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How to Make Pumpkin Puree (homemade canned pumpkin - so easy!)  

If you love the discovering easy ways to make pantry staples at home instead of buying them at the store, be sure to follow our DIY Pantry board on Pinterest!

Pumpkin purée is one of those lovely ubiquitous autumnal ingredients that those of us who live in pumpkin country take for granted and yet gorge ourselves on from September to November (in the northern hemisphere, of course).

From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin pie, from pumpkin whipped cream and pumpkin pie pancakes, to sneaking it into chili, pasta sauce, soup, and muffins, you can do anything with pumpkin.

The easiest way to use it in all those applications is to make pumpkin purée – essentially, homemade canned pumpkin.

It's very easy – in fact, I hesitate to call this a recipe. You cut a pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, roast it, and scoop out the resulting soft pumpkin, which can then be used right away or frozen for up to six months.

Happy pumpkin eating!


How to Make Pumpkin Purée
Yields approximately 1 cup of purée per pound of pumpkin - You may use any variety of pumpkin or squash. Sugar pie pumpkins will yield the creamiest, sweetest flavor.
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  1. 1 pumpkin, 3-4 pounds (this size is the sweetest)
  1. Rinse the pumpkin under warm water, removing any dirt or debris, then cut the pumpkin in half. If you are working with a larger pumpkin or would like the pumpkin to cook faster, you may cut it into a few smaller pieces.
  2. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon and set aside. Don't discard the seeds, as you can make a lovely, nourishing snack by roasting them with sea salt or savory spices.
  3. Lay the pumpkin face-down in a large baking dish and cover the bottom of the dish with 1/4-inch of water.
  4. Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) or until tender.
  5. Remove from the oven, let cool enough to handle, and scoop out the insides, discarding the skin.
  6. The roasted pumpkin is now ready to use, but if you'd like a smoother texture, purée it with an immersible blender or food processor. (It's a bit thick for a standard blender, but a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, would work beautifully.) For an ultra-smooth texture, pass the mixture through a sieve or tamis.
  7. The pumpkin can be stored in the refrigerator, preferably in a glass mason jar or other container that won't absorb or leach odors, for up to 5 days or can be stored in a deep freeze for up to six months.
  1. courtesy of my book, The DIY Pantry
Nourishing Joy


How to Make Pumpkin Purée in a Slow Cooker
Yields approximately 1 cup of purée per pound of pumpkin - You may use any variety of pumpkin or squash. Sugar pie pumpkins will yield the creamiest, sweetest flavor.
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  1. 1 pumpkin, 3-4 pounds (this size is the sweetest)
  1. Wash your pumpkin very well, then poke it with a fork all over.
  2. Place 1/2"-1" of water in the bottom of a slow cooker that's large enough to hold your pumpkin (without cutting!) and place the pumpkin in the slow cooker.
  3. (If your pumpkin is too large, you may cut it into 2-3 pieces to make it fit.)
  4. Cook on low for 7-9 hours, then follow the directions above to scoop out the pumpkin and create as smooth a texture as you would like.
Nourishing Joy


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16 thoughts on “How to Make Pumpkin Purée

    • Kresha says:

      No, and in fact according to both the USDA and the National Center for Home Food Preservation, canning pumpkin should not be done at home, either with a water bath or a pressure canner. 🙁 This is for two reasons: one, pumpkin puree is very dense and thus even with prolonged exposure it is difficult to ensure that the center of the food actually reached a sufficiently high temperature to kill any botulism spores, and two, it is a very low-acid food, which makes it a homey breeding ground for those botulism spores. So, freezing is definitely the way to go – in a deep freeze, the pumpkin should stay safe for up to six months. 🙂

    • Kresha says:

      Yes, you can certainly use any pumpkin – from the pumpkin patch, from the supermarket, wherever you find squash. It’s up to you whether you choose organic or conventional, or the variety. Any pumpkin (or any squash, for that matter) will work.

      The yield is approximately 1 cup of puree per pound of pumpkin.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

  1. Lee Ann says:

    I have found baking them whole to be even easier! I just poke them a few times with a knife, place in a baking dish and bake until soft. It’s MUCH easier to slice and scoop out the middle.

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