Learn how to make homemade pumpkin puree from scratch. This easy recipe shows to make delicious pureed pumpkin and how to use it for baking projects and desserts, pie, cookies, soup, bread or muffins. Healthy pumpkin puree is naturally vegan, low carb, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, nut free and suitable for clean eating, paleo, keto and Whole 30 diets.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Learn more
Homemade pumpkin puree – Easy pumpkin puree recipe
Pumpkins are a staple in autumn baking and cooking. Homemade pumpkin puree is a versatile ingredient to prepare fall recipes. DIY pureed pumpkin tastes way better than store-bought canned pumpkin and the process to make pumpkin puree is pretty simple.
In this easy pumpkin puree recipe you learn:
- how to choose the right pumpkin for cooking
- how to prepare a pumpkin
- two ways to cook pumpkin puree
- how to thicken watery pumpkin puree
- how to freeze pumpkin puree and why canning isn’t safe
- pumpkin puree health benefits
- pumpkin puree uses for babies and dogs
- how to use pumpkin puree and healthy recipes with pumpkin puree
What is the best pumpkin to make pumpkin puree?
As for pumpkin puree ingredients, pumpkin puree is made of only one thing: pure pumpkin. No salt, no sugar, no spices. But what is the best pumpkin for pumpkin puree? How do you choose the right pumpkin for cooking?
Whether you buy pumpkins at the supermarket, farmer market, a roadside stand or grow your own – only choose fully mature pumpkins. Pick pumpkins that have a hard rind without bruises, soft spots, mould, or cuts.
The best pumpkins for cooking and baking are pie pumpkins, also known as sugar pumpkin or baking pumpkins. They are usually smaller than carving pumpkins, taste sweeter and have a finer texture. Whereas carving or Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins often lack aroma and are watery and full of string fibre. They are best used for decorating.
Chunks of frozen pumpkin can be used when fresh pumpkins are not in season. You’ll have less work but still get all the flavour and nutrients.
This pumpkin puree recipe can also be prepared with winter squash (for example butternut squash, acorn squash) or Hokkaido pumpkins.
How do you clean a pumpkin for cooking?
Before cooking homemade pumpkin puree, the pumpkin has to be prepared for cooking. And this process is easier than you think. Another tip is to use pumpkins that are smaller in size. Small pumpkins not only taste better, but they’re also easier to handle. The 4 easy steps are:
- First wash the pumpkin under running water and scrub the skin to remove any dirt. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Put the pumpkin on a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife carefully cut out the stem. Use the tip of the blade to under the stem and discard.
- Now cut the pumpkin in half down the middle.
- Next, scrape out the pumpkin seeds and the pulp using a large spoon. Be sure to scoop away any stringy pulp from the centre. And don’t throw out those seeds. They are very healthy, and you can use them to make delicious roasted pumpkin seeds.
Safety tip: Be careful when cutting the pumpkin not to cut yourself. The skin and flesh of the pumpkin are very slippery.
How to make pumpkin puree from scratch
How to make homemade pumpkin puree: oven method
Oven-roasting pumpkins creates a rich, earthy flavour that makes pumpkin puree recipes extra aromatic. Roasting pumpkins in the oven works best for smaller pumpkins as large pumpkins may take a lot longer to cook soft.
Here’s all you need to know to make this super easy pureed pumpkin recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2.
- Line a baking tray/sheet with parchment/baking paper or a non-stick baking mat.
- Place the two pumpkin halves, cut side down, on the prepped baking sheet/tray.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until tender.
- Start checking the doneness in 5-minute intervals at the 30-minute mark by lightly pressing the pumpkin.
- Once soft, remove the pumpkin from the oven and let cool to the touch.
- Using a spoon, scrape the soft pumpkin meat from the skin.
- Puree in a blender or food processor.
- Optionally, strain the puree to remove any remaining stringy bits.
How to cook pumpkin: steamer method
In this section, we talk about how to cook pumpkin on the stove. Steaming pumpkin makes the pumpkin very tender without changing the delicate flavour and preserves most of the nutrients. This pumpkin cooking method also infuses the skin with water and makes it easy to peel the pumpkin. Either use a steamer pot if you have one or insert a steamer insert into a large pot.
To make pumpkin puree without an oven, follow these steps:
- Fill a large sauce 1 in / 2.5 cm with water.
- Place a metal steamer insert and make sure the water doesn’t touch the steamer.
- Put the pumpkin halves into the steamer. Close with a lid.
- Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the flame to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until soft.
- Scoop out the pumpkin flesh from the shells.
- Pulse in a food processor or blender and strain if necessary.
How to thicken pumpkin puree
Sometimes pumpkin puree can be a bit watery, and you may want to drain the puree. To thicken pumpkin puree, put the puree into a cheesecloth, hang it over your sink or a bowl and let drain overnight. Draining will give a nice, dense consistency.
Freezing pumpkin puree
Frozen pumpkin cubes
Freezing pumpkin puree is the best way to store homemade pumpkin puree. To freeze pumpkin puree, fill an ice cube tray with 1-ounce portions and freeze overnight. Pop the frozen cubes out and place them in a zip-lock bag.
Pumpkin ice cubes are very convenient to make baby food, smoothies, breakfast bowls, or whenever a recipe calls for a small amount of pumpkin puree, no need to open a whole jar.
Freezing pumpkin puree in a jar
If you prefer to freeze pumpkin puree in a jar, fill a canning jar with puree. Leave headroom in the jar so the puree can expand while freezing.
What is the shelf life of frozen pumpkin puree?
Store the frozen pumpkin puree cubes or jarred pumpkin puree in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How to store leftover pumpkin puree
Once opened, canned pumpkin will last for 5 days. Leftover pumpkin puree has to be kept in the refrigerator.
Why you shouldn’t can pumpkin puree
Unfortunately, canning pumpkin puree in a pressure cooker or in a hot water bath isn’t a safe way to preserve this homemade vegetable puree. The low acidity of pumpkins and the thickness of the puree makes it impossible to process pumpkin puree safely. Theresa Loe from Living Homegrown has more information why canning pumpkin puree is a no-no.
Is pumpkin puree healthy? The health benefits of pumpkin puree
Stock-full of nutrients, pumpkin has many health and nutrition benefits. It is rich in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals but low in carbs and calories. Here is a little pumpkin puree nutrition info: pumpkin contains a lot of vitamins A, C, B2 and E, potassium, copper, manganese and iron.
The high levels of vitamin A can help to protect your eyesight, while the vitamins may boost immunity. The fibre content is beneficial for digestion. This article gives more details about the impressive health benefits of pumpkin.
Healthy pumpkin puree is naturally vegan, low carb, dairy free, gluten free, nut-free and suitable for clean eating, paleo, keto and Whole 30 diets. For the best health benefits buy organic pumpkins when they are in season.
Pumpkin puree for baby
Pumpkin puree is a healthy baby food idea. Packed with fiber and Vitamins A and C, pumpkin can support your baby’s developing eyesight, intestinal health and boost the immune system.
You can start feeding your baby this single-ingredient puree beginning from 6 months old. Pumpkin tastes very mild and is a good choice when you start to introduce your little one to new foods.
Baby food at this stage still should be thin, so you may have to adjust the consistency of the homemade pumpkin puree with water, breast milk, or formula.
When making pumpkin puree for baby, it’s best to steam-cook the pumpkin and then blend in a food processor until smooth. You can also season the puree with a pinch of sage, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Freeze the puree in an ice cube tray and use as needed.
Learn more about the health benefits of pumpkin for babies in this post.
Pumpkin puree for dogs
Pet parents and dog owners will be pleased to learn that pumpkin puree is also beneficial for dogs. The fiber, vitamins, and minerals in pumpkin help to keep your dog healthy. Feeding your dog pureed pumpkin can also ease a couple your pup’s digestive issues.
To help dogs suffering from diarrhea, to treat dog constipation or an upset stomach, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree into your dog’s usual food. Pumpkin puree can also help to regulate the weight of dogs struggling with obesity. To aid with weight loss, replace a portion of Fido’s food with pumpkin puree. You can learn more about pumpkin for dogs in this article .
How to use pumpkin puree
There are many ways to incorporate pumpkin puree into recipes. You can use this homemade puree in sweet and savoury recipes, for example, to make pumpkin puree desserts, cook soups, bake bread or pumpkin pie.
In fact, DIY puree is an excellent canned pumpkin substitute and can be used in recipes instead of canned pumpkin. Because canned pumpkin is usually thicker than pumpkin puree, drain some of the water from the puree.
Recipes with pumpkin puree
Here are a few recipes with pumpkin puree:
- pumpkin pie
- DIY pumpkin spice latte
- pumpkin puree cookies
- pumpkin puree cake
- pumpkin puree cupcake
- pumpkin puree muffins
- pumpkin spice latte truffles
- pumpkin puree donuts
- pumpkin spice syrup
- pumpkin puree pancakes
- pumpkin bread
- pumpkin soup
Over to you!
Do you like pumpkin spice season and what is your favourite pumpkin spice recipe? Leave me a comment, I’d really love to know!
Thanks so much for visiting Country Hill Cottage – we’re so happy you’re here! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the commentsection below!
If you enjoyed this post, please share it using the social media buttons you see next to the post.