How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

I love making my own homemade pumpkin puree. It’s so easy to churn out several cups’ worth of the stuff with just a little bit of work in the kitchen. I keep it in the freezer, then just pop it out whenever the hankering for a pumpkin goodie strikes. Which happens often (okay, daily) this time of year.

If you’d like to know how to make pumpkin puree, you’ve come to the right place! Below you’ll find a step-by-step with photos; you can also go straight to a one-page printable of instructions here.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Ready? Here are the five steps to making your own pumpkin puree.

  1. Choose your pumpkin
  2. Prep your pumpkin
  3. Bake the pumpkin
  4. Peel off the skin and puree the flesh
  5. Use it now or freeze it for later

1. Choose Your Pumpkin

The best pumpkins for baking are usually called “sugar pumpkin” or “sugar pie pumpkin.” They’re usually about the size of a volleyball or slightly smaller, and usually average about 5 pounds. The flesh sweet and fine-grained so that it purees nicely. You won’t get great puree from a huge Jack-o-lantern style pumpkin, as they were bred for carving, not eating.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

2. Prep Your Pumpkin

Rinse off the pumpkin, if necessary, and lop the top off.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Slice it in half.How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Scoop out the seeds. It’s okay if there are a few strings left. (Save the seeds and roast them up!)

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

3. Bake the Pumpkin

Lay cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Cover with foil.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Bake for about 1 hour, or until a fork easily pierces the pumpkin.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Let cool for about 30 minutes, or until it can be easily handled.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

4. Peel off the skin and puree the flesh

When it’s cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. Depending on the pumpkin, sometimes it peels right off, and sometimes you need to scrape the flesh off with a spoon.How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
Oh, and this can be messy business – don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Place the pumpkin meat into a food processor or blender. I don’t have a big girl food processor yet, so I do a little bit at a time in my 4-cup food processor. It works!

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Pulse or blend the cooked pumpkin until it’s a smooth consistency.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

5. Use it now or freeze it for later

That’s it! Pureed pumpkin! I like to freeze it in 1/2 cup portions – and I even have a mini pumpkin cake tin that’s oh-so perfect. You can also scoop it into zipper freezer bags, carefully squeeze the air out, and smooth it flat for storage in the freezer. Easy peasy!

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

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How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Fresh homemade pumpkin puree is a piece of cake (or pie)! Here’s how to do it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 or more sugar pumpkins or sugar pie pumpkins

Equipment:

  • Rimmed baking sheet(s)
  • Foil
  • Food processor or high-powered blender

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet(s) with foil (this is optional, but helps make clean-up easier).
  2. Wash the pumpkin to remove any residual mud or debris. Cut off the top of the pumpkin, then slice it in half. Use a sturdy spoon to scoop out the seeds. It’s okay if there are a few strings left. Lay the pumpkin halves cut-side down and cover tightly with more foil.
  3. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a fork easily pierces the pumpkin. Let cool for about 30 minutes, or until it can be easily handled.
  4. Peel the skin off. Depending on the pumpkin, sometimes it peels right off, and sometimes you need to scrape the flesh off with a spoon. Place the hunks of pumpkin flesh into a food processor or blender.
  5. Pulse or blend the cooked pumpkin until it’s a smooth consistency. You may need to add a little water – a teaspoon at a time – to get it moving, if your pumpkin was particularly dry.
  6. Use in pumpkin recipes just like you would canned pumpkin. Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days; keeps in the freezer for several months.
All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.