Making your own pumpkin puree is simple and smells incredible. It will work for all of your favorite pumpkin recipes, sweet or savory, and is so much better than the canned stuff.
When I first started making my own pumpkin puree, it was life-changing. There is so much more flavor when you make it from scratch. I find this with so many things that when you make something from scratch versus using it from a can or something pre-made. Don’t get me wrong, I, of course, use it from a can if that’s all that’s available and sometimes it’s so much quicker.
5 Reasons why you should make your own Pumpkin Puree
- Tastes Better It’s not that surprising that making fresh pumpkin puree is better than using canned. I find fresh puree has more of a pumpkin flavor than canned puree. Not that there isn’t a tiny bit of flavor in there; of course there is.
- The Color When you make your own fresh pumpkin puree, the color is vivid. I know when you open a can of pumpkin puree and it looks beautifully orange, but when you make your own it looks pale in comparison.
- Handy When you are making your favorite pumpkin dishes, for example, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin overnight oats, pumpkin bread, pumpkin curry, pumpkin mac & cheese, and so much more.
- Boasting When you bring pumpkin muffins or pumpkin mac & cheese to the table, you can boast a little and say you even made the pumpkin puree from scratch, which if it’s something you don’t normally do, will make you look really good.
- Freezer Friendly I like to freeze the pumpkin puree and then all I need to do is thaw it out and use it in a recipe. Freezing it in 1-2 cup increments I find works the best because it thaws out quicker and that’s what’s needed in most recipes.
Best Pumpkins for making puree
I personally like to use small little sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins. They have the most pumpkin flavor with slightly sweeter flesh, which is what you want in a pumpkin. I used to use Jack lantern pumpkins but one because they are really big and I have a hard time cutting them and putting them in the oven, but they also don’t have as much pumpkin flavor because they are generally used for carving and not eating (not that you can’t eat them).
How much will one pumpkin yield
To be honest, it depends on the size of your pumpkin. Sometimes they will have more or fewer seeds, but a 5 lb. pumpkin should give you around 2-1/2 cups of pumpkin puree. When you choose a pumpkin, look for pumpkins that are bright in color and give the pumpkin a knock or slap like you would when trying to find a ripe watermelon. If it sounds hollow, then you should have a ripe pumpkin that’s ready for pumpkin puree.
How to make pumpkin puree
- Wash Cut the stem off, slice the pumpkin lengthwise, and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove seeds If you scrape the pumpkin seeds out from inside the pumpkin, you can either discard them or you can turn them into roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Bake The pumpkin at 375 degrees F, flesh side down on the baking sheet, and bakes for 45-90 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork tender.
- Scoop Allow to cool slightly and then scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, if you need to you can add a couple of tablespoons of water to make it smooth.
- Freeze, You can use the puree right away in any of your favorite recipes, or you can place it in the freezer. Put 1-2 cups in freezer bags and lay them flat so that they thaw quickly.
How to make Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 1 food processor
- 1 Sugar pumpkin Choose a size that will fit on a baking sheet when cut in half
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out all seeds and membrane. Keep the seeds or discard them.
- Place pumpkin halves cut side down in a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. over with aluminum foil.
- Place into oven and bake for 45-90 minutes; until inside of pumpkin is soft or tender when a fork pierces the skin.
- Remove from oven. Let cool to handle. Scoop out inside into a food processor or blender and pulse until pureed. If you need to add water to the puree to make it smoother but careful not to water it down too much because that will affect the consistency when adding it too your recipes.
- Your puree is now ready to be used in your pumpkin recipes or you can freeze it. if you want to freeze it measure 1-2 cups and place in the freezer for when your ready to use it.
- pumpkin puree in the freezer is best used within 3 months for the best quality but will last up to 14 months.