How to Cook Pumpkin (Homemade Pumpkin Puree)

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Fresh pumpkins are everywhere from late summer to early winter, so make homemade Pumpkin Puree to have on hand all year long.

Have you ever wondered how to cook a pumpkin and make your own homemade pumpkin puree? It’s easy!

jar full of Homemade Pumpkin Puree

What is Pumpkin Puree?

  • Homemade Pumpkin Puree is quite simply, cooked and mashed or blended pumpkin.
  • Pumpkins are often popular vegetables to grow for first-time gardeners (and kids!), but what to do with all the extra pumpkins? This recipe puts those pumpkins to good use in just a few easy steps.
  • Not just for desserts, pumpkins are chock-full of vitamins and fiber. Mix some puree into a smoothie for an organic boost of nutrition. And don’t forget about the family pooch. Try this pumpkin puree and peanut butter recipe for dog treats!
  • Nothing goes to waste in this recipe, not even the seeds. Turn the pumpkin seeds into a healthy, portable snack.

pumpkin to show how to make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients & Variations

PUMPKINS Look for a small brightly colored pumpkin that is deep orange with little green or blemishes.  Be sure to choose a variety intended for cooking such as sugar pumpkins for the best flavor and texture.

VARIATIONS Make seasoned pumpkin puree for future pies, bread, and other desserts by mixing in this DIY pumpkin pie spice. For a savory pumpkin puree, add a pinch of pepper before baking. For a sweet pumpkin puree, add a pinch of cinnamon.

process of scooping pumpkin seeds to make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

How to Cook a Pumpkin for Puree

This pumpkin puree is so smooth and great for adding to all kinds of baking!

  1. Cut in half and scrape out the seeds.
  2. Brush with a bit of oil and roast on a baking sheet until fork-tender per the recipe below.
  3. Scoop out the tender pumpkin and pulse in a food processor.

Stovetop Pumpkin Puree: Prepare as above but boil in water until the pumpkin pieces are tender. Drain, cool, and use as desired.

Tips for Homemade Puree

  • Strain pumpkin puree through cheesecloth before using as contains more water than canned pumpkin.
  • Homemade pumpkin puree has a naturally sweeter milder taste compared to canned.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • Puree chunks of pumpkin in a blender, a food processor, or use a potato masher.

process of blending Homemade Pumpkin Puree

How To Store It

Cooked pumpkin will last in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container. To freeze, scoop the cooled puree into freezer bags, leaving two inches for expansion. It should keep in a deep freezer for up to one year.

Or, freeze puree in ice cube trays, then empty them into a freezer bag. Pop on out to add to a smoothie, or to make any soup, sauce, or stew rich and creamy!

Homemade Pumpkin Puree in a bowl with a spoon

Great Pumpkin Recipes

Did you make this Pumpkin Puree? Leave us a rating and a comment below! 

jar full of Homemade Pumpkin Puree
4.72 from 14 votes
Review Recipe

Homemade Pumpkin Puree (How to Cook a Pumpkin)

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 cups (1 cup per pound)
It’s so easy to make homemade pumpkin puree!

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar pumpkin 2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil if baking

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and pith (the stringy bits).
  • Brush olive oil over the flesh of the pumpkin (the cut side), and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt if desired.  (*see note)
  • Place on a baking tray, cut side down, and roast 45-55 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Cool the pumpkin slightly.

To Puree

  • Once cooled, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and place in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  • Fresh pumpkin can contain a lot of water compared to canned so if you'd like, line a strainer with cheesecloth and place the pumpkin puree in the cheesecloth to drain for 30 minutes.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

If using in savory recipes, add a pinch of pepper to the pumpkin before baking.  If using in sweet recipes, add a pinch of cinnamon.
Homemade pumpkin puree can be watery. It should be strained using cheesecloth or coffee filters in a colander before use.
If using smaller pumpkins they can be cut in half and baked per directions. Larger pumpkins should be cut into large chunks before baking.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 239, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 7mg, Potassium: 2312mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 57888IU, Vitamin C: 61mg, Calcium: 143mg, Iron: 5mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Pantry, Sauce
Cuisine American
close up of Homemade Pumpkin Puree in a plate with a title
Homemade Pumpkin Puree in a good processor with a title
Homemade Pumpkin Puree in the blender and plated with a title
Homemade Pumpkin Puree in a jar with writing
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. Many online recipes for pumpkin leave out the fact that you need to strain out the extra liquid. This one is thorough.5 stars