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How to Make Pumpkin Puree

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Follow these easy steps to learn how to make pumpkin puree and you can freeze it to enjoy the flavors of fall all year long.

Follow these easy steps to learn how to make pumpkin puree and you can freeze it to enjoy the flavors of fall all year long.

You may have noticed that I love all things pumpkin. From cookies to cake, oatmeal to popcorn, you can’t go wrong with this flavor in the fall.

Last year, I hit the jackpot on homemade pumpkin puree. There was a fall festival at my children’s school in October, and one of the activities was decorating sugar pumpkins. Kids were invited to paint or put Halloween stickers on their pumpkins. The children enjoyed the activity, but many of them left their pumpkins behind when they went home that evening. These orphaned pumpkins decorated the school lobby for a few weeks, but as November progressed, it was time for the pumpkins to go. Once I learned how to make pumpkin puree, I had the perfect home for them:

There are so many delicious, healthy recipes to enjoy pumpkin!Rather than wait for the custodian to throw them in the dumpster, I gathered at least a dozen pumpkins from the school lobby and loaded them into my car. Over the next few days, I scrubbed the paint off, removed the stickers, and roasted those sweet little gourds. The result was so much pumpkin puree in my freezer that it lasted me all year. I just used the last container a few weeks ago, and I’m hoping to stock up again this year.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Learning how to make pumpkin puree is simple. The key is to roast them long enough to allow for a smooth puree.

Cut the top off the pumpkin.
Cut the top off the pumpkin.
Cut the pumpkin in half.
Cut the pumpkin in half.
Scoop the membrane and seeds out of the center.
Scoop the membrane and seeds out of the center.
Don't throw this away! You'll want to roast the seeds later.
Don’t throw this away! You’ll want to roast the seeds later.
All cleaned up and ready to roast
All cleaned up and ready to roast
Place the pumpkins cut side down on a baking sheet.
Place the pumpkins cut side down on a baking sheet.
Roast for about 40 minutes, then let them cool before handling.
Roast for about 40 minutes, then let them cool before handling.
Scoop out the good stuff.
Scoop out the good stuff.
Puree in a food processor until smooth.
Puree in a food processor until smooth.
The finished product
The finished product

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

It's so easy to learn how to make homemade pumpkin puree.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:45 mins
Total Time:55 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 or more medium sugar pumpkins

Instructions

  • Make sure you’re using sugar pumpkins. These are the medium sized pumpkins that range from about 1 to 5 pounds. These aren’t the tiny ridged pumpkins or the big carving pumpkins.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Chop the top off the pumpkin and cut it in half.
  • Scoop out the loose, stringy membrane with the seeds attached. Place this in a small container and store it until you’re ready to make roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the sheet.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a fork can be easily pierced in the pumpkin. My little 1 1/2 pound pumpkin took 35 minutes, and the 3 pound one took about 40 minutes.
  • Let the pumpkins cool, and carefully turn them over on the baking sheet. Scoop the flesh out of the skin.
  • Puree the pumpkin in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Refrigerate for several days or freeze in 2-cup portions for future use.

Nutrition

Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 771mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 19296IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
Servings: 12
Calories: 59kcal
Cost: $.79 per cup of pumpkin puree

Now that you know how to make pumpkin puree, here are some pumpkin goodies you can make with this puree:

Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Cake
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Bars
Pumpkin Granola
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
Pumpkin-Glazed Popcorn

Pumpkin Puree Price Breakdown

One pound of pumpkin yields about a cup of pumpkin puree. My local grocery store sells sugar pumpkins for $.79 per pound, or $1.58 for two cups of puree. The same store sells canned pumpkin for $1.79 for a 15 ounce can (about 2 cups).  But in reality, I don’t buy sugar pumpkins to make pie. I buy them as decorations, and then when we’re done with Halloween season I turn them into puree. It’s a little bit of work, but learning how to make pumpkin puree is a great way to keep the flavors of fall coming through your oven all year long.

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9 Comments

  1. So easy! I do this often but am happy I have this as a resource to send clients to when they’re intimidated at the idea!

  2. I didn’t even know you could make your own pumpkin puree…and it seems pretty simple. Can’t wait to make a big batch and try the recipes you linked above!

  3. I got a few sugar pumpkins with my door to door organic delivery and they have been sitting on my counter waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. Thank you for pin and I’m looking forward to the first batch

  4. Annemarie,
    I’m glad to know you’ve scrounged pie pumpkins. My city has decorated all the boulevards with stacks of hay bales topped with an assortment of gourds and sugar pie pumpkins, as well as a larger pumpkin. I was thinking it would be worthwhile to ask if I could take the pumpkins when they take down the decorations next month.
    Save a pumpkin to bake mac and cheese in, though–it’s really yummy!

    1. Go for it, Kirsten. You can feel confident knowing you’re not the only crazy pumpkin lady out there. And thanks for the tip about the mac and cheese. I know my family would love that, so I’ll give it a try.

  5. How long can you freeze this for? What type of container would be best for freezing it and do we thaw out in the fridge when ready to use? Thanks!!!

    1. Dawn, I’ve actually frozen it for almost a year and it’s been fine. Any airtight freezer container would work, including glass (e.g. Pyrex, mason jars), plastic containers, or freezer-safe zipper bags. You can defrost it in the fridge, but if you’re in a hurry you can put the frozen block of puree in a pan over a low flame on the stove and do it that way.

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