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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 hometown vegetable stand down the road. But this pumpkin puree recipe is simple no matter where you get yours. 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 this can be done too if you prefer to do it without an oven. My mother never used an oven to make it when I was growing up. She always cooked hers on the stovetop.

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

Best Pumpkins For Making Fresh Pumpkin Puree

I’ll be completely honest with you. I tend to stick with 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 also recommends them. But I do know all pumpkins can be made into a 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!

What Can Be Made With Pureed Pumpkin?

Oh my goodness! The possibilities for using pumpkin puree are limitless. Not only can it be used for making pumpkin pies, but it can be used for baking all 6 of these pumpkin muffin recipes, and even here are 25 pumpkin cake recipes! I’m sure you’ll find more than one to be your favorite.

But don’t stop at muffins and cakes, you can also make pumpkin bread, and with these 20, I’m sure you can find some new favorites.

How To Make Pumpkin Puree – From Scratch

Preheat oven to 325°F

Ingredients:

Pumpkin

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

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 the stem.

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

Place cut pumpkins, cut side down on a baking sheet once they are gutted and cleaned. Fill the baking sheet with 1/8 inch of water or so.

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 it from the oven and allow it 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 removing it should be easy.

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 also be smoothed with a potato masher. I used one until last Christmas. Easy!

By the way, if your potato masher is just hanging out in the drawer, did you know you can make a Christmas Tree with it?

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

How to freeze Pumpkin Puree

This is the simplest way to preserve fresh pumpkins. All you need to do is put it in freezer-safe bags and store it in the freezer. I normally put 2 cups in a bag.

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

I use a FoodSaver, which tremendously extends all frozen food life! 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 pumpkins are a blend of several 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 is 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 about 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 dessert recipes, bread, 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

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

Ingredients

  • Fresh Pumpkin

Instructions

    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.

Notes

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

fresh pumpkin sliced and ready for puree

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9 thoughts on “How to Make Pumpkin Puree”

    1. Hi Michelle,

      This article is for making and freezing pumpkin puree; it is not a canning post. You can find how to freeze it under How to Freeze Pumpkin Puree. Freezing is my favorite way of preserving pumpkins, as it keeps the fresh flavor.

  1. Hello! My pumpkin is in the oven as I type. We are having Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday this coming week (Nov 20). Would the puree be good in the fridge till say Friday for me to make my pies? Or should I package and freeze till Friday for good measure? Thank you!

    1. Hi Tori,

      I’d recommend going ahead and putting it into the freezer until you need it. It’s fresh and will keep only a few days in the frig. So don’t lose it after all that hard work.

      Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

    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

  2. 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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