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How to Make Pumpkin Puree

You can make pumpkin puree at home and it’s so simple! And the best part? You know exactly what you’re getting…pure delicious pumpkin. Perfect for autumn cooking and baking (plus your house will smell amazing!)

Homemade pumpkin puree in a jar

It’s pumpkin season, y’all! And what better way to celebrate than by making our own pumpkin puree from scratch like the culinary goddesses and gods that we are? 💪

I love making pumpkin puree for a number of reasons, the most pressing being that they don’t actually sell canned pumpkin here in the Netherlands 😱. On top of that, making pumpkin puree can be cheaper than canned pumpkin, and is a great way to reduce food waste!

Homemade pumpkin puree in a bowl

What’s in canned pumpkin puree?

Although the canned pumpkin claims to be 100% pumpkin, there is some trickery involved. The USDA is fairly relaxed in what they consider a “pumpkin”, broadening the spectrum from the classic orange pumpkin to include many varieties of winter squash, like butternut squash. These other varieties of squash add the orange color and sweeter flavor that we’ve come to know and love in pumpkin puree. So while it’s not like canned pumpkin is loaded with artificial dyes or anything, there is certainly more than meets the eye.

Pumpkin Puree vs Pumkin Pie Filling

It’s important to note that pumpkin puree is very different from pumpkin pie filling! While pumpkin puree is simply cooked and pureed winter squash, pumpkin pie filling has added flavors, like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and sugar.

Small pumpkin on white background

Ingredients for homemade Pumpkin Puree

To make homemade pumpkin puree, you’ll just need a pumpkin. As with summer squash, the smaller the squash the sweeter and less stringy it will be. Sugar or pie pumpkins are great for making puree, as well as your everyday jack-o-lantern kind of pumpkin (in the photos I’ve used Cucurbita maxima). With that said, you can use virtually any pumpkin or winter squash for this puree!

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Step 1 – Cut: If you’re using a small pumpkin, cut off the stem then chop it in half. If using a larger pumpkin, cut it into long, wide pieces down the natural grooves of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin cut in half

Step 2 – Remove Insides: Remove the seeds (save them for roasting!), and gently scrape the gunk away from the inside with a spoon.

Halved pumpkin with the seeds scraped out

Step 3 – Cook: Place pumpkin pieces facedown on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F (204 C) for about 1 hour, or until the inside is easily pierced with a fork. By placing them facedown, steam is trapped which helps to tenderize the tasty pumpkin flesh!

Pumpkin halves on a baking sheet being poked with a fork

Step 4 – Remove Peel: Once it reaches that perfect tenderness, take it out, let it cool enough to touch, and either peel or cut off the skin. Chop pumpkin flesh into chunks.

Homemade pumpkin puree in a blender

Step 5 – Puree: Throw pumpkin pieces into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. (Note: if your pumpkin is at all hot, do not cover the blender completely! Leave the top off so hot air can escape.) If you need to add water to reach the right consistency, add a tablespoon at a time.

And that’s how to make pumpkin puree! Either store your homemade pumpkin puree in the fridge for a few days or freeze 1 cup portions in baggies until you’re ready to use it.

Homemade pumpkin puree in a blender

Use this pumpkin puree in:

Pumpkin Gingerbread Hot Cocoa
Pumpkin Soup with “Bacon” Chickpeas
Pumpkin Granola
Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Smoothie
Pumpkin Soup with Parmesan Popcorn Crunch

Homemade pumpkin puree in a jar

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

How to make your own healthy pumpkin puree at home! Perfect for autumn cooking and baking.
Print Pin Rate
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make pumpkin puree, pumpkin puree, roasted pumpkin
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: Halloween, Thanksgiving
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 5 cups
Calories: 83kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 1 vote

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 5-lb pumpkin

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). If you’re using a small pumpkin, cut off the stem then chop it in half. If using a larger pumpkin, cut it into long, wide pieces down the natural grooves of the pumpkin.
  • Scrape: Gently scrape the inside with a spoon to remove seeds and stringy gunk.
  • Roast: Place pumpkin pieces facedown on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the inside is easily pierced with a fork. This may take longer for larger/thicker pumpkins.
  • Peel: Let pumpkin cool enough to touch and either peel or cut off the skin. Chop pumpkin flesh into chunks.
  • Puree: Throw pumpkin into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. (Note: if your pumpkin is at all hot, do not cover the blender completely! Leave the top off so hot air can escape.) If you need to add water to reach the right consistency, add a tablespoon at a time.

NOTES

Store homemade pumpkin puree in the fridge for a few days or freeze 1 cup portions in baggies until ready to use. 

NUTRITION

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.8g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 0.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 505mg | Fiber: 7.1g | Sugar: 8.1g | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 3mg
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Happy pumpkin season! (P.S. you’re also going to love this roundup of our favorite fall recipes!)

Hi, I’m Sarah!

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Comments (3)

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  1. Antone Barbour says:

    The article advertisement said, ” Check out this article for more about what’s in canned pumpkin.” But, the article did not have this information. Could you give me that information?

    Thank you,
    Antone

    1. Sarah says:

      Ah sorry about that, Antone! Canned pumpkin often has many types of winter squash (like butternut) to help give it that orange flavors.

    2. Sarah says:

      Hi Antone! Ah sorry about that – canned pumpkin usually contains a mix of many types of squash (like butternut and other winter squashes), which help give it that orange color.

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