This homemade pumpkin puree tastes so much better than what you’d get in can, and happens to be super easy to make! Pumpkin puree can be used in so many different dishes including soups, cakes, cookies, pies and other baked goods.
When I’m making treats such as pumpkin bread and pumpkin bars, I like to use my freshly mashed pumpkin whenever possible. It really gives the recipes a unique and fresh flavor, no one will be able to guess your secret ingredient!
Did you know that a can of pumpkin puree doesn’t necessarily contain actual pumpkin? When you make your own puree, you’re guaranteed to be getting real pumpkin, and the homemade version is much better than store bought, both in flavor and consistency.
How do you make pumpkin puree?
This recipe calls for just one ingredient – fresh pumpkin! You’ll want to choose a pumpkin that’s about 3-4 pounds in size. Halve your pumpkin, then scrape out all the seeds. Place the pumpkin on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray, cut side down. Bake your pumpkin for 45 minutes or until it’s very tender. From there, all you have to do is scoop the pumpkin flesh from the shell, place it in the food processor, and blend until smooth.
Tips for the perfect puree
- I recommend using a sugar pie pumpkin for this recipe. Don’t use a jack-o-lantern style pumpkin as the flesh tends to be stringy and flavorless.
- You can use a blender or food processor to make your puree. I don’t recommend using an immersion blender as it tends to make a lumpier mixture.
- If you have any trouble getting a smooth mixture, you can add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to get to your desired consistency. You don’t want to add an excessive amount of water as this can affect your end product, especially when it comes to baked goods.
- This puree will be lighter in color than what you typically get in a can. If that bothers you, you can add a drop or two of orange food coloring, but that’s definitely an optional step.
- Use homemade puree in the same quantity that you would use canned puree when it comes to baked goods.
Is canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree the same thing?
Canned pumpkin is often made with a blend of pumpkin and other winter squash varieties. The ingredient list may say pumpkin, but it may actually contain other varieties of squash such as butternut or hubbard. Homemade puree contains pumpkin, and that’s it! Pumpkin pie filling also comes in cans, and this is pumpkin with other ingredients added to it, such as sugar and spices.
What can you use pumpkin puree for?
Mashed pumpkin is delicious in both sweet and savory preparations. Here are some recipes to get you started. You can also add a spoonful of homemade puree to yogurt or oatmeal, or cook it with sugar to make your own pumpkin butter.
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
- Creamy Pumpkin Dip
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Pumpkin Dump Cake
- Pumpkin Spice Cake
- Savory Pumpkin Enchiladas
- Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
How long does mashed pumpkin stay good for?
You can store your pumpkin mash in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can also freeze your pumpkin by placing it in freezer safe bags, then storing in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw your puree by placing it in the fridge overnight, or use the microwave defrost function.
I often make a double batch of this recipe so that I have enough puree to last me all season long! It’s definitely worth the little bit of extra effort to make it yourself.
Pumpkin Puree Video
- 4 pounds sugar pie pumpkin
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil, and coat the foil with cooking spray.
- Cut the stem off your pumpkin, then cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise.
- Remove the seeds from the pumpkin.
- Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down, on the prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until pumpkin is very tender.
- Scoop the flesh out of the shells and place it in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Use immmediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.