How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

It’s easy and inexpensive to make and freeze your own homemade pumpkin puree! With these simple step by step instructions you’ll have a stash of pumpkin puree in your freezer to use in soups, cakes, pies, muffins, and more!

three glass jars of pumpkin puree on a grey background

Holla, it’s pumpkin season! 🎃🎃🎃

Since I write a food blog and I’ve been working ahead, I’ve actually been elbow deep in pumpkin spice for over a month already – I’m alllllllmost stick if it by now!

Just kidding… that’s not a thing.

Today I’m going to let you in on a little secret: it’s totally easy to make your own homemade pumpkin puree! If you don’t know how to cook a pumpkin, fear not! I’m going to break it down for you with step by step instructions that will make it easy as (pumpkin) pie.

a cinderella pumpkin on a wooden counter top

What do you need to make homemade pumpkin puree?

  • A big ol’ pumpkin. Or a small one. It’s up to you!
  • A roasting pan big enough to fit your pumpkin into it once cut.
  • A food processor to puree the roasted pumpkin.
  • A strainer basket and cheesecloth (or similar) to drain the pumpkin.
  • Some plastic food storage bags for freezing.

A pumpkin cut in half on a wooden cutting board

What kind of pumpkin is best for making pumpkin puree?

You’ve got options, my friends! This is a Muscat pumpkin, which is also referred to as a Fairytale pumpkin because it looks like the one Cinderella went to the ball in.

The canned pumpkin puree that you buy at the store is typically sugar pumpkin, which is great for pumpkin pies. Check at your farmer’s market or produce stand for different kinds of pumpkin. I’ve roasted and pureed blue Hubbard and Hokkaido pumpkins too, with delicious results.

I routinely cook my Halloween pumpkins as well (even after they’re already carved!) though it should be noted that these are not as sweet or flavourful as other varietals.

A pumpkin cut in half with the seeds scooped out

How to cook a pumpkin

First, Cut your pumpkin in half. If it’s really big it may help to take the ends off first, but this one I just chopped right in half. Now roll up your sleeves so you can scoop out the stringy guts and the seeds.

Save this gunk in a bowl to sort through later if you want to roast the seeds.There’s so much good nutrition in pumpkin seeds, and they’re delicious to boot! I use my ice cream scoop to scrape out the insides, but any large spoon will do.

two pumpkin halves in a roasting pan

Now place the cut pumpkin halves cut side down in a large roasting pan. If your pumpkin is really big you may need to cut it into quarters, or you may need more than one pan.

This pumpkin fit into my roasting pan snug as a bug in a rug!

roasted pumpkin halves in a roasting pan

Roast your pumpkin in a 400°F / 200°C oven, for about an hour, or until the pumpkin has collapsed, and the skin is blistered and pulling away from the flesh.

There will probably be some liquid in the bottom of your pan; the amount will vary depending on how long it has been since your pumpkin left the pumpkin patch. A very fresh pumpkin can hold an amazing amount of liquid.

pumpkin puree in a food processor

Once your pumpkin has cooled sufficiently so that you can handle it, peel the skin off of the flesh. The skin should come off quite easily; I normally start at the edge or by pulling up on a blistered section, and it will come off in strips.

Transfer the roasted pumpkin flesh into a food processor and puree until smooth. You will likely have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pumpkin.

pumpkin puree draining in a strainer lined with cheesecloth

In order for your roasted pumpkin purée to have the same consistency as canned pumpkin would, you need to let it drain for a few hours.

Line a colander with cheesecloth, set it over a large bowl, and let it sit for 2-3 hours. All that liquid that drains out is nutritional gold, so don’t throw it out! At the very least I use it to water my plants, or if I’m more organized I’ll put it in my smoothies or in a soup.

Once drained, portion your pumpkin purée into 1 or 2-cup servings and stash in the freezer for baking, smoothies, soups, or anything else you’d normally used canned pumpkin for. I use freezer bags for this part, but you can use jars if you leave enough head space in them.

three jars of pumpkin puree with ornamental pumpkins in the background

Pro tips / recipe notes:

  • How much pumpkin puree will one cooked pumpkin yield? This will totally depend on the size of the pumpkin you started with. This beauty yielded about 8 cups of purée once it was drained.
  • How long will homemade pumpkin puree last in the freezer? According to food safety guidelines, you can freeze homemade pumpkin puree for 3-6 months.
  • Can I can my pumpkin puree? Pumpkin isn’t acidic enough to safely can in a water bath canner. Botulism is not your friend. Trust me, just freeze it.
  • However, if you’ve got a high pressure canner at home that can reach the extreme temperatures necessary to ensure safety, you can can pumpkin chunks, but not pumpkin puree. My girl Sarah at Sustainable Cooks has a post that will show you how to safely can pumpkin.
  • Can I cook my Halloween Pumpkin? Yes! Please do! Note that Halloween pumpkins aren’t as flavourful or sweet as, say, a sugar pumpkin, but you can still use the puree in muffins, pies, etc.

homemade pumpkin puree on a grey background with small pumpkins

Other recipes like this:

How to Cook Dried Beans
How to Make Vanilla Extract
How to Make Homemade Almond Milk
How to Make Homemade Nut Butter

three jars of pumpkin puree with ornamental pumpkins in the background
5 from 2 votes
Print

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

How to make and freeze your own homemade pumpkin puree - it's easier than you think!

Course Preserves
Cuisine American
Keyword Pumpkin
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Straining 2 hours
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 26 kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

  • 1 medium pumpkin sugar pumpkin or muscat pumpkin

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.

  2. Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.

  3. Place the pumpkin cut-side down into a roasting pan.

  4. Place in the oven and roast until the skin has blistered and the pumpkin flesh is very soft.

  5. Remove from the oven and let cool.

  6. Peel the skin away from the pumpkin flesh, and transfer in batches to a food processor. 

  7. Puree until smooth. 

  8. Line a strainer with a cheese cloth (or similar) and strain the pumpkin over a bowl for 2-3 hours, until thick. 

  9. Transfer the puree into freezer bags in 1 or 2 cup portions. 

  10. Freeze for 3-6 months. 

Recipe Notes

  • How much pumpkin puree will one cooked pumpkin yield? This will totally depend on the size of the pumpkin you started with. This beauty yielded about 8 cups of purée once it was drained.
  • How long will homemade pumpkin puree last in the freezer? According to food safety guidelines, you can freeze homemade pumpkin puree for 3-6 months.
  • Can I can my pumpkin puree? Pumpkin isn’t acidic enough to safely can in a water bath canner. Botulism is not your friend. Trust me, just freeze it.
  • Can I cook my Halloween Pumpkin? Yes! Please do! Note that Halloween pumpkins aren't as flavourful or sweet as, say, a sugar pumpkin, but you can still use the puree in muffins, pies, etc.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Amount Per Serving
Calories 26
% Daily Value*
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Vitamin A 0.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This recipe was originally published October, 2010. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on October 2, 2018.

How to make homemade pumpkin puree! It's easy and inexpensive to make and freeze your own pumpkin puree! With these simple step by step instructions you'll have a stash of pumpkin in your freezer to use in soups, cakes, pies, muffins, and more! #pumpkin #puree #homemadepumpkinpuree #homemade #diy #easy #healthy #freezer #heynutritionlady


 

Comments

  1. This looks wonderful! I’ve yet to try roasting a pumpkin (a food blogger’s crime!) but I will definitely come back to this when I do. Maybe this thanksgiving for my pumpkin pie!

    • I’ve cooked many a jack’o’lantern in my day and used it in food. The flavour isn’t as sweet or rich as a sugar pumpkin, but it works just fine. I’ve used it in everything from pies to muffins to taquitos with no complaints!

  2. Thank you for this!!! I really hate canned food because few companies use BPA free cans. I roast squash all the time but had a fear of making my own pumpkin puree. Now that I know how simple it is, I don’t think I’ll use canned again, unless pumpkins are out of season. Don’t forget to roast the seeds! They are delicious. I’ll be posting the recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds next week on my blog.

    • It’s just a gigantic squash! Super easy to roast your own and stash it in the freezer. And yesssss, the seeds must be roasted. There’s so much great nutrition in pumpkin seeds. I usually just toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast ’em till nice and crunchy.

  3. I love making my own pumpkin and squash purée! It saves on packaging(even though the recycling in Germany is great, the tin cans still require energy to be produced, shipped, filled, and recycled again), and tastes even better than the canned versions, imo. I recently had some other Canadian immigrants over for a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, and they were all wondering where I found the puréed pumpkin for my vegan pumpkin-pecan cheesecake, so I told then how east it was to make with a Hokkaido, which are so abundant in Germany. I just picked up a muscat and am excited to try half of it puréed and frozen for pumpkin spice smoothies!

  4. This is so easy! I roasted both butternut squash and sugar pumpkin together and added to your pumpkin risotto recipe. Delicious!

    • Yes! I love roasting my pumpkin, and mixing with different kinds of squash is such a great idea. I hope you enjoyed the risotto – would love to hear your thoughts on that recipe as well!

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