How to Make Pumpkin Puree

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

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I don’t know about you all, but a canned pumpkin shortage was definitely not on my 2020 bingo card. I’ve been reading about shortages, and so I thought I’d do a quick post on how to make pumpkin puree from scratch. Thankfully, roasting and pureeing a pie pumpkin is super simple! The advantages of creating your own pureed pumpkin are that it hasn’t been sitting in contact with a can liner and that you get a bunch of seeds that you can roast afterwards and use on other dishes (I like to use them in soups or to top muffins). Taste-wise, I personally do not notice a difference between roasting a fresh pie pumpkin versus getting the pumpkin out of a can (in case you thought you were missing out). The only difference is that fresh pumpkin puree is lighter in color. Although the differences are minuscule, I do think it’s a fun thing to try out if you haven’t done it before, or if you can’t find canned pumpkin. There’s always that great satisfaction of creating something from scratch. Let’s get roasting!

How do you make pumpkin puree from scratch?

I will go over this in more detail below, but all you have to do is halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and pulp, roast the two halves face down on a baking sheet, and then scoop out the roasted flesh and puree in a food processor or blender.

How do you cut a pumpkin for roasting?


First you cut off the top with the stem. Discard. Flip the pumpkin upside down so that the flat side is in contact with your cutting board. This stabilizes the pumpkin while you halve it vertically. Using a long, sharp (important!) knife, slice vertically down the middle to cut the pie pumpkin into two halves. It’s really important to use a sharp knife, otherwise you are really going to struggle cutting through the pumpkin. Complete instructions on how to roast and puree a pie pumpkin can be found down below.

Which pumpkin is best for roasting?


Also known as a sugar pumpkin, a pie pumpkin is the best for roasting and making puree to use in your baking and cooking. They’re sweeter and less fibrous than the larger pumpkins you use for carving. When you go to the store to buy one, the sign will say pie pumpkin on it, so that you know you are purchasing the right kind. They are small in size, but bigger than the really tiny decorative pumpkins you see.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step-by-step instructions in a video format for this recipe are available on my YouTube channel and above the recipe card below.

Step 1. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F. First, cut off the top of the pumpkin where the stem is. Discard the top. Flip the pumpkin over so that the flat top is on the bottom, which will make the pumpkin stable when halving it. Next, use a long, sharp knife to halve the pumpkin lengthwise.

Cutting a pumpkin vertically down the middle with a long, sharp knife into two halves.

Step 2. Next, scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon or an ice cream scoop. You can either discard the seeds, or you can rinse off the pulp and roast them. See my roasted winter squash seeds recipe for how to do this.

Scooping out the pumpkin seeds and fibrous pulp into a bowl.

Step 3. Arrange the pumpkin halves face side down and brush the skins with extra light olive oil.

Brushing extra light olive oil on the skin of the pumpkin before roasting.

Step 4. Bake for 45-65 minutes, or until a fork pierces the skin easily. If your pie pumpkin is on the larger side, it will take longer to roast. The pie pumpkin I roasted was approximately 3 pounds, and it took about an hour to roast. Once pumpkin is finished roasting, remove from the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes, or until cool to the touch.

Sticking a fork into the pumpkin to test for doneness.

Step 5. Scoop pumpkin flesh into a food processor or a blender. Blend until smooth. Should only take a few minutes. You might need to periodically turn off your food processor or blender and open it up to scrape the pumpkin down the sides to get a smooth puree. If you are going to use the puree soon, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. Otherwise, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container and store in the freezer for up to 4-5 months.

Scooping the roasted pumpkin flesh out to puree.
Pureeing the pumpkin flesh with a food processor until smooth.

Use the Pumpkin Puree In:

Pumpkin puree sits in a small bowl on the left. Next to it, is a small bowl containing the cleaned seeds. In the background are the emptied pumpkin skins on a baking sheet.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Roasting and pureeing a pie pumpkin is super easy, and doesn't take much time. Use the pumpkin puree 1:1 in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.
0 from 0 votes
Print Rate
Course: Basics
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy, fall
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 49kcal

Ingredients 

  • 1 2-3 pound pie pumpkin
  • extra light olive oil for coating pumpkin

Instructions

  • Arrange oven rack to be in the middle. Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cut off the top of the pumpkin where the stem is. Discard. Flip the pumpkin over so that the flat top is on the bottom. Use a long, sharp knife to halve the pumpkin vertically.
  • Scoop out the seeds and fibrous pulp. Discard OR rinse seeds and set aside to roast and season later (see link for recipe above).
  • Arrange pumpkin halves face side down and brush the skins with extra light olive oil.
  • Bake for 45-65 minutes, or until a fork pierces the skin easily. The larger the pie pumpkin, the longer it will take to roast.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes, or until cool to the touch.
  • Scoop pumpkin flesh into a food processor or a blender. Blend until smooth. You might need to periodically turn off your food processor or blender and open it up to scrape the pumpkin down the sides to get a smooth puree.
  • If using immediately, transfer puree to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. Otherwise, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container and store in the freezer for up to 4-5 months.

Notes

I used a 3-pound pumpkin in this recipe, which yielded almost 2 cups of pumpkin puree or approximately one 15 oz can. The nutrition information is for 1 cup of pumpkin puree.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 49 Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.2g0%
Saturated Fat 0.1g1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 2.5mg0%
Potassium 564mg16%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 2.7g11%
Sugar 5.1g6%
Protein 1.8g4%
Vitamin A 8460IU169%
Vitamin C 17.1mg21%
Calcium 36.4mg4%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Nutritional information on The Panicked Foodie is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
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