How to Make Pumpkin Puree

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.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. You got all of the ingredients to make this soup (yay!!), and now you have lots of squash left over.
  4. 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 seeds and roast the squash on a baking sheet until fork tender.

Roasted squash on a baking sheet

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.

Note: the texture will vary depending on the type of pumpkin or squash you use.

How to make pumpkin puree

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:

Refrigerate any leftovers for later. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to a month!

How to make pumpkin puree

If you loved making pumpkin puree….

Make more vegetable basics like roasted spaghetti squash, baked sweet potatoes, easy zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice next!

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree

rate this recipe:
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Learn how to make delicious pumpkin puree at home! Stir it into oatmeal or risotto, or use it for all your fall baking recipes.


  • 1 pumpkin or large squash, (sugar pie pumpkin, butternut, buttercup 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.
  • Roast for 40 to 60 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. If your puree is more watery than the texture of canned pumpkin, strain the excess liquid by letting it sit in a fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) over a bowl for 30 minutes. 
  • Chill until ready to use.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Samantha Smith

    5 stars
    This is my first time growing pumpkin, and this was the exact reason I grew it! Wonderful pumpkin puree that turns into pumpkin cookies that always end up being devoted before hour 2 of DnD! ( :
    Thank you so much!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad it was helpful!

  2. Bubbles

    5 stars
    Do you have a pumpkin soup recipe without garlic and onion It’s hard to find especially with a garlic allergy People with a garlic allergy can’t eat onion either

  3. discountsau

    5 stars
    Love your skills! I like homemade pumpkin (as a substitute for walnut pumpkin). I squeezed fruit mud on a cheese clip to remove more water. This is more job, but it is definitely worth it! Everything pumpkin is one of the best things in the autumn month!

  4. Pat

    I love roasting squash and pumpkin. Before putting the pumpkin in the processor you can drain it for a bit in a colander to get rid of the excedd liquid. The it can be processed.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      That’s a great tip, thank you!

  5. April

    5 stars
    Hi 🙂
    I LOVE this idea! So incredibly lovely to use the beautiful squash available this time of year. I am a routine visitor to your beautiful website and have made many recipes with great happiness! I do, however, notice that this post was already posted a couple years ago and I’m now seeing it as the new post for today. I’m just making sure this was on purpose!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi April, I thought people would enjoy it at this time of year since it’s been awhile! I’m so glad you’ve been loving the recipes!!

      • Juli

        All I have are Halloween carving pumpkins. Will a pie not turn out right with these?

        • Barbara

          5 stars
          No, because there’s too much fiber in it. The small baking pumpkins are so much better & worth using.

        • Llns

          I have used them several times. Your texture will just be a little different. Go for it. 🙂

  6. Hélène

    Looks delicious! I’ll definitely try this!

    Though one little thing, I think you were intending to use butternut squash, not ‘buttercup squash’ 😀

  7. Tae

    Oh and do you happen to know how long this would last if I canned it?

  8. Tae

    Other reasons to make your own: almost all cans are lined with BPA! And this provides a waste-free (not to mention fresher) option! Thank you!

  9. Tammy

    Thank you from the Australians who can’t get pumpkin in a can!! ha ha

    • Erica

      Have some send ya some from here ( USA )
      Even if ya have to pay to ship it and the cost of the can I’m sure some one will 😘

  10. Sabrina from

    thank you for breaking this down, like having puree on hand for so many other things beyond even the “cool” season for pumpkins!

  11. Reener

    5 stars
    I keep pumpkin puree in the fridge all fall. One use that might seem unusual but that I love is a cold pumpkin “breakfast soup.” I put a half cup pumpkin puree, a half cup almond milk, 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar or maple syrup, and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice in a food processor for a couple of minutes. The result is delicious and healthy! It’s a great way to use up that extra little bit of pumpkin puree.

  12. Sue

    I have a very LARGE pumpkin sitting on my coffee table waiting to be cooked. Thank you for this simiple recipe. I had some wonderful pumpkin soup at Panera Bread the other day and I want to make it again.

  13. 5 stars
    Jeanine, you don’t know how much I appreciate your awareness about the availability (or lack thereof) of American canned pumpkin in other countries. I lived in Switzerland and now Spain, and I can tell you canned pumpkin is not easy to find in Europe in general. You really have to seek it out or go to an American store, IF you’re lucky enough to be living in a big city that even has an American store. Long tangent, but thank you for this post.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      It roasts in the oven, so like baking, I just used the term roast.

  14. Sarah Heaton

    I wonder if it would work to simmer the puree to get it to a more canned consistency. Might be worth it to take the guesswork out of “normal” canned pumpkin containing recipes. And then reduce a little more for that pumpkin butter! Yum!

  15. tamara

    Used Halloween pumpkins and my pumpkin pies always turned out DELISH!

  16. Kathy K

    A video on P. Allen Smith’s website suggested that the type of pumpkin shown above, Jeanine’s “cheese pumpkin”, is the best type to use. The varieties that were mentioned were the “Cinderella” and “Fairy Tale”. The roasted pumpkin seeds are great too!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yes, LOVE roasting the seeds too!

  17. Susan

    Interesting about not using Halloween pumpkins. For years I collected my neighbors’ jack-o-lanterns baked them, made puree and then pumpkin butter, a recipe I figured out by somehow adapting my mother’s wonderful pumpkin pie recipe. Those pumpkins actually made wonderful puree. These days I would definitely go with a pie pumpkin. I make my own tortillas and pizza dough pretty routinely, and probably should make my own pumpkin puree as well, because canned pumpkin seems to almost always taste like the can. I would definitely choose to drain the puree to make sure it is thick enough.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      oh interesting, pumpkin butter sounds delicious 🙂

    • tamara

      I always used the Halloween pumpkins and my pumpkin pies turned out DELISH!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        thanks for letting me know!

  18. Rebecca

    Love your tips! I love homemade pumpkin ravioli (as an alternative to butternut squash). I squeeze the puree a bit in cheesecloth to remove more of the water. It’s a bit more work, but definitely worth it! Pumpkin everything is one of the best things about the fall months!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.