How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree from Fresh Pumpkin

Melissa Bahen

Not ready to toss your fall porch pumpkins just yet? Let us teach you how to make homemade pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkins!

When October is done a lot of us find ourselves with very fancy pumpkins on our porches, and we don’t quite know what to do with them. That's where knowing how to make homemade pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin comes into play!

Homemade pumpkin puree is so easy to make. It takes just a few minutes of work, and you can use what you make all winter long in sweet baked goods, savory pumpkin soups and pasta dishes, and more.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Photo

What kinds of pumpkins are best for making homemade pumpkin puree?

When learning how to make homemade pumpkin puree, it's important to think about the variety of pumpking you'll use.

While you can technically turn any kind of pumpkin into homemade pumpkin puree, the kind of pumpkins you turn into jack o’lanterns are less ideal.

Such pumpkins typically have watery, more stringy flesh and are best for carving, composting, and feeding to farm animals.

Luckily, there are several specific varieties of pumpkin that are best for baking, cooking, and eating. These are called culinary pumpkins.

Culinary pumpkins generally have thicker flesh with sweeter, richer flavors.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Image

Pumpkin varieties great for pureeing include:

  • Sugar pumpkins
  • Pie pumpkins
  • Sweet pumpkins
  • Dickinson pumpkins
  • Musquée de Provence
  • Jarrahdale pumpkins (I have one on my porch right now!)
  • Cinderella pumpkins (Another of my porch pumpkins!)
  • Red Kuri squash
  • Kabocha squash
  • Hubbard squash

There are lots of wonderful heirloom culinary pumpkins that make great pumpkin puree. You might even have some on your porch right now!

Check your local farmstands and farmers markets to find what’s grown in your area.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Pic

How to make homemade pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin

Making pumpkin puree is very simple! It’s a great afternoon, evening, or slow weekend project.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Wash the outside of your pumpkin, carefully cut off the stem, and slice the pumpkin into halves.
  4. Scrape out the seeds and stringy bits of flesh. If you like you can wash and roast the seeds for a fun, wholesome treat. (Keep reading for tips on how to cook pumpkin seeds.)
  5. Brush the insides of the pumpkin with extra-virgin olive oil, place the cut sides down on the baking sheet, and roast for about 45 minutes or until very tender.
  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the pumpkin to cool completely.
  7. Scrape the flesh from the skin and process it in a food processor until smooth.
  8. Use the fresh, homemade pumpkin puree immediately, or freeze it in 1-cup portions for future baking projects.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Picture

Can you substitute homemade pumpkin puree for canned pumpkin?

Yes! Homemade pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin puree are exactly the same thing.

You can substitute homemade pumpkin puree for canned in all recipes cup-for-cup, meaning 1 cup of homemade puree equals 1 cup of canned puree.

A 15-oz can of pumpkin puree contains almost 2 cups of pumpkin puree, and a large, 29-oz can contains about 3 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree.

Is there a difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?

Yes, yes, and yes again! Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling are different. Pumpkin puree contains just...pureed pumpkin.

Pumpkin pie filling contains pumpkin puree and a mixture of spices commonly used in pumpkin pie, like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. It can also contain sugar.

File 7 - Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Can you substitute pumpkin puree for pumpkin pie filling?

No, you cannot substitute pumpkin puree for pumpkin pie filling or vice versa. But you can use pumpkin puree to make pumpkin pie!

Be sure to check the recipe you are making to see which product it calls for.

And if your recipe calls for pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix and all you have is pumpkin puree, you can easily turn it into pumpkin pie filling by adding some spices and sweeteners.

How to make pumpkin pie filling from fresh pumpkin puree

Most pumpkin pie recipes call for pumpkin puree, and you can use your fresh, homemade pumpkin puree just as you would canned pumpkin.

If there is a specific recipe (sugar, eggs, spices, milk!), follow it exactly, substituting your homemade pumpkin puree cup-for-cup for the canned pumpkin puree.

Amounts to remember when making pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin puree:

  • 1 cup homemade pumpkin puree = 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • (1) 15-oz can of pumpkin puree contains almost 2 cups of pumpkin puree (it’s about 2 Tablespoons shy of 2 cups)
  • (1) 29-oz can of pumpkin puree contains about 3 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree
File 10 - Pumpkin Coffee Cake

What can you use homemade pumpkin puree for?

You can use fresh, homemade pumpkin puree for anything you would use canned pumpkin puree for, in both sweet and savory recipes.

Here are a few delicious pumpkin recipes to get you started:

Pumpkin Seeds Image

How to use pumpkin seeds

While making homemade pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin, don't forget about the pumpkin seeds!

They make a great fall snack that can be flavored however you like, from sweet to savory to spicy.

Read all about how to cook pumpkin seeds either by roasting or in a skillet in this article on How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds.

Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?

How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?

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We’re chatting cooking techniques, dessert ideas, and everything in between. If you’re already a member, invite your friends to join us too!

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Melissa Bahen

About Melissa

Melissa is an author and blogger living with her husband and four kids on a darling hobby farm in western Oregon. Her cookbooks, Farmhouse Weekends and Scandinavian Gatherings, and her blog, Lulu the Baker, celebrate her love for food and modern country life.