This fall, skip the canned pumpkin and learn how to make pumpkin puree at home with fresh pumpkin (or squash)! It's delicious, easy, and fun to make.
There are plenty of great reasons to know how to make pumpkin puree at home, even if you can find it in a can.
Why make homemade pumpkin puree?
- You live in a country where pumpkin puree is not available in cans but you still want to partake in all of the yummy fall pumpkin recipes that are all around the internet and Instagram.
- You got overzealous at the farmers market because the pumpkin was so cute and fall looking, and you didn’t realize you’d have at least 20 pounds/9 kilos of squash to deal with. (pictured below)
- You got all of the ingredients to make this soup (yay!!), and now you have lots of squash left over.
- Because sometimes it’s just fun to make something from scratch, like homemade hummus or pizza dough, even though there are perfectly good versions available at the store.
So here we go, let’s bake!
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
First, scoop out the pumpkin seeds and roast the squash on a baking sheet until fork tender.
Once cooled, scoop the flesh from the skin and run it through a food processor until it’s smooth.
Depending on the variety of squash you use, the consistency of your puree may be more watery than that of a canned puree. If you’re making pumpkin pie, you might want to strain the excess liquid by letting it sit in a fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) over a bowl for 30 minutes. In baking recipes like these cookies or my favorite pumpkin bread, I simply use about 2 tablespoons less liquid (less oil in the cookies, less almond milk in the bread).
Note: when I used buttercup squash, my puree was much thicker.
How to Use Pumpkin Puree
Once you’ve made your puree, there are tons of ways to use it! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Blend it into pasta sauce.
- Whisk it into savory porridge or risotto.
- Try it in these easy pumpkin muffins.
- Make pancakes next Saturday.
- Bake a snack cake for your kids this week.
- Use it in place of eggs in this vegan fall French toast!
Refrigerate any leftovers for later. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to a month!
If you loved making pumpkin puree….
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 1 pumpkin or large squash: a sugar pumpkin, cheese pumpkin (pictured), buttercup squash, butternut squash, or kabocha squash. Avoid large Halloween carving pumpkins because their flesh is too fibrous for a soft puree.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on the baking sheet. (Note: in the pictures mine is cut into quarters because I had already cut into it when making this soup).
- Roast for 40 minutes or until the flesh is soft and a fork easily slides in. Let cool for about 1 hour. Use your hands to peel the flesh from the skin and place in a food processor. Puree until smooth, letting your food processor run for about a minute, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Transfer to containers and chill until ready to use.