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.
- 1 small pumpkin, or 1/2 a large pumpkin (approximately 4–6 pounds)
- 1/4 cup water, or more as needed
- Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Rinse, Dry and Cut Pumpkin: Rinse and pat dry your pumpkin, before cutting it into half (from stem to end) with a big sharp knife.
- Scoop Out Seeds: Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and then place the pumpkin cut-side-down on a baking sheet.
- Roast Until Flesh is Tender: 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.
- Blend Pumpkin to Puree: 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.
- Store/Freeze: 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 place the cut pumpkin on a plate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 5-minute intervals, until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
Mashing the Pumpkin into Puree: While you can technically use a potato masher or a fork to mash the pumpkin flesh into puree, I personally find it way easier to use a high-speed blender or a food processor. Alternatively, you may also place the pumpkin flesh in a large bowl and blend it with an immersion blender.
This recipe was originally published in August 2020, but has since been updated to include step-by-step photos and clearer instructions.
- Category: Basics
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade pumpkin puree