Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree – Natasha’s Kitchen

Our homemade pumpkin puree recipe is so easy, delicious, and fun to make that you’ll wonder why you ever bought the canned stuff. It’s as simple as roasting veggies in the oven—a pumpkin is just a large squash, after all.

I can’t explain why, but the joy you’ll feel when serving a Pumpkin Pie with homemade pumpkin puree is a real. And you don’t have to stop there. Try our Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pancakes,… and I could go on (and I do. Scroll down for more ideas)!

homemade pumpkin puree for dogs and for baking in glass jar

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Easy Pumpkin Puree Recipe

Don’t be intimidated by making your own pumpkin puree, because It’s so simple and the perfect way to prepare for the Fall season. While it may be easier to grab a can at the store, here are some reasons to try this recipe:

  • Easy to make and tastes amazing
  • Freezes and keeps well
  • Incredible health benefits include added fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Control the flavor and create the consistency you like
  • Stash of pumpkin at the ready for sweet and savory fall dishes
  • Save the seeds (pepitas) for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
mashed squash in a glass jar

Are Canned Pumpkin and Pumpkin Puree the Same Thing?

While the two are used interchangeably, just take a peek at this picture to see a side-by-side comparison of canned stuff versus this homemade recipe. The darker color of the canned version is because many brands of canned pumpkin are actually a mixture of “squash and field pumpkins” per the FDA, giving it a darker color. It’s also steamed, rather than roasted.

The taste and nutritional value are similar, but making your own pumpkin puree ensures that your pumpkin dish is actually pumpkin. You can also experiment with your own puree by mixing pumpkin with different squashes like Roasted Acorn Squash, Kabocha, or Roasted Butternut Squash for a unique flavor.

Homemade pumpkin puree next to canned pumpkin

What type of pumpkin is best for homemade pumpkin puree?

A pumpkin is the only ingredient you need for pumpkin puree. Our recipe calls for 2 small baking pumpkins, giving you two to four cups of ready-to-use puree. It’s easy to multiply this recipe to make more.

While all types of pumpkins can be roasted and made into puree just like any other squash, here’s how to get the best result.

  • Sugar pumpkins (or pie pumpkins) are best because they are, well, sweeter (what’s in a name?), although you may use the smaller regular pumpkins. Ideally, your pumpkin should be 7-9 inches wide.
  • Look for freckles – You’ll know a sugar pumpkin when you see one up close.
  • Where to find them – Look in the produce section of your grocery store, next to the other squash, or ask for a pie pumpkin at a farmers market or patch.
  • Avoid larger varieties like Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins since they tend to have less flesh, more moisture, and less sweet flavor. Smaller types have a more concentrated flavor.
sugar pumpkins for making pumpkin pie

Pro Tip:

Canned and homemade pumpkin puree can be substituted 1:1, so that’s 15 oz or about 2 cups minus 1 TBLS of puree.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

With less than 10 minutes of prep time, it’s quick and easy to ditch the store-bought version.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and cut the pumpkin in half (or quarters or larger pumpkins) to scrape out the seeds and pulp, and then keep the seeds for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
  • Place the pieces on a baking sheet cut-side down, and then bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.
  • Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin of the pumpkin off and cut the pumpkin into 1-inch pieces. Process the chunks in a food processor in batches until applesauce consistency.
step-by-step directions for cutting a pumpkin to make homemade pumpkin puree

Pro Tip:

Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to remove the seeds and pulp from the pumpkin.

How to Thicken Pumpkin Puree

  • To make most recipes, like pumpkin pie, for example, you’ll need to drain some of the liquid. Put a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, and then line it with a double layer of cheesecloth. Wrap the puree in cheesecloth and gently squeeze to release the liquid.
How to peel and blend pumpkins and strain off excess liquid to thicken

Pro Tip

The amount of water released from the puree can differ depending on the type and freshness of the squash. You can also squeeze out more if you prefer a thicker consistency.

water squeezed from roasted squash for a thicker texture

Common Questions

What is Pumpkin Puree?

Pumpkin puree is simply the flesh of a pumpkin that has been softened by roasting in the oven, and then it is mashed or blended into a mashed potato-like texture. It’s used in all types of recipes.

Can I make this pumpkin puree for dogs?

Absolutely! In fact, it can help with digestion. Read more about how much and why to feed your cat or dog pumpkin from the AKC.

Can I use a blender?

You can use a very strong blender. Try blending only a few cubes at a time so it doesn’t get stuck. You can also use a potato masher or food mill.

squash puree in a glass jar with a wooden spoon

What to Make with Pumpkin Puree?

Pumpkin is one of the most versatile ingredients to add to savory dishes and sweet treats alike. For instance, in baking, it’s an excellent substitute for:

  • Substitute eggs (1/4 cup puree for 1 egg)
  • Substitute butter (3/4 cup pumpkin for every cup of butter)
  • Substitute Oil (1:1)

Here are some ideas on how to use pumpkin puree:

Breakfast Pumpkin Recipes

Dinner Recipes that Use Pumpkin

Pumpkin Dessert Recipes


Keep puree on hand to add a great creamy texture and nutritious veggie to your dish.

  • To Refrigerate: wait until the puree is completely cooled, then store in an airtight container for a week
  • Freezing: Freeze for 6 months (though, we’ve used it for up to a year). We like freezing in zip-top bags in one-cup portions. Fill, stack, and lay flat in the freezer to store.
  • To Reheat: Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. You can use a microwave or saucepan on the stove, but it may change the flavor slightly.
how to freeze pumpkin puree in 15oz portions in zip-top bags

Homemade Pumpkin puree is simple, delicious, and rewarding to make. Also, the technique can be used for other squash, as well. Make your own puree, and you’ll never go back to canned.

More Roasted Vegetable Recipes

If you love this recipe, then you won’t want to miss these other delicious ways to serve up vegetables this Fall.

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