Did you know that it’s incredibly easy to make pumpkin puree that’s all ready for pies, pudding, and the like, from a fresh pumpkin? Homemade pumpkin puree will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for about 6 months or more. Once you make your own, you’ll never go back to canned (and not just because you can’t find it anywhere!).
Can I use a Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin to make puree?
Technically, yes. You can use any type of pumpkin to make puree. But honestly, you probably don’t want to. Giant pumpkins that are grown for jack-o-lanterns have been selectively bred to grow large and fast, and have thin flesh. In the process, these pumpkins give up a lot of their sugar, leaving them tasting bland and watery. Best to use these for carving (and seed roasting!).
The best pumpkins for making puree are called pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins. Pie pumpkins are smaller, and you can usually find them in your grocery store’s produce section near other winter squash like butternut and acorn. You’ll probably want to buy a few of them, especially if they’re small like the one below in pictures. This pumpkin yielded about 1 cup of puree. For reference, a can of pumpkin is about 1 1/2 cups.
How to cook and puree a pumpkin in pictures
I know those pictures down in the recipe are a bit small, and hard to see, so here are the pictures and steps so you can actually see them!
Ways to use pumpkin puree
I love pumpkin in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s also great as an egg or oil substitute in many baking recipes (sub 1/4 cup for each egg, or one-to-one as an oil/butter sub). Here are some other ideas:
- Pumpkin risotto
- Heart Healthy Pumpkin Granola
- Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup
- Mocha Black Bean Brownies
- Heart Healthy Pancake Mix using pumpkin instead of the flax and oil
- Pumpkin cookies
- Whole Wheat Carrot Turmeric Muffins using pumpkin instead of applesauce
If you make pumpkin puree, tell me how you use it in the comments!
It's incredibly easy to make your own pumpkin puree with a fresh pumpkin!
- 1 Pie or sugar pumpkin
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Carefully, cut the pumpkin in half.
Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy "guts" and set them aside if you intend to roast them, or discard.
Place the pumpkin halves face down on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is very soft, and you can push the skin in without much pressure.
Allow the pumpkin to cool face up.
Scoop the flesh out of the skin, and into a food processor.
Puree for a few minutes until the pumpkin is very smooth.
Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to 6 months.