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homemade pumpkin puree in a white bowl

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Whether you’ve grown your own pumpkins at home, or just want to cook good food 100% from scratch, homemade pumpkin puree is super easy to make.

It’s nutritious, can be used in a wide range of recipes, and freezes very well making it a great way to preserve pumpkin for the coming winter months.

vertical picture of homemade pumpkin puree in a white bowl

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Different Types Of Pumpkin

When it comes to pumpkins, choosing the ‘best’ variety for cooking or baking can be a bit of a personal choice. While you can of course turn your Halloween jack-o-lantern into pumpkin puree, the flesh tends to be quite watery and flavourless, especially when boiled.

It’s better to go to your local farmers’ market and search out a variety specifically meant for baking. Any pumpkin (or winter squash for that matter) can be turned into a puree using the method described below, so have fun and don’t worry too much about what kind of pumpkin you are cooking!

Photo by Maddie H. on Unsplash

Winter vs Summer Squash

There are two main types of squash: Winter Squash and Sumer Squash.

Winter squash tend to have thicker skin and are ideal for storing in a dry, cool pantry or cold storage area. They have a fairly long growing season and are usually planted in late May/ early June. Winter squash are harvested in the fall once the squash mature, about 60-110 days after planting depending on the variety.

Winter squash varieties include butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and acorn squash to name a few.

Summer squash have a much thinner skin than winter squash, are usually milder in flavour, and does not store as well as winter squash. Summer squash is also planted in early June (after all chance of frost has passed), but have a much shorter growing season, often maturing within 50-60 days after planting.

Summer squash varieties include green and yellow zucchini, patty pan squash, and crookneck squash.

Of course there are many, many more varieties of squash then listed here and it is best to check out your local garden center or farmers market for information on locally available varieties best suited to your climate.

How To Make Pumpkin Puree From Scratch

As mentioned above, making your own pumpkin puree from scratch is really very simple. All that you have to do is cook the pumpkin, and then puree the cooked flesh. Easy-peasy!

Whether you decided to season the pumpkin puree with any spices or add sugar to it to make it sweeter is of course entirely up to you, but is best done when pureeing the final product.

cutting a pumpkin in half with a large knife

Roasting vs Boiling

In order to cook the pumpkin flesh, there are to main options. You can or boil the pumpkin.

Roasting the pumpkin is my preferred way of cooking most winter squashes. Roasting or baking helps remove some of the moisture naturally present in the flesh and also intensifies the flavor by caramelizing some of the natural sugars in the pumpkin.

Roasting the pumpkin is also a little less work as you don’t have to peel and cut the flesh first. You only need to cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.

scooping cooked pumpkin flesh out of the skin

If you decided to boil the pumpkin you’ll first need to peel and cut the pumpkin in order to easily get it into a pot as well as ensure it cooks evenly. Note that boiling or simmering pumpkin will increase its moisture content and can dilute the flavour.

Cooking pumpkin this way is best if you plan on using the cooked pumpkin in soups or stews where extra moisture wont be a problem.

Simple Pumpkin Puree Recipe

To make this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 large pumpkin of your choice
  • a large knife
  • a sheet pan or baking tray
  • a food processor or food mill

As you can see, you really don’t need a whole lot to make your own pumpkin puree at home!

Instructions

1. Start by pre-heating your oven to 375F. Cut the pumpkin in half with your chefs knife, and then remove all the seeds and stringy bits in the middle.

removing pumpkin seeds and guts before roasting

2. Place the pumpkin cut side down on the sheet tray, and roast in the oven anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the pumpkin. You’ll know the pumpkin is fully cooked when you can easily slide a knife through the skin and flesh of the pumpkin.

Related:  Simple Oven Baked Chicken Breasts
pumpkin cut in half on sheetpans ready to be roasted

3. Once the pumpkin is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Remove any water that may have leached out of the pumpkin. If you find the pumpkin looks very wet, you can keep cooking it to roast it even further, just be careful not to burn the flesh!

checking the roasted pumpkin for doneness with a fork

4. When cooled enough to safely handle without burning yourself, scoop the roasted pumpkin flesh from the skin with a spoon. It should fall right of and easily separate from the tough skin.

scooping cooked pumpkin flesh out of the skin

5. Place the cooked pumpkin flesh in a food processor or food mill, and process until smooth.

pureeing roasted pumpkin flesh for pumpkin puree

6. (Optional). If you like you can at this point season your pumpkin puree with spices, sugar, or even maple syrup to change its flavor slightly.

Using Your Home Made Pumpkin Puree In Various Recipes

Now that you’ve successfully made your own pumpkin puree at home, you’ll want to use it somehow! Use the puree as needed to make pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, ravioli filling, or even pumpkin ice cream!

A sliced and garnished homemade pumpkin pie made from scratch, sitting on a wodden table . one pice of pie has been removed.

Storing Home Made Pumpkin Puree

If you have any pumpkin puree left after using it in your baking or cooking you can store it in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

You can also freeze the pumpkin puree in food-safe containers or bags for long term storage. Fully frozen, pumpkin puree can easily last 3-6 months in the freezer.

Why You Should Never Can Pumpkin Puree

While you may be tempted to can you pumpkin puree DON’T DO IT!

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t can pumpkin puree, (which you can read about here: Why Canning Pumpkin Puree Is A No NO ), but the gist of it is that there are currently no safe ways to can pumpkin puree due to its texture and low acidity.

Even the National Center For Home Food Preservation strongly discourages this practice and instead advises too can raw pumpkin cubes in water instead.

Made the recipe? Comment & Rate it below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

homemade pumpkin puree in a white bowl

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Chef Markus Mueller
Making your own homemade pumpkin puree couldn't be easier. A great way to preserve winter squash for use in your home cooking and baking this Fall!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Basic Skill
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 6 cups
Calories 49 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole pumpkin

Instructions
 

  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 375F. Cut the pumpkin in half with your chefs knife, and then remove all the seeds and stringy bits in the middle.
    removing pumpkin seeds and guts before roasting
  • Place the pumpkin cut side down on the sheet tray, and roast in the oven anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the pumpkin. The pumpkin is cooked when you can easily slide a knife into it.
    pumpkin cut in half on sheetpans ready to be roasted
  • Once the pumpkin is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Remove any water that may have leached out of the pumpkin.
    checking the roasted pumpkin for doneness with a fork
  • When cooled enough to safely handle without burning yourself, scoop the roasted pumpkin flesh from the skin with a spoon. It should fall right of and easily separate from the tough skin.
    scooping cooked pumpkin flesh out of the skin
  • Place the cooked pumpkin flesh in a food processor or food mill, and process until smooth.
    pureeing roasted pumpkin flesh for pumpkin puree

Optional

  • If you like you can at this point season your pumpkin puree with spices, sugar, or even maple syrup to change its flavor slightly.

Notes

You’ll know the pumpkin is fully cooked when you can easily slide a knife through the skin and flesh of the pumpkin.
If you find the pumpkin looks very wet, you can keep cooking it to roast it even further, just be careful not to burn the flesh!
Keyword how to make pumpkin puree from scratch

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For more information please read our affiliate disclosure.

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made the roasted pumpkin as you have done!
    I rate your roasted pumpkin 100%!
    My roasted pumpkin was perfect! Thank you.
    Next is making your pumpkin pie and pumpkin muffins! Yum, yum!

  2. Fresh pumpkin puree for pumpkin pies is the only way to go! Love your easy roasted method; i’m sure the pumpkin comes out so flavorful!

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