how to make your own pumpkin puree

Is it fall where you are? Are you dreaming only of thick scarves, rust-colored crackly leaves, hayrides and hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick? Are pumpkin dishes on your agenda? Wouldn’t it be great if you knew how to turn those adorable pumpkins at the market into the puree that most baking recipes call for? Well, look no further!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Halve a sugar pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down your baking sheet and roast the pumpkin until it is completely tender inside, about 45 to 50 minutes. Scrape the pumpkin flesh off the skin with a large spoon (metal is great here, because of the sharper edges) and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Let cool and use as needed.

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree holds about 1 3/4 cups of puree.

Don’t have a sugar pumpkin? Sweet potato, butternut squash and red kuri squash are all great substitutes for pumpkin puree in recipes. Sweet potatoes will roast faster and so will smaller squash, but the method is the same: halve, roast facedown, scrape the flesh off the skin and puree it until smooth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

29 comments on how to make your own pumpkin puree

  1. JMe

    Can I ask why you remove the seeds first? Personally, I have found them much easier to remove after they’re cooked. Just wondering if there’s something I’m missing.

  2. Aron

    JMe: The seeds are liable to burn, but more likely because when you scoop them out, you can give them a rinse, some salt, and roast them separately for a delicious snack.

    1. Brigette Paterson

      Oooohhhh, I love this idea, Aron! I’ll have to start saving my seeds! Can you save them (cleaned and dry) in the pantry so that you can do one big batch of them?

      1. Sarah

        I would just make sure they are completely dry if you are going to store them before roasting them. I would even rinse them well (to get the pumpkin off) and lay them out for a couple of days to be sure they are completely dry. You don’t want to come back moldy seeds!

  3. Expat Eric

    I personally find that just roasting and pureeing the pumpkin flesh yields an excessively wet product, even in a fan oven. The closest I’ve come to canned pumpkin is to do that, then to cook off the moisture in a saucepan. Careful, it acts like lava, bubbling and splattering! This also seems to most closely recreate the taste as well.

    1. Brigette Paterson

      Hi Eric

      I am about to try a recipe which has you put the pureed pumpkin into a colander lined with paper towel and leave for a bit to remove some of the moisture. I thought that sounded like a good idea! Her recipe just boiled the pumpkin but I thought that if I roast it then it might have more flavour??? I hope so! I hope I don’t ruin it by changing the recipe as I’ve never made it previously….

    2. Hilary Meltzer

      Having burned myself on that simmering pumpkin, I strongly recommend draining it overnight in the refrigerator, in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a dishtowel. The very thick puree freezes beautifully, too.

  4. Blair

    If you’re living in the UAE or anywhere in or near Oman, you’ll have the best of luck with Red Pumpkin from Oman (it’s also the cheapest option, score!). I also roast mine open side up with a little oil rubbed in (and brown sugar and soy sauce).

  5. Elaine

    I bake my pumpkins whole (stab them a few times to let the steam out) and break them open and remove the seeds after they are cooked. Run through the food mill and then strain the puree through a cheesecloth to reduce the moisture. I do weight the puree to make sure the excess water is removed. Since I grow my own pumpkins, I do these 6 at a time. I freeze the puree in 1 cup quantities for easy use later. Pie, pumpkin cranberry bread, cake . . .

  6. h van den Dool

    Used be a rural kid with excess pumpkins/squash.
    always, always cook or drain off (cheese cloth) excess moisture from pumpkins for baking. If draining, save the liquid for soups.

  7. I think the real key here is not to use your jack=o=lantern pumpkins! Into the compost for them after halloween, no exceptions. Sugar ( or also known as pie pumpkin) is the key. Quite a short window to purchase but they make that dry, very dense roasted pumpkin flavour you’re looking for. Hands down you will not find a drop of liquid. I scoop the flesh and freeze in 3 cup portioned freezer bags (flattened) then puree later when needed. Red Kuri and Kabocha equally as dry. ps…..slices of fresh sugar pumpkin also make the BEST tempura you ever had!

  8. Claire

    I have given up on pumpkins for cooking altogether, and use a good squash, either Lower Salmon River, or some kind of hubbard. Of course cooking a blue hubbard is a weekend event in and of itself, but nothing beats the nutty sweet flavor, and it is so sweet!

  9. It’s the season for pumpinks all you need is a good recipe and time. I have been looking for different recipes on internet I have found a few different blogs but I love this blog. I love the recipes here. I recently opened up a restaurant in city and I wanted to add my restaurant to directory sites but there are not many good one, however, I found this site it’s a professional restaurant listing website in USA. I loved the fact that it’s ADs Free, no clutter or pop ups. It is very simple and professional restaurant directory website. I highly recommend people who own restaurant. It’s free doesn’t cost anything unless you want more exposure.

  10. Hey James, thank you for the tip. I too own a restaurant I needed a good restaurant directory webiste. I just checked out I think it is very professional restaurant listing website yet it is free. I am going to create a listing for my restaurant. Thanks for it helps people to communucate here. I love this blog.

  11. I find that just roasting and pureeing the pumpkin flesh yields an excessively wet Restaurant Directory in US . product, even in a fan oven. The closest I’ve come to canned pumpkin is to do that, then to cook off the moisture in a saucepan. Careful, it acts like lava, bubbling and splattering! This also seems to most closely recreate the taste as wel

  12. Deb, you’re a star! I live in Melbourne, Australia and it’s certainly starting to feel like autumn now! And all of a sudden I’m craving home-baked goods and spend way too much time drooling over your blog! I can’t wait to make your Cinnamon-Pumpkin Scrolls but being in Australia means no pumpkin puree, but now I can make my own!
    Thank you!!! (Now I really can’t wait to get home and start baking!)

  13. MJ Miller

    I was making spiced pecans, and added the whole egg, yolk and all, without even thinking about the recipe saying egg white. I have them in the oven and they seem OK. Is there any problem I will encounter because of my mistake? Will it effect the nuts or will they be OK? I’m planning to give them as gifts!

  14. Martha Lineberger

    I am aware it is three days before t-day so I am probably too late to ask this question and get a response but I will try. Can I make the puree two days before I make the pies? I have used this recipe many times (I think every year since posted) to make my pies but I always am making it at like 1am thanksgiving morning after a bottle of wine or so. Hoping to me more proactive this year but want to make sure the puree will still be fluffy and wonderful two days later. Thanks! This website is such a gift to those of us who love to cook!

  15. Elaine

    For years I have been making my own “pumpkin” puree using butternut squash which we raised by the dozens and which, by the way, store well in a cool, dry place (we had a cold cellar). I cut the squash in half, lengthwise, scooped out the seeds (as you suggest) and place both halves face down on my glass microwave turntable. I make a few cuts in the skin to avoid possible built-up pressure, and bake them for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.
    Butternut squash meat is finer-grained and sweeter than pumpkin that I find to be stringy.

  16. Katy

    This works brilliantly for me in England, where not that many places do tinned pumpkin but where I do quite often get squash in my weekly veg box. After blending I put the squashed squash in a sieve over a bowl for a couple of hours to ditch excess fluid, then freeze it or use it.

    1. Elaine H. Fritz

      Excellent idea! I do that with my summer squash (after I chop and cook it) and before I freeze it in cartons to use as a vegetable in winter. We love all squashes but they are best after draining off excess water.

  17. Elaine H. Fritz

    Yes, one of fall’s delights has been the harvesting of our crop of butternut squash, I would choose the darkest-tan colored ones from my husband’s wheelbarrow-full and there were enough to last me a whole year in cold storage. I used them regularly for soups, a delicious pureed vegetable (with lots of butter), pumpkin bread, and superb pumpkin pies. I cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and microwave them face down for about 15-20 minutes. Then use the pulp as mentioned above. In my estimation butternut is the sweetest of the squashes/pumpkins.