Learn how to make pumpkin puree at home where you control all the ingredients inside and save yourself a few bucks in the process. Your Fall-inspired sweet and savory recipes will taste better than ever!
It’s that time of year when pumpkin pies, spiced lattes, and anything you could dream of adding festive orange gourd to is prepared and devoured. I’m excited and ready to dive into the Fall food season, aren’t you?
How to make pumpkin puree
I’m going to show you how to make pumpkin puree right at home. You won’t believe how easy it is! All you need is a pumpkin, a little sprinkle of salt, and let the oven do the work. No artificial flavors or preservatives you might find in the premade stuff. You got this!
STEP 1: Pumpkin Selection
Look for labels or signs indicating “pie pumpkin” or “baking pumpkin.” They will be smaller and more round in size compared to pumpkins you would use for carving or decoration. The weight will be between 2 to 6 pounds, so make sure to factor in the size for fitting on the sheet tray and bake time.
Once you’ve selected your pumpkin, it’s time to cut it up! First, carefully cut off the stem with a large chef’s knife. Then cut the gourd in half from top to bottom. If the skin is thick or the pumpkin is large, it helps to tap the knife with a mallet if you have one available.
STEP 2: Remove the Seeds
Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the pumpkin seeds and fiber strands from the pumpkin. If you like roasted pumpkin seeds, wash, dry, and save them for baking later. Why not use up all you can, nothing gets wasted, just enjoyed!
STEP 3: Roast the Pumpkin
Sprinkle the inside flesh with some salt. Place them cut side down on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly grease the foil if using to prevent sticking.
Roast the pumpkin at 400°F until the flesh is tender and the skin can be easily pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes, depending on the size. I used a 2 1/2 to 3-pound pumpkin, and that timing was just right.
STEP 4: Remove the Flesh
Once the pumpkin cools down after roasting, scoop the flesh out and get ready to puree! At this point, you could keep the flesh intact and roughly mash it with a fork or potato masher and serve as a side dish with dinner.
STEP 5: Make the Puree
To make a super smooth pumpkin puree, add the flesh to a blender or food processor. Puree on high speed for about 3 to 4 minutes until creamy. Now it’s ready!
If not using right away, make sure to store in an airtight container, it should stay good for up to a week in the refrigerator. The pumpkin puree can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a resealable plastic bag. Just defrost, and it’s ready to use!
Benefits to Making Pumpkin Puree
- Season: When you buy pumpkins fresh from the market they are in season, giving a tender, more flavorful and sweet flesh compared to the canned product that has been mass-produced months ahead of time.
- Nutrition: Pumpkin flesh is packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, E, potassium, and iron. It’s a rich source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which you can see in its orange pigment. In just one cup of cooked puree, you can get 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 0.2 grams of fat, and only 49 calories per serving.
- Ease: Just a few simple steps like roasting and pureeing are needed to soften the pumpkin flesh to transform it into a puree. In under an hour you have a freshly made versatile ingredient to use in your cooking and baking.
Ways to Use Pumpkin Puree
This homemade pumpkin puree makes a beautiful base for sauces, desserts, drinks or even baby food. Here are some of my favorite recipes to get you started!
- Pumpkin Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Pumpkin Pear Almond Muffins
- Lightened Up Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Scones with Chocolate Chips
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze
- Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
- No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups
- Classic Pumpkin Pie
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- 1 pie pumpkin, 2 to 6 pounds
- kosher salt, for seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204ºC).
- Wash and dry the pumpkin. Carefully cut the stem off then cut it in half from top to bottom.
- Use a large spoon to srape the seeds and fiber from the pumpkin. Reserve the seeds if making roasted pumpkin seed, or discard.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Sprinkle the flesh of each side of the pumpkin with salt. Place cut-side down on the tray.
- Roast pumpkin until a knife can easily pierce the skin and flesh is tender, about 30 minutes depening on the size.
- Allow the roasted pumpkin to cool, about 30 minutes.
- Scoop the flesh out and transfer to a food processor or blender. Process until pumpkin is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes.
- The pumpkin puree can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Store in a resealable plastic bag with air removed for up to 3 months in the freezer
- A 2 1/2 to 3 pound pumpkin yields between 3/4 to 1 cup of pumpkin puree.
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