Making your own pumpkin puree at home is fun and satisfying! Many recipes call for peeling and cutting the raw pumpkin into chunks, then steaming it. I’m going to show you a much easier way. We’re going to cut it in half and roast it instead. Much less work!
Are you ready to learn how to roast a pumpkin and make your own puree? We’ll also cover how to freeze it and use it to replace a can of pumpkin. Don’t forget to save those seeds for roasting or planting!
Let’s dig in!
What kind of pumpkin should I use for cooking?
You’ll want to look for pie or sugar pumpkins for making your pumpkin puree. These varieties are sweet, smooth, and tasty.
Here in Southern Appalachia, we like using the elusive candy roaster squash for our pie-making!
The round, orange pumpkins or Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins sold during Halloween are edible. But they won’t taste as good!
I went with a cute little pie pumpkin for this demonstration. This one weighed 5 pounds and 6 ounces before cutting and cooking. I ended up with 2 pounds and 12 ounces of cooked pumpkin puree. About 5 cups worth. That’s enough to replace almost 3 cans of store-bought pumpkin.
Where to find a good pumpkin for cooking?
- Pie pumpkins and other suitable winter squash are a fall crop. Grocery stores will carry them in October and November.
- Look for pumpkins at the farmers market or local farms. Here is a directory if you need help finding one!
- Grow them yourself! Pumpkins are a fun crop to grow from seed if you have the space!
How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Puree
Pro-tip: Use this method to puree any variety of winter squash! Smaller ones may need less baking time, while larger ones, like candy roasters, need more.
Go ahead and pre-heat the oven to 350℉. Then, wash and dry your pumpkin. Next, use a sharp chef’s knife to cut them stem off.
Cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Then, scoop out all the seeds and scrape out any stringy gunk. Set them aside for roasting pumpkin seeds.
Now, lightly rub the insides with oil. Just enough to coat it. Then lay it cut side down on an aluminum foil lined sheet pan. Cut a few slits in the skin of each half. It will help steam escape.
Bake it at 350℉ for about 1 hour, until it is soft and can easily be pierced with a fork. It may take longer, depending on the size.
Pro-tip: Let the kids help with scooping out the seeds and the cooked pumpkin!
Gorgeous 🙂 It’s ready to use!
How long does pumpkin puree last?
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Read on for instructions to freeze pumpkin.
How to freeze pumpkin puree
I like to freeze pumpkins in a couple different ways every year. I freeze some in 15-ounce portions to replace a store-bought can of pumpkin. Then, freeze some 1-cup amounts for other recipes.
I will also freeze some in silicone food molds for easy use. These are great for baby food, dog treats, and adding extra veggies to soups, stews, and sauces!
Method 1: Freeze pumpkin in freezer bags or jars
To use in place of a 15 ounce can of pumpkin: Place the freezer bag or freezer-safe pint jar on a food scale. Tear the scale to zero. Add 15 ounces of pumpkin puree. Make sure to leave ½ inch of headspace if using a jar. Label, seal, and freeze.
When ready to use, defrost in the fridge overnight.
Follow the same method to freeze in 1-cup portions.
Method 2: Freeze pumpkin in silicone molds or ice cube trays
Use a silicone mold or ice cube tray and place it on a sheet pan or plate. This will keep it from spilling in the freezer. Fill the mold with cooled pumpkin puree. Place the whole thing in the freezer until the puree is frozen solid. Remove the chunks from the mold and seal them in a labeled freezer bag. Return to the freezer until ready to use.
Pro-tip: A silicone muffin pan works great!
How to use pumpkin puree
- Make pumpkin pie filling!
- Use it in place of canned 100% pumpkin in any recipe.
- Use it to add extra veggies to sauces, soups, and stews.
- It makes perfect baby food! I freeze pumpkin in silicone muffin pans to use as baby food. Thaw, heat, and serve. My babies love it!
- Make pumpkin for your dog. I also like to keep pumpkins in the freezer for dogs. A small amount of pumpkin makes a great treat that they love! It also helps with digestive issues. It will help settle their stomachs if they have an upset tummy!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Need a recipe for roasting those pumpkin seeds? I’ve got you covered! My roasted pumpkin seeds come out perfectly seasoned and crispy.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, use it in any recipe that calls for 100% pure canned pumpkin puree.
Homemade pumpkin puree will last for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
It will depend on the size and variety of pumpkins you are using. I got about 5 cups of pumpkin from a 5.5-pound pie pumpkin.
Yes. Pumpkin puree freezes beautifully. I’ve included detailed instructions for freezing it.
No. This recipe is not safe for canning. The National Center for Home Food Preservation does not recommend home-canning pumpkin puree.
Save your pumpkin seeds to make crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds. Or save them for planting.
If the pumpkin is too thick to cut, you can cook it whole! Wash it well, then remove any woody stems. Place it on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake it whole until it is fork-tender. It will take longer to cook than pumpkin halves. The time to cook will vary based on the size of the pumpkin or squash.
Once the pumpkin is done, allow it to cool. Then, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then, scoop the flesh and puree it in a blender or a food processor.
The only downside to this method is you can’t save the seeds for growing or roasting!
Sure. But these varieties won’t be as sweet and smooth as a good pie pumpkin.
A 15-ounce can of pumpkin contains 3.5 servings at ½ per serving, about 1.75 cups.