Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

Use any leftover pumpkins you may have to make your own pumpkin puree. It’s perfect for holiday baking and tastes better than canned.

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It’s that time of the year again…. pumpkin everything! Of course, everyone hears about the pumpkin spice lattes and other drinks. But what about all of the delicious desserts and food that can be made from pumpkin puree?

I know many people are purchasing pumpkins now, or will be soon, to get ready for Halloween. Pumpkin carving is a lot of fun, and is a great family tradition if you celebrate the season. 

Pumpkin Patch 2017

But, if you are anything like me, the time can just slip away and next thing you know you are setting a plain, uncarved, untouched pumpkin out on the front porch. We’ve done this a few times now because we just run out of time to carve with all of the other events that the Fall season brings. 

When this happens, what are you going to do with that extra pumpkin (or four) that you have? 

Cousins at the Pumpkin Patch 2017

My suggestion: use it to make your own pumpkin puree to use in recipes for the season! Trust me, one average-sized pumpkin makes a lot more puree than you would think. You’ll have plenty to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin pasties, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin bread, and any other pumpkin foods.

We have been doing this for a couple of years now, and end up giving the puree away to family and friends to use for their Thanksgiving desserts because we just can’t use it all. 

Luckily, though, you can freeze the puree to use at a later time. 

Ryan cleaning out his pumpkin

You’ll notice as you are making your puree that it’s a much different color than the canned pumpkin puree. But, this is pure pumpkin, no added ingredients or colors or anything else. And, we find that it tastes better, too, since it’s straight from a fresh pumpkin.

Step by Step

Preheat the oven to 400F. Start by cutting the top off of the pumpkin, similar to how you would if carving it.

Cut the pumpkin in half starting from the top and going to the base of the pumpkin.

Remove the seeds and the stringy parts of the pumpkin. You can save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds, and the stringy part can be used to make pumpkin bread. 

Brush the fleshy sides of the pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

Use a pan that has high enough sides that any moisture from the pumpkins won’t drip into the oven. I find one half of a regular pumpkin fits well in a 9×13 glass dish. Turn the pumpkins over so the flesh side is down and bake for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin. They should be soft enough that a knife can easily press through the skin. 

Remove the pumpkin from the oven and carefully move it to a cooling rack. Let it cool for about an hour, then use a spoon to pull the flesh from the skin. The skin can then be thrown in a compost bin so you aren’t wasting any part of the pumpkin.

Place the flesh in a blender and blend until it is smooth. I usually have to add up to a 1/2 cup of water to the blender to get it to puree well.

The puree will store in the refrigerator for up to one week or the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Recipe

Originally Published On: September 13, 2018

Last Updated On: September 21, 2019

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Pumpkin Puree

Use any leftover pumpkins you may have to make your own pumpkin puree. It’s perfect for holiday baking and tastes better than canned.
Course Homemade Staple
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 cups
Calories 79kcal
Author Stephanie Lynch

Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Cut the top off of the pumpkin, then cut the pumpkin in half from stem to base
  • Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts of the pumpkin, leaving as much flesh as possible
  • Drizzle the pumpkin flesh with oil and sprinkle with salt
  • Place the pumpkin in a baking dish with the flesh side down and bake for 30-45 minutes, until soft
  • Move the pumpkin to a cooling rack and let cool for one hour
  • Carefully scoop out all of the flesh from the skin and place in a blender
  • Blend the pumpkin until smooth, about 3-5 minutes
  • Store for 1 week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer

Nutrition

Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 770mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 19295IU | Vitamin C: 20.4mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1.8mg

View Comments (46)

  • I like making things from scratch, so this would work in that respect. Also, the kids looked like they were having a blast!

    • It's so much better to make things homemade when you can. And yes, cleaning pumpkins and getting messy is always a fun time!

    • You're right, canned is easier. But it doesn't taste as fresh as this. Plus, it's a great way to use pumpkins up rather than throwing them out later.

  • I've never made pumpkin puree, but maybe it's time I gave it a go. Normally the only time we buy pumpkin is to carve it for Halloween...

  • I am not a pumpkin fan but this will come in handy if any of my youth kids want something pumpkin lol

    • Especially if you are preparing anything for a large group of people. One pumpkin makes a lot of puree!

  • I never really considered making my own Puree before. This is a great way to not waste your pumpkins. :)

    • We hadn't until we had a pumpkin that we ran out of time to carve and didn't want to just throw it away. It tastes much fresher and gives a better texture to pumpkin pie than canned pumpkin.

  • I've never been brave enough to try this myself so I always buy the canned puree but I love the thought of having it without any additives or preservatives. Reading this, it really doesn't look difficult at all, so I really should go ahead and give it a try. I'm thinking of how delicious pumpkin bars will be made with this puree!

    • No, it's not very difficult. The hardest part is cleaning out the pumpkin, and that's not hard, just takes a bit of time.

  • O my yum!!!! I just love all things pumpkin! I will have to try this purée out next time I make a pumpkin pie!

    • We just made pumpkin pie with it (again) and it's so much better. The texture is lighter and the pumpkin tastes fresh.

  • That looks delicious! Generally, I like pumpkin drink or pumpkin pie but never tried a puree. So great to see how happy look your kids and all the family sharing funny pumpkin moments.

    • The pumpkin puree is perfect to add to those pumpkin drinks and pie. Cleaning out pumpkins is so fun, the boys love getting messy.

  • I have never done just a puree of pumpkin before. But I suppose it would be better for recipes and such than the stuff in cans. I'm always willing to try something once so I will have to check this out.

  • YES!!! So glad to know I'm not the only one who cooks down their pumpkin, purees it, and freezes it for future use! :)

  • This is a great idea! In fact I also do my puree in advance but I use the stand mixer instead. Really handy!

    • Interesting, I've never tried it with the mixer before. I've always found the blender to work quickly. I'll have to try that next time.

    • It takes a little work, but you'll end up with a lot of puree. I could make at least 4 pies with the puree from one pumpkin!

  • Aw what a lovely family picture...I love this!! Also the Pumpkin puree looks delicious and I like the way you have presented this in the jar xx

    • Thank you! We have fun going to pick out our pumpkins every year. I've given the extra puree as a gift to neighbors with a recipe for pumpkin pie and made up the jar like that for them :)

  • I just love the different uses of this pumpkin puree recipe! It's also a great way to get the kids involved in this special forthcoming occasion.

    • Oh my gosh, there are so many delicious ways to use pumpkin puree! And of course, what kid doesn't like the opportunity to get messy?!

    • If you puree the flesh from just one large pumpkin, you'll have enough to make many pumpkin recipes this season!

    • It's easy enough to make, just takes some time to clean out the pumpkin. And it makes a great gift for neighbors with a pumpkin pie recipe to go with it.

  • Ahhhh Tis the season of all things pumpkin! I will have to try making my own purée next time I have a recipe that calls for some pumpkin!

    • It's that time of year again! You'll get enough puree to make multiple recipes out of one pumpkin, so get the recipes ready!

  • It's a great use of the pumpkins. And the homemade tastes better as well. Love pumpkin puree and the way we can use it. Thanks.

    • I hate wasting things, especially food. Any time I can use all of something I will. And you're right, fresh is always better than canned.

  • Tis the season for pumpkin puree. We have a pumpkin soup we do on January first. I usually freeze the pumpkin. Now, I will make the puree and conserve it thanks to your recipe.

    • Sounds like a great plan! I haven't tried freezing this recipe yet. But if you do, make sure you leave a lot of space in the container since there's so much water. I've frozen other similar things (when I was making homemade baby purees for the boys) and didn't leave enough space and had glass jars shatter in the freezer!

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