Making Pumpkin Purée from Scratch is an easy way to have velvety smooth, creamy, and delicious pumpkin to use in your favorite Fall and Thanksgiving recipes. You’ll first prepare the fresh pumpkin by removing the seeds, roast it in the oven, and then blend it until it forms a purée. Use it up in your favorite pie, muffins, and bread recipes or freeze the leftovers for later!

Pumpkin puree is made and placed in a bowl.

Best Pumpkin Puree Recipe

The leaves have begun to change colors and Fall is in the air. So of course, a few cans of pumpkin purée would be on my grocery list.

I approached the aisle with almost kid-like giddiness, bubbling over with excitement just thinking of the delightful pumpkin recipes I would make that night.

And then, much to my dismay, there was not a SINGLE can of pumpkin purée left.

WHAT?! How could this be?

It’s the middle of September, we’ve had our first cool front, and the store is out of pumpkin purée?!

And then it clicked—oh yes! Canned purée isn’t the only option. Making homemade pumpkin purée is actually super easy and incredibly delicious!

So if you find yourself in this pickle (say, maybe the day before Thanksgiving?!) then learning how to make homemade pumpkin purée just might be the lifesaving kitchen hack you need.

While you’re at it, make the most of your pumpkin by learning how to roast pumpkin seeds in the oven!

Pumpkin puree made from fresh pumpkin is placed in a bowl with a spoon.

Canned Vs. Homemade

After you make your first batch of pumpkin purée from scratch you’ll notice a few subtle differences between it and the canned kind (like Libby’s brand.)

First, homemade purée is much lighter in color than canned from the grocery store. This difference in color is due to different varieties of pumpkins being used.

Canned pumpkin purée will also have a very different texture than fresh. Homemade puréed pumpkin will be softer and velvety smooth compared to its canned counterpart.

Lastly, the taste of the two different purées can vary drastically.

Some canned types actually use a combination of various winter squash and are not made entirely of pumpkin. Since winter squash, like butternut squash, is slightly sweeter than pumpkin, canned pumpkin purée tends to have a bit more sugar than fresh.

However, this is not always the case since some canned varieties use pumpkin as the only ingredient.

If you have the extra time and a pumpkin on hand, homemade pumpkin purée is the most freshflavorful, and creamiest type to use in recipes. Skip the canned stuff!

Learn how to make pumpkin puree from different types of pumpkins.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make your own homemade pumpkin purée include:

  • Pumpkin. A word of caution – the most flavorful (and edible!) type of pumpkin will not be sitting outside of the store on the curbside display. The pumpkin you want for this purée will be in the produce section and is most often located with the other winter squash (e.g., butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash.) You will want to look for what are called Pie Pumpkins. A whole pumpkin is typically somewhere between 2-4 pounds and makes enough purée to use in a pumpkin pie recipe.
  • Oil. Either olive oil or a milder oil, such as avocado, can be used. This helps to caramelize the purée while cooking, giving it a richer and slightly sweeter flavor once roasted.
  • Salt. Completely optional, but adding a touch of salt helps to balance out and even enhance the natural sweetness of the pumpkin.

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Purée

Below are the steps to make your own fresh pumpkin purée at home:

Cut the Pumpkin in Half

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

It’s rather simple to make homemade pumpkin purée from scratch.  In fact, if you have ever baked spaghetti squash or roasted butternut squash for soup then you already know the basic process.

First, cut the pumpkin in half, but stop just before you get to the stem. Then, place your thumbs between the two halves and pull the pumpkin apart. (This is much easier to do than trying to cut through the stem with your knife!)

Remove the Stem and Seeds

Make an incision at the base of the stem with your knife and then snap it off by hand.

Then, use a large spoon to remove the seeds and strings.

Note: Save the seeds and make your own Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

Roast in the Oven

Rub 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil over the inside of each half.  Sprinkle each with ⅛-teaspoon of salt. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place pumpkin halves face side down.

Bake pumpkin in preheated 400°F oven for 40-60 minutes, or until the edges begin to caramelize and turn brown and the insides are cooked through. You’ll also notice the skin begins to pull away from the flesh on the edges of the pumpkin.  

Let pumpkin sit until it is cool to the touch.

Peel the Pumpkin

Once the pumpkin is completely cooked, it’s extremely easy to peel the skin and remove the flesh.

There are two ways to peel pumpkin skin:

Method 1: With the pumpkin halves face-side down, pinch the skin until it pulls away from the flesh. Peel back the skin until all of it is removed. (You’ll want to make sure the pumpkin is completely cooled for this method.)

Method 2: Use a large spoon and scoop out all of the pumpkin flesh.  Scrape the skin to remove as much pumpkin as you can.

Make the Purée

You’re almost done! The last step in making pumpkin purée is to actually PURÉE it until it is smooth and creamy.

There are a few different appliances you can use to do this:

  • Large Food Processor: This is my personal preference since you have the most control over the texture of the purée. It also incorporates less air, making a creamy and velvety smooth pumpkin purée.
  • High-Speed Blender: If you have one large enough, such as a Vitamix, this is also equally as good of an option as a food processor. However, if you only have a small blender (such as a Nutribullet) you will need to purée your pumpkin in batches. This can take quite a bit of time and this is why it’s the second method of choice.
  • As a last resort, you can use a potato masher or an immersion blender. However, these will leave lumps and pumpkin pieces throughout the purée, which isn’t ideal for baking.

How much pumpkin purée you get depends on the size pumpkins you choose. For each pound of raw pumpkin, you will end up with roughly 1 cup of homemade pumpkin purée.

1 pound pumpkin = 1 cup pumpkin puree

As an example, a 3-pound pumpkin will give you 3 cups of pumpkin purée.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: This is a perfect recipe to make a day or two before you need it.
  • To Store: Keep leftover purée in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Measure the pumpkin purée into ½-cup or 1-cup increments and freeze in freezer-safe containers. It’s best to freeze it in smaller quantities so you can easily pull out exactly how much you want later!

Can all pumpkin be used for purée?

Technically, yes. Any kind of pumpkin can be puréed. However, the best variety to choose is a pie pumpkin, which is found in the produce section by the other gourds.

Is pumpkin purée just canned pumpkin?

Yes! Canned pumpkin is simply pumpkin purée. However, many canned varieties also contain other squash, like butternut or acorn squash.

Fresh pumpkin puree is in a measuring cup before being used in pumpkin pie.

Does homemade pumpkin purée taste good?

Homemade pumpkin puree tastes incredible. It has a velvety smooth texture along with a sweet yet earthy flavor that’s more intense than the canned kind.

What is pumpkin purée and how can it be used? 

Pumpkin purée is simply the meat of a pumpkin that has been roasted, removed from the skin, and processed to be smooth. You can use it in so many ways—try these Pumpkin Purée Recipes for a real treat.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Be choosy. Any old pumpkin won’t do… be sure to grab a pie pumpkin.
  • Size matters. Too big or too small and the flavor and texture won’t be right.
  • Make extra. Pumpkin purée freezes well, so roast several pumpkins when they’re in season to use all year.
  • Get creative. Pumpkin purée isn’t just for pie. Try it in bread, soup, and other recipes.
  • Plan ahead. Know your recipe and how much pumpkin you need to roast. For each pound of raw pumpkin you will end up with roughly 1 cup of homemade pumpkin purée.
Fresh and creamy pumpkin puree is in a bowl on the counter.

How to Use Pumpkin Purée

Now you’ve got all of this delicious pumpkin puree, what should you do with it? 

The real question is, what CAN’T you do with it? These are my favorite pumpkin recipes that call for purée.

For breakfast, whip up Pumpkin WafflesBanana Nut Pumpkin Bread, or Healthy Pumpkin Muffins.

Don’t miss these pumpkin desserts: The Best Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Don’t forget the homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice!

Pumpkin Butter goes with so many things.

 Yes, even your pup can eat pumpkin with Pumpkin Dog Treats!

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5 from 2 votes

How to Make Pumpkin Purée

Making Pumpkin Purée from Scratch is an easy way to have velvety smooth, creamy, and delicious pumpkin to use in your favorite Fall and Thanksgiving recipes. You'll first prepare the fresh pumpkin by removing the seeds, roasting it in the oven, and then blending it until it forms a purée.  
Pumpkin puree is made and placed in a bowl.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour

Ingredients 

  • 1 pie pumpkin 2 ½ to 3 ½ pounds
  • 1 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Prepare the Pumpkin: Cut pumpkin in half lengthwise stopping just before you get to the stem.* Place your thumbs between the two halves and pull the pumpkin apart. Make an incision at the base of the stem with your knife and then snap it off by hand. Scoop out and remove seeds and strings using a large spoon with a relatively sharp edge. (Save seeds and make your own Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.)
    1 pie pumpkin
  • Roast the Pumpkin: Rub 1-2 teaspoons of oil over the inside of each half. Sprinkle each with ⅛ teaspoon of salt. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place pumpkin halves face side down. Bake in preheated oven for 40-60 minutes, or until the edges begin to caramelize and turn brown and the insides are cooked through. Let pumpkin sit until it is cool to the touch.
    1 Tbsp. oil, ¼ tsp. salt
  • Remove the Skin: Either leave the pumpkin halves face side down, pinch the skin until it pulls away from the flesh. Peel back the skin until all of it is removed. Or, use a large spoon and scoop out all of the pumpkin flesh.
  • Make the Purée: Add the pumpkin flesh to a large food processor or high-speed blender. Process for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every 20-30 seconds. Pumpkin purée is done when it is completely smooth and there are no lumps remaining.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Video

Notes

  • 1 pound of pumpkin will yield roughly 1 cup of pumpkin purée.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: This is a perfect recipe to make a day or two before you need it.
  • To Store: Keep leftover puree in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Measure the pumpkin puree into ½ cup or 1 cup increments and freeze in freezer-safe containers. It’s best to freeze it in smaller quantities so you can easily pull out exactly how much you want later!

Nutrition

Calories: 81kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 82mg, Potassium: 771mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 19307IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!

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    1. Hi Betty! Typically, homemade pumpkin puree is a little runnier than the canned stuff. You can strain it through a cheese cloth or cook it over a low temperature until it thickens up slightly if needed.