Pumpkin Puree is the star ingredient in all your favorite pumpkin recipes! It’s so easy and delicious to make it at home with these step-by-step instructions. No need to by the canned stuff anymore!
What pumpkin recipes get you excited about fall? Are you a Pumpkin Spice Latte lover?
Maybe a steaming cup of Pumpkin Chowder by a roaring fire?
All your favorite pumpkin recipe you love have something in common. They use pumpkin puree.
It’s the what gives all pumpkin recipes their delicious flavor.
Sure, you can use it from a can but it’s SO EASY and delicious to make it at home!
The method is simple and easy, as well as the puree freezes wonderfully for later use.
What is Pumpkin Puree?
Pumpkin puree is the pureed flesh of a pumpkin. It’s the type of pumpkin purchased in cans that becomes a key seasonal ingredient in many dishes.
It is the star ingredient in pumpkin pie filling, along with all your other fall recipes.
How to Use Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin is an extremely versatile squash.
It adds a creamy texture to soups, is wonderful in breads without lending an overpowering flavor.
And of course stars in many desserts recipes at this time of year.
Pumpkins Have Great Nutritional Value
Pumpkins are an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory food. This makes them a great addition to one’s diet to keep a body healthy.
They also have a high amount of Vitamin C.
The seeds are high in protein so when carving pumpkins save them!
I have the best roasted pumpkin seeds method to avoid wrestling with the pumpkin goop.
What Type of Pumpkins Are Used for Pumpkin Puree?
I use Sugar Pumpkins or Pie Pumpkins.
They are a smaller variety pumpkin with sweeter flesh.
Though small, sugar pumpkins yield a large amount of puree.
Fresh pumpkins are abundant in the fall in grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets. It’s easy to find these varieties.
How Much Puree Does One Pumpkin Yield?
The yield is highly dependent on the pumpkin’s size and its meatiness.
I recently made puree using a seven-inch diameter pumpkin with flesh walls about 3/4-inch thick. The yield was 3 cups.
EXAMPLE: The pumpkin shown in the recipe process photos below was in a 15-inch by 10-inch baking pan. It had a yield of 4+ cups of pumpkin ‘meat’ before pureeing.
As a rule of thumb one 3-pound pumpkin should yield the same volume as one can of pumpkin puree.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree – Step by Step
Though it takes some time for the pumpkins to cook, making pumpkin puree at home is very easy!
For a detailed printable recipe refer to the recipe card at the end of the blog post.
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
STEP 2: Slice a sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin in half (I suggest using a long sturdy serrated knife) (photo 1).
STEP 3: Scoop out the seeds and membrane (use a large kitchen spoon OR a pumpkin scooper for this task); (photo 2). Reserve the seeds for making Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
NOTE: don’t worry about removing all the membrane. After the pumpkin is cooked it’s very easy to remove before scooping out the flesh to puree.
STEP 4: Place the pumpkin halves cut side down in a large baking dish filled with 1-inch of water (photo 3).
STEP 5: Bake the pumpkin halves for 45-90 minutes (photo 4) depending on the size of the pumpkin. Example: a 3-pound pumpkin will cook for about 45 minutes, a 4-pound pumpkin 60-70 minutes.
STEP 7: When the pumpkin is done (the flesh will be soft and easily separated from the skin), remove from the oven. Allow to cool until it can be handled comfortably. Scoop out the flesh and process into a puree in a food processor or blender.
How Long Does Homemade Pumpkin Puree Last in the Refrigerator?
Kept sealed, homemade pumpkin puree will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Puree
Freeze the puree for future recipes or to use in the off season rather than buying canned pumpkin.
Step-by-Step to Freeze the Puree
- pour the puree into an ice cube tray
- freeze fully
- then transfer the frozen puree cubes to a larger freezer container or bag
It is a very easy way to use small amounts and to get ahead on your Thanksgiving ingredients!
When frozen in an airtight container, the puree will last 6-8 months.
Supplies Needed to Make Pumpkin Puree
- Large sharp kitchen knife (serrated knives work well)
- Large Baking Pan (I use a 15-inch by 10-inch by 2-inch Pyrex pan)
- Sharp-edged large spoon or pumpkin scooper
- Food Processor or Blender
- Ice cube trays and freezer bags or containers if freezing the puree
More Favorite Recipes to Use Pumpkin Puree
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Creamy Pumpkin Rice Pudding
- Perfect Pumpkin Bars
- Black Bean Pumpkin Tamale Pie
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes in Mason Jars
DIY Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Sugar Pumpkin (or other variety designated best for eating); select a size when halved would fit into a large baking dish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out all seeds and membrane. Save the seeds for roasting!
- Place pumpkin halves cut side down in a large baking dish. Fill dish with 1 inch of water. Place into oven and bake for 45-90 minutes; until inside of pumpkin is soft (dependent on the pumpkin size and thickness).
- Remove from oven. Let cool to handle. Scoop out inside into a food processor or blender and pulse until pureed.
Originally published October 2014
Pumpkin Puree is easy to make and the key ingredient for any recipe using pumpkin!