How to Make Pumpkin Purée

The Craft Beer Bites CookbookJackie Dodd’s beer-infused recipes earned her a spot as a finalist for Saveur Magazines Best Original Recipes, 2014 as well as crowned winner for Best Beer Coverage in 2015 (yes, craft beer is unprocessed). The Beeroness was also a finalist for Better Homes and Gardens Best Food Blogs, 2015. She has been seen on The Today Show, Lifetime Network, CBS News, as well as interviewed in print publications such as Imbibe, Bite and The San Francisco Chronicle. She also writes for Parade Magazine, Draft Magazine and Whisk Magazine. Jackie is the author of The Craft Beer Cookbook and The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook, and you can connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

Sooooo, you want to Pumpkin All The Things but you took a pledge to ban the cans? I got you covered. And really, it’s simple. Turning a pumpkin into a pumpkin flavored treat is really easy, just takes a bit of time. But you can totally do this, and your unprocessed life will soon be filled with pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin toothpaste (oh wait…).

First, lets talk about the pumpkins. What pumpkins can be used? Can you make pie out of those Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins you buy your kids at the grocery store? What is a pie pumpkin?

You can eat any variety of pumpkin; all are squash and all are edible but not all pumpkins are grown to be eaten, so the variety you use will affect your results. (Be careful not confuse pumpkins with gourds – those are not edible.)

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins have been bred for decades for qualities that have nothing to do with taste. Although still technically edible, the flavors are not taken into account when breeding. Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins are now bred for thick skin that can hold up to carving, as well as a heartiness to survive after being carved, and set outside with a candle stuck in its guts. Look for a pie pumpkin, most commonly called a Sugar Pie Pumpkin. They’re small, about the size of a cantaloupe. If you’re confused, jut ask your grocer.

Let’s get started.

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Remove the stem by running a butter knife around the edges and then prying it off.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

3. Cut the pumpkin in half, right through the hole left by the stem.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

4. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

[Andrew adds: Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Although it’s a rather slimy process, if you separate out the seeds, you can roast them in the oven for a fantastic Fall snack. Here’s a good tutorial on how to do it.]

How to make Pumpkin Purée

5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place pumpkins on baking sheets, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast at 375° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until a fork can easily slide into the skin.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

6. Allow to cool and scoop the flesh out.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

7. Add to a food processor and puree until smooth.

8. Store in an air-tight container. Pumpkin puree also freezes well.

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30 Comments on "How to Make Pumpkin Purée"


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Thanks, Jackie! I have a pie pumpkin sitting on my counter and was going to look up how to cook the little sucker, but you saved me a ‘google search’! 😉


There is an easier way yet. Take the stem off – or not. Cut in half width wise rather than vertically. Scoop seeds out. Put the halves back together. To the rest the same or put through a food mill/sieve.
You can get twice the pumpkin in the oven this way.
I have 28 pumpkins to roast, so discovered this works much better!

You cannot can/bottle puree’. There has been no safe way researched for home canners. You can bottle cubed, but not puree’d. Just FYI.


This is another addition to my recipes for this coming Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada). Canadians deserve extra pat in the back for surviving Thanksgiving and Halloween when completing October Unprocessed!!


Pumpkins can also be steamed instead of baked. I did it over the weekend, and the skin peeled right off – no scooping necessary!


How do you steam them? I’d like to try this. I also need more pumpkin recipes besides pies and cookies. Thanks!


I cut them into quarters, and with the skin still on put them in a double boiler on the stove. Took about 20-30 min of utterly ignoring them, and when a fork could easily be poked through I took them out, let them cool, and removed the skins. Easy as (pumpkin) pie.


Here’s a recipe on my blog for gluten free pumpkin donuts. 🙂

Dana @ FoodieGoesHealthy

I freeze homemade pumpkin purée in half pint jam jars. It’s like having my own supply of “canned” pumpkin purée.

Stephanie Olmsted

How long is is good in freezer? Stocking up.. maybe.


you were reading my mind!! thanks for posting!!! I will be working on this asap.

Marni S.

You may also want to let some of the excess moisture drip out of it first for super thick pumpkin like the kind that comes in the can. Line a strainer with cheese cloth or paper coffee filters, place over a dish to catch the juice, place the pumpkin on the cheese cloth or filters and let sit in the fridge overnight. And you can add the excess juice to your next pot of soup for extra flavor and nutrients!