Is Pumpkin a Vegetable or a Fruits? (Explained)

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Pumpkin is one of many kitchen staples that many households call fruit or vegetable. Of course, this could be confusing, especially if you need to find out which variety pumpkins really fall into. But is pumpkin a vegetable or a fruit?

The answer will be based on what you intend to do with the pumpkin. However, botanically, a pumpkin is referred to as a fruit. Just like squash, pumpkins are the fruit of the plant from the Cucurbitaceae family. However, people refer to pumpkin as a vegetable, just as they call tomatoes or even zucchini.

Now, let us find out about pumpkin, what makes it a vegetable, why many people refer to it as a vegetable, and other things you need to know.

What Is Pumpkin?

Pumpkin falls under a type of winter squash belonging to the family of Cucurbitaceae. It is native to Central America and Mexico. However, it is now popular in many regions as many people use pumpkins during Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Did you know that in 2016, the heaviest pumpkin was grown in Belgium, weighing about 2,624 pounds? That is how widely pumpkins have spread.

There are wide varieties of pumpkins. Although botanically, pumpkin is perceived as a type of berry known as a pepo, it is pretty different from berries since they are relatively larger. Every variety is rich in nutrients too.

Pumpkin is an incredible source of vitamins, rich in magnesium and fiber. Having all the nutritional benefits, it can aid with the prevention of breast cancer and other diseases. You can learn about the numerous benefits of pumpkins.

It is easy to refer to a pumpkin as a fruit because of its nature, yet many regions would boldly refer to it as a vegetable. But is pumpkin a vegetable or a fruit?

See Also: Is Squash a Vegetable?

Is Pumpkin a Vegetable or a Fruit?

Pumpkin is commonly referred to as a vegetable by many food connoisseurs and households. However, pumpkin is a fruit. Pumpkin, like squash, contains edible seeds and pulp, one trait that makes up a fruit.

So why would many people refer to pumpkin as a vegetable if this is the case? First off, pumpkin has a trickish taste relative to vegetables.

And why many people would serve it as fruits and others would do it as vegetables. Let’s find out the difference between vegetables and fruit so you can know how to classify pumpkins.

What is the Difference Between Vegetables and Fruits?


Although vegetables are the leafy part of a plant, other parts detect whether the domain is a vegetable or not.

Other parts of the plants include the stem, the roots, the tubers, the bulbs, and even the flowers. So vegetables are always grouped depending on the portion of the plant you have.

Fruits, on the other hand, tend to develop from the flower of a plant. In many cases, fruits contain seeds, and although most of these seeds taste bitter, the fruit contains a sugar called fructose. And vegetables do not contain fructose.


The taste of vegetables is not anywhere near sweet. They have this distinct flavor that is neither sweet nor bitter.

Note: this is dependent on the type of vegetable.

So, vegetables can have a bitter and sweet flavor. However, it becomes better when the vegetables are cooked, sauteed, or grilled. Little wonder it is an excellent source of nutrients for vegetarians.

The taste of fruits will vary depending on the type of fruit. Fruits always have a sweet flavor to blend with them. Oranges taste differently compared to mango.

The same goes for other fruits, apples, berries, and many others. And some of these fruits have high acidic content, unlike vegetables.


Vegetables are usually green. However, you can see other Colors like purple, place yellow, or white. Leafy vegetables are always green; however other vegetables like cabbage take a distinct color. However, you can see colors like purple, place yellow, or white.

Fruits bear different colors, and they are pretty unique. The fruit colors can be orange, yellow, red, purple, blue, black, light green, or white.


Vegetables are a great standalone meal. However, they make up great side dishes too. Vegetables are used to make soups, stews, or even broth. 

Fruits are mostly preferred when you have them as snacks or desserts. So you will most likely end up with pumpkin when you focus on snacking your pumpkin. It is a great recipe that you can try out.

So, with all these points, you should be able to tell the core things that differentiate vegetables from fruits. But why do people refer to pumpkins as vegetables and not fruits?

Why Do People Mistake Fruits For Vegetables?

Generally, people refer to vegetables as fruits because they are mainly used in the kitchen as vegetables. Although botanically, it is a fruit, many people consider it a vegetable.

Think about tomatoes and how versatile it is, and so is the same with eggplant, squashes, cucumbers, and pepper.

People refer to pumpkins as vegetables because they would, in many cases, use pumpkins as vegetables when cooking. 

What Can You Make With Pumpkin?

So you can use pumpkin to make different meals; whether you choose to make desserts with it or some soup, rest assured that you are covered.

You can make stuffed pumpkin, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin hummus, pumpkin soup, pumpkin stew, and Halloween pumpkin cake.

And, of course, you can decide to be creative when it’s time to get your pumpkin off the counter or fridge. 


Other than pumpkin, there are so many fruits that are referred to as vegetables. Although these vegetables are fruits, they play a unique role in the kitchen as vegetables too. 

Is pumpkin a vegetable? Well, pumpkin is a fruit because it develops from the flower and they have seeds in them, and you cannot say this for vegetables.

And in this guide, we have discussed the distinct differences between vegetables and fruits.

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