe. Let me offer a metaphor. Earth relates to the Universe as the second segment of the left antenna of an aphid sitting on a flower petal in the garden in Teaneck, New Jersey, for a few hours this afternoon.” —E. O. Wilson

Native American agrarians cultivated personal humility as they nurtured regenerative food systems. The "Three Sisters" (corn, beans and pumpkins) represented a microcosm of the food web they served. Corn was planted to provide a trellis upon which soil-feeding (nitrogen-fixing) beans would weave their way to the sky, while helping to support the corn stalks during storms. Pumpkins would grow in the shade of the corn and, as they plumped, would help to retain moisture in the soil during scorching summers. It ́s a tale I consider when I pickle pumpkin for seasonal gifts to reinforce my intent to develop a nature-relatedness practice to become the change from head to hands to habit.



October 19-20, 2019
Topeka, Kansas

Join us in the heart of the Midwest to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.


Subscribe today

Heirloom GardenerCultivate your love of historic plant varieties and traditional recipes with a subscription to Heirloom Gardener magazine today!

Don’t miss a single issue of Heirloom Gardener. Published by the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Heirloom Gardener provides decades of organic gardening experience from the most trusted voices in the field. Subscribe today and save as much as 38% off the newsstand price! Get one year (4 issues) for only $24.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube

click me