I want to try making a pumpkin pie for Christmas (hopefully third time's the charm) but I might not find a pumpkin before then, so I might use a squash instead. Which squash is best for pie out of those listed?

  • 2
    Um…is this the wrong time to mention that pumpkin is a squash?
    – Joe
    Nov 28, 2023 at 2:10
  • 1
    Spaghetti-squash pie might be good for Halloween - Go on, have a slice, you eat the pie, the "worms" eat you <gleeful cackling>
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 29, 2023 at 1:40

2 Answers 2


The pumpkin that constitutes the majority of canned pumpkin purée is the Dickinson pumpkin. However, it’s not a staple in supermarkets during the year and unless you got your hands on it on a farmers market, you’ll probably have to grow them yourself.

There are two rather closely related alternatives that, like the Dickinson, stem from the Cucurbita moschata family, and both are very much appreciated in kitchens around the world and easier to get:

The butternut squash, which should be easy to get in stores both in the US and Europe, and the Musquée de Provence, more common in Europe than the US iirc., which would be my preferred choice.

Both give you a rather dry purée with plenty of sweetness and flavor. And if the fruit is ripe, the color is a deep orange.

This could also be a reason if your previous attempts failed due to a too wet filling: the carving pumpkins are significantly wetter and can potentially ruin your crust or don’t set enough with the standard amount of binding agent.


Out of those listed, I would say butternut...but why not go sweet potato or yam?

  • 1
    Because then it wouldn't be a pumpkin pie? Probably still tasty but different food.
    – quarague
    Nov 29, 2023 at 8:59
  • 3
    It's not going to be a pumpkin pie regardless.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 29, 2023 at 18:07
  • 1
    @FuzzyChef Dickenson pumpkin, which is the variety used in Libby's canned pumpkin pie, is actually a squash, not a pumpkin, and it is closely related to butternut squash. Butternut squash is mostly indistinguishable from pumpkin in pies. I would still call that a pumpkin pie.
    – Esther
    Nov 30, 2023 at 4:54
  • I'm not sure that the statement "a squash, not a pumpkin" makes any botanical sense. Or, for that matter, culinary. The definition of "pumpkin" is "a Cucurbitaceae that's round and orange".
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 30, 2023 at 17:45
  • @FuzzyChef I'd call a white pumpkin a pumpkin
    – Dave
    Dec 17, 2023 at 3:28

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