Making Homemade Pumpkin Puree from scratch is simple. The puree can be used in baked goods or in savory recipes. Pumpkin is roasted with its seeds in or out, depending on if you’d like to eat or toss the seeds, then the flesh is pureed to a creamy consistency. Pumpkin puree takes little hands-on time to make and it can be frozen for later. This recipe is vegan and gluten free. [ see recipe VIDEO on recipe card ]
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Time to Roast the Pumpkins!
It’s that time of year when we crave that fabulous pumpkin flavor. Roasting and pureeing pumpkin couldn’t be simpler! Homemade pumpkin puree tastes better than store-bought anyway, so why not whip some up for those special pumpkin recipes?
In this recipe, I’m sharing how to roast pumpkins (and other winter squash), which pumpkins to choose, and how to make pumpkin puree including all my storage tips.
What Kinds of Pumpkins to Roast
Look for the smaller variety of pumpkins for manageability and flavor. They’re easier to slice, roast and have good pumpkin flavor. There are several different kinds of roasting pumpkins to keep your eye out for:
- pie pumpkin
- sugar pumpkin
- winter luxury pumpkin
These varieties are smaller than the jack-o-lantern carving pumpkins and are suitable for cooking in sweet and savory recipes.
There are other winter squash varieties that can be roasted using this recipe as well like these winter beauties:
- sweet meat
- butternut squash
- red kuri squash
- acorn squash
Check out the farmers market to see what farmers are grown’. They’ll tell you about all the different varieties. Why not try something new?
My favorite pumpkin to roast is winter luxury and kabocha. Both are so sweet and perfect for pumpkin pie.
If you save the pumpkin seeds, you can make a batch of these sweet and smoky Homemade Pumpkin Seeds. They’re satisfying and such a treat for sharing and snacking.
How To Roast Pumpkins
Whipping up homemade pumpkin puree couldn’t be easier. You’ll need a food processor or high speed blender and storage containers for freezing – I like using pint size Mason jars. Here’s how to make pumpkin puree (see recipe card for details):
- Preheat your oven to 375F. To prepare pumpkin for roasting, wash the pumpkin skin and dry. Cut the pumpkin in half. If saving the seeds for making roasted pumpkin seeds, use a metal spoon and/or your hands to scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the seeds in a bowl. Set aside.
- Place pumpkins cut side down on a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet. Cook pumpkins for 50-60 minutes or until the flesh is soft and fragrant.
- Remove the pumpkins from the oven and allow to cool.
If the seeds will not be saved for making roasted pumpkin seeds, roast the pumpkin or squash with the seeds in, then scoop them out after roasting. It’s much easier!
Save those pumpkin seeds and roast up the tastiest snack! Try my sweet and savory Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
At a Glance: How to Make Pumpkin Puree
- First, after removing the pumpkins from the oven, allow them to cool until they can be safely handled.
- Second, if you roasted the pumpkin with seeds, use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. Otherwise, scoop out the flesh and transfer it to a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Next, puree the flesh in batches until smooth and silky.
- Last, store your pumpkin puree’. There are several ways.
How To Store Pumpkin Puree
If you’re like me, you’ll want to store pumpkin puree’ long term. Freezing pumpkin puree is my favorite way to preserve this seasonal superstar. Here are three ways I store my pumpkin puree:
- Refrigerator Storage: Store the puree for up to three days in the refrigerator in a lidded container.
- Freezer Storage: I like to store puree in Mason jars at 15 oz each. This is the same amount in a can of store-bought pumpkin puree. I’ve frozen my puree up to a year with good results. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Small Portions: Another freezing method I find helpful is to freeze the puree in ice cube trays. Pop the puree out when frozen and place in a storage container in the freezer until ready to use. This is convenient when making smoothies or when a smaller quantity of pumpkin is called for. It’s perfect for oatmeal or porridge.
Homemade Puree FAQs
What is Pumpkin Puree?
It’s a silky smooth mash of cooked/roasted winter squash. If purchasing from the store, the canned puree can be a variety of winter squash such as butternut or Hubbard. If making homemade pumpkin puree, process 100% pure pumpkin or a mix of winter squash if you prefer.
Is Pumpkin Puree the Same as Canned Pumpkin?
Yes and no. I refer to my comment above. However, if using homemade pumpkin puree, it tends to contain more water than canned. You can strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth when using it in pie or other baked recipes. Some recipes have you gently cook the puree’ on the stovetop to steam off some of the moisture.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Puree?
Yes! As noted above, freezing the puree is super easy. It can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.
Can You Preserve/Can Pumpkin Puree?
Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin puree or any mashed or pureed winter squash. For more information, see National Center for Home Food Preservation.
What to Make With Pumpkin Puree’ (sweet & savory!)
- Easy Stovetop Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Pumpkin Butter
- Thai Pumpkin Curry with Mushrooms
- Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake w/ Chocolate Maple Drizzle
- Pumpkin Two Bean Chili
- Gluten Free Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Pumpkin Scones with Candied Ginger
- Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe by Foolproof Living
- Autumn Spice Smoothie
- Pumpkin and Spice Chia Pudding
- Pumpkin Granola
- Pumpkin Porridge
- One sugar pie pumpkin makes about 2 cups of puree – about what you’d find in a can of store bought pumpkin puree. However, this can vary depending on size of pumpkin.
- Before using homemade pumpkin puree in a recipe for canned pumpkin puree, strain the pumpkin through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Let it set for about 30-60 minutes to strain off excess liquid. Homemade pumpkin puree tends to contain more moisture than the canned variety.
- For easy freezer storage, I like to use pint size Mason jars. They’ll hold about what you’d find in one can of commercially sold pumpkin puree (15 oz).
- Note that if using homemade pumpkin puree in a recipe, it’s different than pumpkin pie puree. Store bought pumpkin pie puree is typically sweetened and contains spices.
Watch a Video Below to See How Simple This Recipe Is!
Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe
- 2 Sugar Pie, Winter Luxury or Other Winter Squash
- Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the pumpkin/squash in half. If the seeds will not be saved, roast the pumpkin/squash with the seeds and scoop them out after roasting. It's much easier! If saving the seeds, using a metal spoon and/or your hands, scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the seeds in a bowl of water. Set aside (see recipe below for cleaning the seeds).
- Place pumpkins skin side up on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until flesh is soft and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow to cool until they can be safely handled.
- If you roasted the pumpkin with seeds, use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard. Otherwise, scoop out the flesh.Puree the flesh in a high speed blender (I use VitaMix). Puree' on low speed, then increase to high for about 20-30 seconds using a tamper if needed. Periodically, scrape the container down as the pumpkin really sticks to the side. Blend again for 30-40 seconds, stopping to scrape when needed. Blend until silky smooth or desired consistency is reached. Pumpkin can be pureed using a food processor as well.
- I like to store my puree in Mason jars at 15 oz each. This is the same amount found in a can of pumpkin puree'. I've frozen my puree up to one year with good results.An alternative freezing method that I've used is to freeze the puree' in ice cube trays, pop the puree' out when frozen and place in freezer storage containers. This is convenient when making smoothies or you need a smaller quantity of pumpkin.