How To Make Pumpkin Puree

5 from 1 vote
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Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with canned pumpkin puree. It’ll do the trick just fine. But if you want to take your pumpkin pie or other pumpkin goodies to the next level of deliciousness, you’ve got to make your own pumpkin puree.

pumpkin puree in bowl

The pumpkin has risen in fame and popularity over the past few years. Come fall, it’s hard to find a restaurant, coffee shop, or grocery store that’s not touting pumpkin flavored goodies. And we’re not complaining. We hopped on the pumpkin bandwagon and we’re happy to be on board! Although the pumpkin is the superstar of fall, we’d venture to guess that most people have never made their own pumpkin puree. Which is crazy, because it’s so easy to make!

What pumpkin is best for making pumpkin puree?

The first step to making your own pumpkin puree is choosing the correct pumpkins. The large pumpkins you find at your local pumpkin patch are great for Jack ‘o lanterns, but not so much for pumpkin puree. Instead, you’ll need baking pumpkins. They are usually labeled as pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins. You can find baking pumpkins at your grocer, farmer’s market, or pumpkin patch. We’ve even seen them sold at hardware stores!

If you have an Instant Pot, check out How to Make Pumpkin Puree in the Instant Pot article!

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Get started by washing and drying your baking pumpkins, making sure to remove any dirt or grit from the outside skin. Next, remove the stems. Sometimes you can simply twist the stems off. If they won’t twist off, use a sharp knife. To keep the pumpkin from rolling around while you’re trying to cut off the stem, you can slice off a small piece of the skin from one of its sides. Then lay the pumpkin on the sliced side and cut the stem.

small baking pumpkins on cutting board with stems removed

Once the stems have been removed, take a sharp chef’s knife or cleaver to cut the pumpkins in half lengthwise (from stem to bottom). If your baking pumpkins are on the larger side, you may need to use a mallet to hammer your cleaver into the pumpkin. We like to use smaller baking pumpkins so that we can easily cut them with a sharp chef’s knife. Your choice!

small baking pumpkins on cutting board with hand using a knife to cut

small baking pumpkins on cutting board with knife cut open with seeds in tact

Now that the pumpkins have been cut in half, use a spoon to remove the pumpkin “guts” —  all the stringy fibers and seeds. Be sure to save the seeds for later use. Sidenote: don’t you just love the smell of a freshly cut pumpkin. So good!

small baking pumpkins on cutting board with seeds removed in a bowl

Once the pumpkin guts have been removed, sprinkle a little kosher salt inside each half. The salt helps soften the flesh of the pumpkins while also pulling some of the moisture out.

small baking pumpkins on baking sheet with parchment paper face down

Place the pumpkins cut side down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until tender, which typically takes around an hour to an hour and a half. You can check the tenderness with a paring knife. When done, the paring knife will easily pierce the skin and will be easy to remove too.

small baking pumpkins on baking sheet with parchment paper after being baked in the oven with pairing knife

Once the pumpkins are tender, place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. This usually takes about an hour. Any less and you could burn yourself trying to remove the flesh.

Once the pumpkins are cool, use a spoon to scoop out the roasted flesh of the pumpkins. The flesh should peel away easily from the skin. Place the flesh into a food processor and process until smooth, usually 3-4 minutes.

hand using spoon to remove the pumpkin from a cooked pumpkin on a baking sheet

How to Store Pumpkin Puree

Homemade pumpkin puree can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months. Store it in an airtight freezer bag (don’t forget to write the date on the bag!). Make your pumpkin puree now and you’ll be all set for the upcoming holiday season!

pumpkin puree in a ziploc freezer bag

Recipes to Make with Homemade Pumpkin Puree:

5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Puree

Don't get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with canned pumpkin puree. It'll do the trick just fine. But if you want to take your pumpkin pie or other pumpkin goodies to the next level of deliciousness, you've got to make your own pumpkin puree.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 5 minutes
Servings4 servings


  • 2 small baking pumpkins usually labeled "pie pumpkins" or "sugar pumpkins"
  • kosher salt


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wash and dry pumpkins and remove stems by either cutting or twisting off.
  • Cut the pumpkins in half with a sharp chef's knife or cleaver. Remove the seeds and strings with a spoon. Save the seeds for another use, like roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Sprinkle the inside of the pumpkin halves with kosher salt. Place pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until tender. Remove baking sheet and place on a cooling rack. Let cool for up to an hour.
  • Once the pumpkins have cooled, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place in a food processor. Process the roasted flesh until smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Use pumpkin puree right away or store in an air tight bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.



Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 2312mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 57888IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 5mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Dessert, Sauces
Cuisine: American
Calories: 177
Keyword: pumpkin, puree
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Now you have wonderfully delicious homemade pumpkin puree that you can use in desserts, soups, and smoothies. Use it to create homemade pumpkin ravioli. Try adding it to oatmeal, along with roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts. Pumpkin puree also makes a nutritious baby food. How will you use your homemade pumpkin puree? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!


Pinterest Pin: Oven Roasted Pumpkin Puree

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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