This incredibly simple pumpkin puree is great for pies, breads, soups and so much more! Follow this easy-to-make recipe for a fresh and flavorful addition to all of your pumpkin fare!
While I do use canned pumpkin for a lot of my recipes, there are some things that just taste better with homemade pumpkin puree. And with just 10 minutes of prep and 50 minutes of hands-off cook time, this pumpkin puree is not only fresh and flavorful, but incredibly easy to make!
how to roast a pumpkin and make pumpkin puree
First you’ll need a pie pumpkin (also called a sugar pumpkin) — these are sweeter and more flavorful than carving pumpkins, which makes them perfect for cooking! As for size, you definitely won’t need a huge pumpkin. I usually buy one about 3-4 lbs (1.5-2 kg) and that gets me about 3.5 cups of puree.
After you’ve chosen your pumpkin, the roasting part is easy! Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and strings. You don’t have to be especially thorough here; a few strings attached won’t hurt anything. Just don’t forget to set the seeds aside to roast later! Then you can place your pumpkin in the oven, cut-side down, for about 50 minutes at 350 F (180 C). The pumpkin is ready when it’s fork-tender and the skin is a bit browned.
After the pumpkin has cooled a bit, you just need to scoop out the flesh from the skin (which detaches very easily). I like to just mash my pumpkin with a fork for most recipes. If you’re using the puree to make something like a pumpkin pie where you’d like a smoother texture, then I suggest pulsing the mixture in a blender or food processor. You can add a bit of water to get it going in the blender if needed, but it shouldn’t be necessary!
roasting pumpkin seeds
Whenever I make pumpkin puree, I always set aside the seeds to roast for a snack or use as a crunchy topping for salads and soups! After you remove the seeds from the pumpkin, make sure to rinse them thoroughly and then let them sit overnight to dry out.
When your seeds are ready to roast, preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and toss the seeds with a bit of olive oil and salt. For these seeds, I also mixed in a bit of garlic powder and cayenne for a spicy snack. But you could also go the sweet route and add a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon! They’ll need about 20 minutes in the oven — watch them closely as they can burn quickly!
what can I make with pumpkin puree?
This homemade pumpkin puree can be used for anything that calls for the canned version. I especially love it in savory dishes, like soups and as a stuffing for ravioli and pierogi. But it also gives baked goods (muffins, cakes, pies, cookies!) a fresh sweetness that is irresistible!
One pumpkin usually yields enough puree for two or three recipes for me. Because it will only keep for about five days in the fridge, I like to store the rest in the freezer until I’m ready to use.
- sugar (pie) pumpkin 1 small
- (3-4 lbs or 1.5-2 kg)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds, strings and pulp. Set the seeds aside to roast later if desired (instructions in the notes below).
- Place the pumpkin cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 50-60 minutes or until tender.
- Let the pumpkin cool slightly and then scoop the pumpkin flesh into a large bowl, peeling and discarding the skin.
- Either mash the pumpkin by hand or, if you'd like a smoother consistency, pulse in a food processor or blender until creamy and smooth.
- roasting the seeds: Thoroughly rinse the seeds and leave to dry overnight. Mix the seeds with a bit of olive oil, salt and your favorite spices (I used garlic powder and cayenne). Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F (180 C).