Our homemade pumpkin puree recipe is so easy, delicious, and fun to make that you’ll wonder why you ever bought the canned stuff. It’s as simple as roasting veggies in the oven—a pumpkin is just a large squash, after all.

I can’t explain why, but the joy you’ll feel when serving a Pumpkin Pie with homemade pumpkin puree is real. And you don’t have to stop there. Try our Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pancakes,… and I could go on (and I do. Scroll down for more ideas)!

homemade pumpkin puree for dogs and for baking in glass jar

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Easy Pumpkin Puree Recipe

Don’t be intimidated by making your own pumpkin puree, because it’s so simple and the perfect way to prepare for the Fall season. While it may be easier to grab a can at the store, here are some reasons to try this recipe:

  • Easy to make and tastes amazing
  • Freezes and keeps well
  • Nutritious benefits include added fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Control the flavor and create the consistency you like
  • Stash of pumpkin at the ready for sweet and savory fall dishes
  • Save the seeds (pepitas) for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
mashed squash in a glass jar

Are Canned Pumpkin and Pumpkin Puree the Same Thing?

While the two are used interchangeably, just take a peek at this picture to see a side-by-side comparison of canned stuff versus this homemade recipe. The darker color of the canned version is because many brands of canned pumpkin are actually a mixture of “squash and field pumpkins” per the FDA, giving it a darker color. It’s also steamed, rather than roasted.

The taste and nutritional value are similar, but making your own pumpkin puree ensures that your pumpkin dish is actually pumpkin. You can also experiment with your own puree by mixing pumpkin with different squashes like Roasted Acorn Squash, Kabocha, or Roasted Butternut Squash for a unique flavor.

Homemade pumpkin puree next to canned pumpkin

What Type of Pumpkin is Best for Homemade Pumpkin Puree?

A pumpkin is the only ingredient you need for pumpkin puree. Our recipe calls for 2 small baking pumpkins, giving you two to four cups of ready-to-use puree. It’s easy to multiply this recipe to make more.

While all types of pumpkins can be roasted and made into puree just like any other squash, here’s how to get the best result.

  • Sugar pumpkins (or pie pumpkins) are best because they are, well, sweeter (what’s in a name?), although you may use the smaller regular pumpkins. Ideally, your pumpkin should be 7-9 inches wide.
  • Look for freckles – You’ll know a sugar pumpkin when you see one up close.
  • Where to find them – Look in the produce section of your grocery store, next to the other squash, or ask for a pie pumpkin at a farmers market or patch.
  • Avoid larger varieties like Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins since they tend to have less flesh, more moisture, and less sweet flavor. Smaller types have a more concentrated flavor.
sugar pumpkins for making pumpkin pie

Pro Tip:

Canned and homemade pumpkin puree can be substituted 1:1, so that’s 15 oz or about 2 cups minus 1 Tbs of puree.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

With less than 10 minutes of prep time, it’s quick and easy to ditch the store-bought version.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and cut the pumpkin in half (or quarters or larger pumpkins) to scrape out the seeds and pulp, and then keep the seeds for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
  • Place the pieces on a baking sheet cut-side down, and then bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.
  • Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin of the pumpkin off and cut the pumpkin into 1-inch pieces. Process the chunks in a food processor in batches until applesauce consistency.
step-by-step directions for cutting a pumpkin to make homemade pumpkin puree

Pro Tip:

Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to remove the seeds and pulp from the pumpkin.

How to Thicken Pumpkin Puree

  • To make most recipes, like pumpkin pie, for example, you’ll need to drain some of the liquid. Put a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, and then line it with a double layer of cheesecloth. Wrap the puree in cheesecloth and gently squeeze to release the liquid.
How to peel and blend pumpkins and strain off excess liquid to thicken

Pro Tip

The amount of water released from the puree can differ depending on the type and freshness of the squash. You can also squeeze out more if you prefer a thicker consistency.

water squeezed from roasted squash for a thicker texture

What is Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is simply the flesh of a pumpkin that has been softened by roasting in the oven, and then it is mashed or blended into a mashed potato-like texture. It’s used in all types of recipes.

Can I use a Blender?

You can use a strong blender. Try blending only a few cubes at a time so it doesn’t get stuck. You can also use a potato masher or food mill.

squash puree in a glass jar with a wooden spoon

What to Make with Pumpkin Puree?

Pumpkin is one of the most versatile ingredients to add to savory dishes and sweet treats alike. For instance, in baking, it’s an excellent substitute for:

  • Substitute eggs (1/4 cup puree for 1 egg)
  • Substitute butter (3/4 cup pumpkin for every cup of butter)
  • Substitute Oil (1:1)

Here are some ideas on how to use pumpkin puree:

Breakfast Pumpkin Recipes

Dinner Recipes that Use Pumpkin

Pumpkin Dessert Recipes

Make-Ahead

Keep puree on hand to add a great creamy texture and nutritious veggie to your dish.

  • To Refrigerate: wait until the puree is completely cooled, then store in an airtight container for a week
  • Freezing: Freeze for 6 months (though, we’ve used it for up to a year). We like freezing in zip-top bags in one-cup portions. Fill, stack, and lay flat in the freezer to store.
  • To Reheat: Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. You can use a microwave or saucepan on the stove, but it may change the flavor slightly.
how to freeze pumpkin puree in 15oz portions in zip-top bags

Homemade Pumpkin puree is simple, delicious, and rewarding to make. Also, the technique can be used for other squash, as well. Make your own puree, and you’ll never go back to canned.

More Roasted Vegetable Recipes

If you love this recipe, then you won’t want to miss these other delicious ways to serve up vegetables this Fall.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree

5 from 12 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Pumpkin puree in a bowl with wooden spoon
This homemade pumpkin puree recipe is simple and fun to make. Use it in place of canned pumpkin to give your meal a healthy boost of veggies.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 4 cups, but varies depending on pumpkin size
  • 2 small pie pumpkins, or one larger sugar pumpkin 8-10 inches*

Instructions

To Make the Pumpkin Puree

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F Wash, dry and trim off the stem of the pumpkin. Stand the pumpkin on the flat side and cut it in half, or cut a larger pumpkin into quarters. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and pulp. Keep the seeds to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
  • Place pumpkin halves on a baking sheet cut-side down and Bake at 350F in the center of your oven for 50 min to 1 hour, or until easily pierced with a knife without resistance.
  • Peel the skin off all the chunks and cut the pumpkin into 1-inch pieces. Process in batches in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed for even blending. You should end up with a smooth applesauce consistency.

To Thicken Pumpkin Puree:

  • For a thicker puree needed for pumpkin pie or most recipes that call for canned pumpkin puree, set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line with a double layer of cheesecloth. Put the puree into the cheesecloth, wrap and gently squeeze to help release excess liquid. For a consistency similar to canned puree, I was able to strain off almost 1 cup of liquid from 2 small pie pumpkins.

Storing Pumpkin Puree:

  • Use it immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. To freeze, place 1 cup of puree into a freezer-safe zip bag, push out all the air, seal ,and freeze for up to 3 months or longer in a deep freezer.

Notes

*Avoid using large carving pumpkins or Jack-O-Lanterns.

Nutrition Per Serving

177kcal Calories44g Carbs7g Protein1g Fat0.4g Saturated Fat0.04g Polyunsaturated Fat0.1g Monounsaturated Fat7mg Sodium2312mg Potassium3g Fiber19g Sugar57888IU Vitamin A61mg Vitamin C143mg Calcium5mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Amount per Serving
Calories
177
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.4
g
3
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.04
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.1
g
Sodium
 
7
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
2312
mg
66
%
Carbohydrates
 
44
g
15
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
19
g
21
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
57888
IU
1158
%
Vitamin C
 
61
mg
74
%
Calcium
 
143
mg
14
%
Iron
 
5
mg
28
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pumpkin Puree
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 177

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Karen Montoya
    October 10, 2023

    Natasha, my oven stopped working a few months ago and I can’t get it fixed until after the first of the year. I have an instant fryer and a small toaster oven. What temperature should I set either to and for how long? Do I cover the pumpkin halves with foil or just in a small glass or metal container? Thank you

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 11, 2023

      Hi Karen! I’m sorry to hear about your oven. I have not tested this in the air fryer to provide those instructions. I searched through the comments to see if anyone has left this feedback, but I did not see any comments. You’d have to experiment with it or possibly research online how to do this in the air fryer.

      Reply

  • June Roberts
    October 10, 2023

    Good morning 🙂 I have a question : You mentioned freezing and storing in a fridge, But never actually canning them. Is there a reason not to can or is it ok to do so ??

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 10, 2023

      Hi June, I have not tried canning this recipe to advise in its freshness or outcome.

      Reply

  • Martha
    October 7, 2023

    So how much is a serving? This should be in ounces or cups for clarity. Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 7, 2023

      Hi Martha! At the top of the recipe card, you’ll see the number of servings this recipe makes. The nutrition facts are per serving.

      Reply

  • Elizabeth Diaz
    October 6, 2023

    Just received my book!
    I love it
    I’ve been following you and your recipes, absolutely love your way of cooking!
    Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 7, 2023

      I’m so glad you’re loving my book, Elizabeth! Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Reply

  • Linda
    October 6, 2023

    So much better than canned pumpkin . I believe it has more of it’s vitamins and minerals, than the processed, pumpkin. We do this in small batches and the store bought is processed in tons, of fruit.
    Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 7, 2023

      Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Vivian
    October 6, 2023

    I e had pumpkin soup in Barbados years ago and it was delicious,do you have a recipe for a soup made with pumpkin

    Reply

  • Erin
    October 3, 2023

    I can’t believe how easy this recipe is, AND it tastes so much fresher than canned. Will make again.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 3, 2023

      Thank you for the feedback, Erin!

      Reply

  • Jessica
    October 3, 2023

    I can’t believe I have never made my own pumpkin puree before now. This was so helpful, thank you so much!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 3, 2023

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad it was helpful.

      Reply

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