The pumpkin variety that's "key" to the recipe and more. 


Weighing in at a whopping three-and-a-half pounds and measuring a full foot in diameter, Costco's famous pumpkin pie could feed an entire army of hungry pilgrims. And with a price tag of just $5.99, everybody at Thanksgiving can have two slices without feeling guilty about it. Well… they can feel less guilty about it.

As delicious as they are sizable, Costco's pumpkin pies have been giving hosts one less thing to worry about every year. But as much as you think you might know about this decadent confection (including how many slices you can eat before you start seeing stars) there are a few things about it that might surprise even the most die-hard fans.

Each Pumpkin is Cooked Twice

According to The Daily Meal, the lucky pumpkins selected for Costco's pies are actually cooked twice—once before they are pureed and still in chunks then again when they have been canned. They are then cooked for an additional five and a half hours, cooled, labeled and shipped off.

They Use A Certain Kind of Pumpkin

There's only one kind of pumpkin allowed in Costco's pies, and that is the Dickenson variety. The same kind used in Libby's pumpkin puree, Dickenson pumpkins are actually more similar to squash than the carving pumpkins we usually associate with autumn revelry. "It's a little bit heartier than, say, the Jack-o'-Lantern pumpkin, and the meat is thicker. Ours are typically 10 to 12 pounds," Wally Hochsprung, canning plant manager at Seneca Foods, told The Costco Connection.

For the Birds

The Daily Meal also reports that the seeds removed from all those pumpkins are sold to a company that makes bird food.

It's a Family Recipe

The big box store's pumpkin pie recipe hails directly from the personal collection of Sue McConnaha, Costco's Vice President of bakery operations. Today, Costco bakeries combine a pre-mixed bag of dry ingredients and select spices with whole eggs, canned pumpkin and water. Another interesting fact? Preservatives are never added which is why the pies are always refrigerated.