How to Make Pumpkin Puree

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I love pumpkin! And learning how to make pumpkin puree is super simple with this easy recipe.

I get all giddy inside when they start showing up in the stores or at our little hometown vegetable stand. It means that fall season is here! Which brings on the holidays!!

2 sugar pumpkins for making pumpkin puree
Fall Season Sugar Pumpkins

If you grow your own pumpkins this is fantastic! I don’t have the room to grow them so I buy mine from Ms. Thompson at the little vegetable stand in town. But no matter where you get yours, this pumpkin puree recipe is simple. You’ll be able to have a well stocked freezer for the fall season and holidays.

Making pumpkin puree in the oven is my favorite way, but if you prefer to do it without an oven, this can be done too. My mother never used an oven to make it when I was growing up. She always cooked hers on the stove top.

It is just much easier to peel once it has been cooked in the oven and I’m all for easy. The taste is exactly the same no matter which way you do it.

What Is The Best Pumpkin Making Fresh Pumpkin Puree?

I’ll be completely honest with you. I tend to stick with the sugar or pie pumpkins for cooking and making pumpkin recipes. This is because I have really never tried another kind.

My mother always used sugar pumpkins and Ms. Thompson recommends them as well. But, I do know all pumpkins can be made into puree, so if you want to try using the pumpkins you are using as fall porch decor, why not give them a try. It can’t hurt!

How To Make Pumpkin Puree – From Scratch

Preheat oven to 325°F



Yep that’s it! To make homemade pumpkin puree, the only ingredient you need is fresh pumpkin.

Of course, the first thing you’ll want to do is give your pumpkin a good bath. Just put it in the sink, run cold water over it and give it a good rub down. This will remove all the soil and gunk that may be on the peel.

Next, using a really sharp knife, carefully cut the pumpkin in half just to the side of stem.

Then, using a good sturdy spoon, carefully, scoop out all the pulp fibers and seeds. But don’t throw these out! You can roast pumpkin seeds and make homemade pumpkin bread with the pulp fibers. Trust me, you’ll like it.

pumpkins cut in half ready to have pulp removed.
Save pulp fibers and seeds for easy recipes

Just put these aside in a bowl, cover it with wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Mine was in the refrigerator 4 days before I got to them and they were fine.

pumpkin seed and pulp while making pumpkin puree
Pumpkin pulp and seeds can be used for breads and roasting

Once your pumpkins are gutted and cleaned, place them cut side down, onto a baking pan and fill the pan with about 1/8″ of water or a bit less.

sugar pumpkin in the oven for making pumpkin puree
Baking pumpkins for making homemade pumpkin puree

Baking Fresh Pumpkin to Make Pumpkin Puree

Carefully, place in the oven and bake at 325°F for 1 hour.

Once this is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for about an hour. It’s not uncommon for the peel to shrivel a bit or even fall in, this is ok.

It may be a bit warm, so carefully turn it over and the inside will be very soft.

Using your fingers, gently peel away the peel or use a spoon and scoop out the inside. Either way you prefer.

During cooking, the inside has started to pull away from the peel or fall in. This is due to moisture loss, so it should be easy to remove.

baked pumpkin ready to make puree
Fresh from the oven baked pumpkin

I will say, at times, I’ve had a tough spot that wanted to hang on and I used a spoon to scoop out the inside and scraped it carefully off the peel.

Put all this into a food processor, I use this one, and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, this pumpkin puree can be smoothed using a potato smasher as well. I used one until last Christmas. Easy!

smoothing fresh pumpkin puree in a food processor
Blend fresh pumpkin until smooth pumpkin puree

Can You freeze Pumpkin Puree?

Yes! Actually this is the easiest way to preserve fresh pumpkin. All you need to do is put it in freezer safe bags and store in the freezer. I normally put 2 cups to a bag.

Put into freezer safe bags such as a Ziploc bag and it will last for about 6-8 months before the flavor begins to change. But it will last even longer is you “seal” the bag with a vacuum seal machine such as the FoodSaver machine.

I use this machine and it extends the life of all frozen foods tremendously! I’ve written a Quick Start Guide to Freezing Foods at Home, so grab a copy of it for all kinds of tips and instructions for getting more life out of frozen foods.

So how long will pumpkin puree last? This answer will vary based on the way it is stored. But on average it will last for about 6 months in a regular freezer bag, but if vacuum sealed, it will last much longer since it is protected from freezer burn.

Is Canned Pumpkin the Same As Pumpkin Puree?

No! Since pumpkins are in the squash family, store bought canned pumpkin can be a blend of several different types of squash such as zucchini or butternut or other varieties and pumpkin.

Pumpkin puree, on the other hand is pure pumpkin, but not the type that are used for making Halloween jack-o’-lanterns. It contains no sugars or other ingredients, but the flavor of “store bought” puree is no comparison to that of homemade pumpkin puree.

If you are curious what pumpkin puree can be used for you are in for a treat! Pumpkin uses are limitless. Made from scratch, it can be used for baking pies, cakes, cookies, and other desserts recipes, breads, muffins, soups and so many more delicious fall recipes.

Doesn’t this just make your mouth water and wish for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays to get her already!!! Of course, though if you fill your freezer with frozen pumpkin puree, you can enjoy it all year long.

So are you going to be running out to grab a fresh pumpkin to make homemade pumpkin puree?

More Delicious Fall Recipes

  • Easy Homemade Brownies
  • Healthy Cheesecake Cupcakes
  • Oven Roasted Carrots
Yield: 4 cups

Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe

pumpkin puree in a food processor

Homemade pumpkin puree to use in all your favorite pumpkin recipes. Easy to make and freezes very well.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • Fresh Pumpkin


    1. Preheat oven to 325°F
    2. Wash pumpkin well and using a really sharp knife, carefully cut in half just to the side of stem.
    3. Using a good sturdy spoon carefully scoop out all the pulp fibers and seeds. Don't throw these away.
    4. Once cleaned place them, cut side down, onto a baking pan and fill the pan with about 1/8" of water.
    5. Place in the oven and bake at 325°F for 1 hour.
    6. Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool til you can handle them.
    7. Using hands or a knife, gently peel away the peel or use a spoon and scoop out the inside.
    8. Put into a food processor and blend until smooth.


Pumpkin can be smashed with a potato smasher instead of a food processor.

fresh pumpkin sliced and ready for puree

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3 thoughts on “How to Make Pumpkin Puree”

    1. Hi Debe,

      Pumpkin puree that has been vacuum-sealed should be frozen. It is not shelf-safe at all. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days but no longer than that. Vacuum seal it, label it, and put it into the freezer.

      Happy Canning

  1. Love your blog & looking forward to pics as you move forward on new property! I too roast my pumpkin for purée but thought I would mention that I don’t even cut in half first: just clean them off & place on Parchment lined cookie sheet. They soften as they bake & once cool enough to handle are easy to cut, remove seeds, pulp, peel skin away etc. Just saves that cutting in half task that can sometimes be difficult as skin can be tough when raw. Works on all squashes/pumpkins I have tried.

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