How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

It’s easy and inexpensive to make your own homemade pumpkin puree! With these simple step by step instructions you’ll have a stash of pumpkin puree to use in soups, cakes, pies, muffins, and more, and freezing pumpkin is a great way to make the season last.

three glass jars of pumpkin puree on a grey background

Holla, it’s pumpkin season! 🎃🎃🎃

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.

Once you’ve made your very own pumpkin puree you’ll be able to use it to make lots of delicious pumpkin recipes! Try making:

a cinderella pumpkin on a wooden counter top

What do you need to make homemade pumpkin puree?

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 reusable silicon freezer bags for this part, but you can use glass 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.

What can I use homemade pumpkin puree to make?

Here are a few ideas for you! 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles! These soft and chewy cookies are healthy and easy to make! Made with real pumpkin, spices, and white whole wheat flour, they're sure to be a hit with the whole family. 
Check out this recipe
Pumpkin snickerdoodles on a grey background
Healthy Pumpkin Granola
Healthy pumpkin granola with millet, golden raisins, and pumpkin seeds. Sweetened with maple syrup and a touch of raw sugar, this granola has a delicious crunch the whole family will love.
Check out this recipe
healthy pumpkin granola with millet and golden raisins // www.heynutritionlady.com
Pumpkin Chai Latte
Save your money and make a delicious Pumpkin Chai Latte at home! Made with real pumpkin, seasonal spices, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup, this chai latte is vegan, easy, and healthy. 
Check out this recipe
pumpkin chai lattes with a muffin and a decorative pumpkin
Baked Pumpkin Risotto
This Baked Pumpkin Risotto is made with brown rice, making it a healthier option than standard risotto. It's rich and creamy in spite of being vegan and dairy free, and since it's baked there's almost no stirring required. 
Check out this recipe
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
This Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is an easy, healthy baked pasta dish that's perfect for a weeknight dinner! Lighter than your average mac and cheese thanks to the addition of pumpkin, it's a vegetarian meal the whole family will love. 
Check out this recipe
a plate of pumpkin mac and cheese with a casserole dish and spices in the background
Pumpkin and Black Bean Taquitos
Pumpkin and Black Bean Taquitos - oven baked vegetarian taquitos with pumpkin and black beans are healthy, delicious and easy to make. 
Check out this recipe
platter of pumpkin and black bean taquitos from the side

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 12 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*
Fiber 4g16%
Vitamin A 15IU0%
* 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.

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Comments

  1. Chelsea says

    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!

    • Katie Trant says

      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. Linda @ Veganosity says

    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.

    • Katie Trant says

      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. Carolyn says

    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. Kristina Gentleman says

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

    • Katie Trant says

      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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