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How To Make Pumpkin Puree

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Need pumpkin puree for an upcoming pumpkin recipe? Here is exactly how to make pumpkin puree from scratch. Continue reading for the easy pumpkin puree recipe or watch the quick video tutorial that walks you through the steps.

The recipe requires only two ingredients including salt, which is theoretically optional! In total, the prep and roasting time is between 45 to 60 minutes. Best part of all is that your house gets a warm fragrance of roasted pumpkin wafting through all the rooms.

Pumpkin puree can also be made in advance. Make it up to a week ahead of time, and then store it in the refrigerator. Homemade pumpkin puree can also be kept in the freezer for a few months. (The texture may change when frozen, but I haven’t experienced any differences and the consistency generally holds up for me.)

You May Also Like: Make this scrumptious pumpkin pie overnight oats. This is our favorite way to use pumpkin puree!

Here are the basics that you need to know before making pumpkin puree from scratch.

FAQ About Pumpkin Puree

Is canned pumpkin the same as pumpkin puree? Canned pumpkin puree is precisely that, pureed pumpkin, nothing more and nothing less. On the other hand, pumpkin pie filling contains pumpkin pie spice and is usually sweetened.

Can I use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree? No, pumpkin pie filling is not the same as pumpkin puree because it will be far too sweet.

Either way, very few things in life taste better when they come from a can. Canned pumpkin is overcooked, and doesn’t taste as vibrantly fresh.

Can you substitute canned pumpkin for pumpkin puree? Yes you can substitute 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree for 1 cup of homemade pumpkin puree. However, making pumpkin puree from scratch is actually very easy to do.

Can you eat pumpkin puree raw? I wouldn’t recommend eating raw pumpkin puree. It will be tasteless and quite starchy because the sugars have not been caramelized.

Does canned pumpkin puree need to be cooked? Canned pumpkin puree has already been cooked, and therefore it doesn’t require any cooking at all. It is ready to eat straight out of the can.

What can I use instead of pumpkin puree? Canned pumpkin puree can be used instead of making your own from scratch.

If you don’t feel like using pumpkin, then substitute 1 cup of canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree for 1 cup of cooked, mashed sweet potato, yam, butternut squash or acorn squash. The comparable ingredients should be compatible in most recipes.

If you don’t feel like using pumpkin, then substitute 1 cup of canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree for 1 cup of cooked, mashed sweet potato, yam, butternut squash or acorn squash. The comparable ingredients should be compatible in most recipes.

How To Tell If A Pumpkin Is Ripe

To become an expert at making homemade pumpkin puree, you have to start with knowing how to make pumpkin puree! Check! We covered how to roast pumpkin or how to bake pumpkin and also how to puree pumpkin. 

But one of the most important parts begins with picking the perfect pumpkin to make pumpkin puree with! So how do you tell if a pumpkin is ripe? Great question!

This step is super important! As a result, the pumpkin puree will have the right texture and the perfect amount of sweetness.

To determine if a pumpkin is ripe:

  1. Check the color. A pumpkin should have a uniform orange color if it is completely ripe.
  2. Check the sound. Give that pumpkin a good slap. If the pumpkin sounds hollow, then it is ripe.
  3. Check the skin. Press on the pumpkin skin with your fingertips. If the skin doesn’t puncture easily then the pumpkin is ripe.
  4. Check the stem. The pumpkin stem should be hard and slightly dried. A ripe pumpkin will naturally detach or break away from the vine as it dries and hardens, so the signs of ripe a ripe pumpkin is when the vine starts to harden.

Follow these tried and true signs and your pumpkin will be ripe and ready to be converted into homemade pumpkin puree.

How To Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie Puree

When making pumpkin puree, you want to use small baking pumpkins. In particular, you want to look for a “sugar pumpkin” or “pie pumpkin.”

The smaller pumpkins are going to taste sweeter and have a better flavor. Stay away from larger pumpkins like Jack-O-Lantern and reserve those for decorating.

If your picking pumpkins at the patch, ask the farmer which variety they recommend. They’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.

Pumpkin Puree Ingredients:

  • Small pumpkin
  • Salt

Making homemade pumpkin puree only requires a few simple steps:

  1. Preheat the oven
  2. Cut the pumpkin
  3. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds
  4. Roast the pumpkin
  5. Puree the pumpkin.

How do you clean a pumpkin for cooking? To clean a pumpkin, use a stiff brush, sponge or wash cloth. Scrub the outside with warm water to remove any visible dirt, debris or the waxy layer.

Then, split the pumpkin in half using a large heavy knife. Start at the top of the pumpkin near the stem, and cut one side in half from top to the bottom.

Pumpkin cut in half on cutting board with a large knife.

Keep your fingers clear of danger! I find placing the pumpkin on a dish towel help keep it stable and prevents it from rolling around.

Rotate the pumpkin around and cut the other side from top to bottom. Wiggle the knife a little bit to work it through the tough bottom.

Avoid cutting through the stem because it is way to tough and can be quite dangerous.

Finally, the two halves will be split enough that you can safely pull the two sides apart. The pumpkin should break away at the stem, which will also be easy to pull off.

Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and remove the stringy flesh.
place cut pumpkin on a baking sheet flesh side down

How do you get the stringy stuff out of pumpkins? Use a large metal spoon to scrap the stringy flesh from the inside of the pumpkin.

Don’t throw those seeds away! Here is our easy recipe to make roasted pumpkin seeds! They make a delicious snack or a crunchy oatmeal topping!

Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the flesh of the pumpkin.

Roast the pumpkin halves with the flesh side facing down in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 to 60 minutes.

roasted pumpkin halves in the oven on a baking sheet with flesh side down
scoop roasted pumpkin into a food processor to make puree. Puree pumpkin until extra smooth.

Allow the pumpkin to cool to room temperature before running it through the food processor. Use immediately, or cover and store in the fridge for up to a week. It can also be placed in the freezer for a few months.

This recipe can be used for a variety of squashes, not just pumpkins. From butternut to acorn and white winter varieties, enjoy making squash purees to add to many of your favorite recipes.

What can you use pumpkin puree for? This homemade pumpkin puree is just for making pies. Try it in recipes like pumpkin spice latte overnight oats, pumpkin oatmeal pancakes, pumpkin oatmeal muffins and pumpkin oatmeal cookies.

How to make pumpkin puree from scratch.

Pumpkin Puree Tips:

Making you own pumpkin puree from scratch is simple, rewarding and tastes incredible delicious. There is a noticeable difference between homemade and canned versions.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when working through this recipe:

  • Pick a small sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin variety
  • Use a dish towel to help stabilize the pumpkin while cutting.
  • Keep you fingers clear when cutting through the center of the pumpkin.
  • Save those pumpkin seeds and roast them for a delicious snack.
  • Roast the pumpkin until fork tender. There is no need to overcook until it turns to mush.
  • Allow the pumpkin to cool to room temp before pureeing in the food processor or high speed blender.
  • Use immediately or make it ahead of time for an upcoming recipe. Store the homemade pumpkin puree in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a few months.

More recipes made from scratch:

pumpkin puree in a food processor
Yield: 4 cups

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Make easy homemade pumpkin puree that tastes absolutely amazing. This recipe can be made in advance, and stored for whatever project is upcoming.

Freshly made pumpkin purees tastes nothing like the canned stuff. Besides, your house gets to smell like sweet roasting pumpkins while its cooking!

Grab a sugar pie pumpkin and lets start roasting. Pumpkin purees is easy to make and only takes about 1 hour.


  • 4 to 6 pound sugar pie pumpkin
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lay the pumpkin on a small kitchen towel to prevent excessive rolling. Use a large kitchen knife to spit the pumpkin in half. Cut around the stem and remove the stem.
  3. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh.
    You may also roast the pumpkin seeds and use them for a variety of different purposes.
  4. Sprinkle salt over the flesh of the pumpkin, and then place the two halves flesh side facing downwards on a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  5. Roast the pumpkin for 30-45 minutes. Test several places with a small paring knife to check if it inserts through the flesh easily.
  6. Once done, allow the pumpkin to cool to room temperature.
  7. Use a large spoon and scoop the flesh from the skin. Place into a food processor and puree until smooth.


Make pumpkin puree in advance. Store it in the fridge for about a week or freeze for about 3 months.

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