Made from scratch, Homemade Pumpkin Puree is a staple ingredient in so many of your favorite pumpkin recipes. It’s also simple, made with 1 ingredient and better than any canned version.
Homemade for the Win
Why in the world would someone make homemade pumpkin puree when they could buy it at the store? Let me tell you why!
We have seen and tasted a huge difference in our pumpkin recipes when we make it with homemade puree. The recipes always turn out more sweet and soft than using store bought. Now, don’t get us wrong – store bought is an easy solution (we prefer Libby’s because it has no preservatives or artificial flavors) but making a homemade pumpkin puree is quite simple as well.
Not only is pumpkin puree essential for so many of the classic pumpkin treats we love to enjoy each fall, but pumpkins are:
- Low in calories
- A Good source of dietary fiber
- Rich in Vitamin A and other vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin E
- Loaded with minerals like potassium, manganese, and iron
- Can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes
Picking out the Pumpkin
There are a variety of pumpkins that are best for cooking and baking. We typically try to choose from the following:
- “Sugar Pumpkins” or “Pie Pumpkins”
- Baby am
- Autumn Gold
- Ghost Rider
- New England Pie Pumpkin
- Fairytale Pumpkins (they have harder, thick skins but the flesh inside is amazing)
The ideal weight for baking pumpkins is 4-8 pounds (which should yield about 1.5 – 2.5 cups of puree). The larger carving pumpkins don’t work as well because they are more stringy, their flesh isn’t as sweet and you can run into weird textures. Just be sure to pick a pumpkin with minimal bruises and soft spots.
NOTE: Here are a few tips for picking out a ripe pumpkin. COLOR – uniform color is good. SOUND – thump it. It should sound hollow. STEM – If the stem is hard, your pumpkin is most likely ripe!
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
We used one sugar pumpkin for this recipe and no other ingredients.
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top off of the pumpkin and discard it. Flip the pumpkin over so the cut side is down (this creates a nice stable base) and cut the pumpkin in half.
How to Freeze + Store Pumpkin Puree
We love to make a larger batch of pumpkin puree to FREEZE and use all season long. All you need to do is store the puree in freezer-safe containers or bags and place in the freezer for up to 4 months.
To DEFROST, thaw in the fridge overnight in a bowl of cold water and use within a few days. Note that it might have extra liquid, so you may need to discard some of that before re-blending and using in your recipes.
You can also STORE fresh homemade puree in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5 days.
Again – homemade is so much better when you have the time to do it, but that doesn’t mean we won’t used canned. All we know is that when we use the puree in our pumpkin recipes, it takes it to a whole new level of goodness.
For some of our favorite pumpkin recipes, check out:
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- Pumpkin Spice Waffles
- Favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe
- 1 sugar pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the top off of the pumpkin and discard it.
- Flip the pumpkin over so the cut side is down (this creates a nice stable base) and cut the pumpkin in half.
- Use a spoon (or your hands) to remove the seeds and strings. You can save the seeds to roast later if you’d like.
- Place the pumpkin cut-side down onto a lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the inside is tender.
- Remove from the oven and flip over, allow to cool for 10 minutes before scraping the insides out, discard the peel.
- Place in a blender or food processor and pulse until silky smooth.
- Let cool and use, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.