If you’ve got fresh pumpkins on hand, it’s time to make your own homemade pumpkin puree. It’s completely natural, tastes better, is cheaper than store-bought, and also free of additives or preservatives! Use it to make our favorite pumpkin bread, soft pumpkin scones, or savory pumpkin soup! Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Ditch the canned pumpkin puree and make your own!
With pumpkin season here, you’re probably drooling over all the different pumpkin recipes (I’m already dreaming of pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin pie)! While it may be tempting to just grab a few cans of store-bought pumpkin puree for your recipe, here’s why you should make your own instead!
With all the fresh pumpkins around, I’m going to show you just how easy it is to make your own pumpkin puree – which is completely natural and free of any horrid additives or preservatives that canned pumpkin comes with to keep it shelf-stable.
Not only is homemade pumpkin puree healthier and tastes way better, it’s also much cheaper and you can make a whole stash of puree to use for your fall baking and pumpkin recipes!
How to Make Pumpkin Puree at Home
This recipe for making your own pumpkin puree works for all sorts of pumpkins (as well as most winter squashes such as butternut squash or acorn squash), so if you’ve just gotten back from the pumpkin patch and have too much pumpkin, make puree!
However, if you have a special recipe in mind, you may want to choose different pumpkins depending on whether the recipe is sweet or savory.
What Sort of Pumpkins Can I use?
For baked goods or dessert recipes (such as this gluten-free vegan pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, or no-bake vegan pumpkin cheesecake), I’d recommend using pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins, which will result in sweeter puree.
Other pumpkins will yield less sweet puree, but that will work perfect in savory pumpkin recipes (such as this delicious pumpkin soup, our tasty pumpkin thyme risotto, or this incredible pumpkin gnocchi).
To make your own puree, all you need is a pumpkin (roughly 4 to 6 pounds in weight), and a little bit of water. Bear in mind that a 4 to 6 pound pumpkin should yield approximately 4 cups of puree, so depending on how much puree you need, you may require doubling or tripling this recipe as needed.
Roasting the Pumpkin in an Oven
Start off by cutting the pumpkin into half (from stem to bottom), and then scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Place the pumpkin halves cut-side-down on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 45 to 60 minutes, until the flesh can be easily pierced with a fork and you can scoop it out without much force.
How to Cook a Pumpkin Without An Oven
If you don’t own an oven, or don’t have much time and want to cook your pumpkin faster, you can also cook the pumpkin in the microwave.
Once you’ve scooped out the seeds, simply cut the raw pumpkin into smaller pieces and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the pumpkin on high at 5-minute intervals, re-arranging them after each interval, until the flesh can be easily pierced by a fork and you can scoop the flesh from the skin without much force.
Blending or Processing the Pumpkin to Make A Smooth Puree
You could technically use a potato ricer or even a fork to mash the pumpkin flesh, but in my experience, the best way to make a smooth puree is to use either a high-speed blender or a food processor. I don’t own a food processor, so I used my blender and it works just as well.
Bear in mind that depending on the side of your blender, you may need to puree the pumpkin flesh in batches so as not to overheat your motor.
I like adding a bit of filtered water to the pumpkin as I blend it (or more as required) as it results in a very smooth and creamy puree. It also helps the blender to blend the pumpkin better.
How Long Does Homemade Pumpkin Puree Last?
Given that homemade pumpkin puree doesn’t come with all the nasty additives and preservatives that canned pumpkin brings, it will certainly not last indefinitely.
If you don’t plan to use the puree immediately, make sure to store it in an airtight container and it will keep for up to 4 to 6 days in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Puree?
If you plan to make a huge lot of pumpkin puree (to keep on hand for using later on), you can freeze the homemade puree for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Make sure to store the puree in freezer-proof containers, or ziplock bags – preferably in individual portions so that you can thaw and use only the quantity required. Also, remember to write down the date you made the puree so you don’t forget!
Recipes to Use Pumpkin Puree In:
- Super Moist Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Bread (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Pumpkin Scones (Gluten-Free)
- Easy Pumpkin Scones (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Easy Pumpkin Muffins (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Pumpkin Waffles (Gluten-Free)
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Pumpkin Thyme Risotto (Gluten-Free)
- Pumpkin Gnocchi (Gluten-Free)
If you loved this, you’ll also enjoy these other recipe basics:
- How to Make Almond Milk (Dairy-Free, Vegan)
- Homemade Cashew Milk (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Microwave Lemon Curd (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- 5-Minute Homemade Almond Meal (Gluten-Free)
- Easy 5-Minute Homemade Cashew Flour (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
If you’ve got fresh pumpkins on hand, it’s time to ditch the canned pumpkin and make your own homemade pumpkin puree! It’s completely natural, tastes better, is cheaper than store-bought, and also free of additives or preservatives! Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
- 1 small pumpkin, or 1/2 a large pumpkin (approximately 4–6 pounds)
- 1/4 cup water, or more as needed
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Rinse and pat dry your pumpkin, before cutting it into half (from stem to end) with a big sharp knife.
- Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and then place the pumpkin cut-side-down on a baking sheet.
- Roast the pumpkin for 45 to 60 minutes, until the flesh can be easily pierced with a fork. Let the pumpkin cool before using a fork or spoon to scoop out the flesh.
- Transfer the pumpkin flesh to a high-speed blender or food processor, add the water, and blend until you get a smooth puree. Depending on the size of your blender or food processor, you may need to process the pumpkin in 2-3 batches. For a smoother puree, you can add more water 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Transfer the pumpkin puree to sterilized glass jars and store in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 days, or freeze in freezer-safe containers or ziplock bags for up to 3 months.
What Type of Pumpkins to Use: Ideally, pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins will yield the sweetest pumpkin puree (perfect for baked goods and sweet treats such as pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones, or pumpkin cheesecake). Larger pumpkins can definitely also be used to make puree, but the puree made from them will be less sweet (which makes it perfect for savory recipes such as pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, or pumpkin gnocchi).
How to Store/Freeze Homemade Pumpkin Puree: Homemade pumpkin puree does not have all the nasty additives and preservatives that make canned pumpkin puree shelf-stable and last forever, so make sure to store it properly. Homemade pumpkin puree will keep for 4 to 6 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer. If you plan to freeze your pumpkin puree, put the puree in a freezer-safe container, or ziplock bags in individual portions to make it easier to defrost only the amount necessary.
How to Cook the Pumpkin in a Microwave: If you don’t own an oven, you can definitely use the microwave instead. Simply cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 5-minute intervals, rearranging the pieces after each interval, until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
- Category: Basics
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade pumpkin puree