Homemade Pumpkin Puree

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Once you make this Homemade Pumpkin Puree, you’ll never buy canned pumpkin again. Perfect for pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pumpkin soup, and so much more. And all you need is pumpkin!

A bowl of fresh pumpkin puree

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe

This homemade pumpkin puree is the fall recipe you didn’t realize you needed. Pumpkin puree appears in pretty much every pumpkin-flavored recipe, from pumpkin pies to pumpkin cocktails and even pumpkin spice lattes. So why not make your own?

Making your own pumpkin puree is super simple. All you need to do is roast a pie pumpkin, blend the flesh, and strain. From start to finish, you can have fresh pumpkin puree in under two hours – including an hour of baking time!

It stores well in the fridge and freezer, so feel free to double or triple the recipe to keep some on hand for all of your fall baking!

A jar of homemade pumpkin puree

Why Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree?

You may be wondering…why learn how to make pumpkin puree when you can just grab a can at the store? Here are a few reasons why!

  • Made with ONLY pumpkin. Pumpkin is the only ingredient in this recipe. No preservatives and no sugar – just pumpkin.
  • Tastes better than the can. Because it’s made with fresh pumpkin, the flavor of this puree is so much better than the prepared kind.
  • Perfect for any pumpkin recipe. I use this puree in all of my fall baking but it’s also great for pumpkin soup and other savory dishes too.

What You’ll Need

The best thing about making homemade pumpkin puree? You only need one thing!

  • Pie pumpkin – You’ll also see these labeled as sugar pumpkin or sweet pumpkin.

Can All Pumpkins Be Used for Puree?

Yes and no. You can technically use any pumpkin you’d like, including a carving pumpkin.

The problem with using carving pumpkins is that they are much more fibrous and quite watery. You could make it work but you’d have to bake the pumpkin for much longer and just know that your puree will be on the grittier side.

Pie pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins or sweet pumpkins) really are best.

The Best Way To Cut Your Pumpkin

The first step to making pumpkin puree is to cut open your pumpkin. Cutting a pumpkin from top to bottom (as opposed to horizontally) has several merits and is what I recommend. Here’s why.

  • Safety. Cutting the pumpkin this way allows you to set it on its flattest surface, making it much safer to cut into (as it won’t roll around).
  • Easy cleaning. This method allows you to clean the pumpkin of its seeds much more easily than would cutting it horizontally.
  • Even cooking. Cutting the pumpkin vertically exposes the most flesh to the baking pan, helping the pumpkin cook more evenly throughout.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

Ready to learn how to make pumpkin puree? It’s easier than you may think!

  • Prepare the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half from the stem to heal. Scoop out the seeds and “guts” and cut off as much of the stem as possible without cutting into the pumpkin flesh.
  • Roast the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Poke holes in the skin and roast for 1 hour until fork-tender. Once roasted, allow to cool.
  • Puree. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh and puree in a food processor until smooth. Discard the skin.
  • Drain. Place the puree in a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much water as possible.
  • Store or enjoy. From here, you can store the pumpkin puree in the fridge or freezer or add it to your favorite fall recipes.
Overhead view of a bowl of homemade pumpkin puree

Common Questions

Here are a few common questions that may help you as you make pumpkin puree for the first time.

How long do you roast a pumpkin to make pumpkin puree?

The exact roasting time will depend slightly on the size of the pumpkin. In general, it takes about an hour. You should be able to easily poke through the flesh with a fork.

Do I have to use cheesecloth or can I use a strainer?

You can use a fine mesh strainer if you’d like. Place a plate over the homemade pumpkin puree and weigh it down with a few cans to help press the juice out of the puree.

My pumpkin isn’t processing down/seems dry when making puree?

Pumpkins vary in water content. Those with less water tend to be more difficult to process and will often turn out dry and gritty. To combat this issue, go ahead and add water in small amounts. Add just enough to get the pumpkin pureed smoothly and be extra certain to drain as much liquid out of the puree as possible before using.

Another thing that will help is pureeing in smaller batches. Food processors are easily overwhelmed by volume and smaller batches are easier for them to puree effectively and efficiently.

A bowl of homemade pumpkin puree

Ways to Use Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Ooh, you have so many options! Homemade pumpkin puree is perfect for making pretty much any fall pumpkin recipe, whether that’s sweet or savory. Feel free to sub in this homemade puree in any recipe that calls for a can of pumpkin puree.

Here are a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes:

What Should I Do With the Leftover Pumpkin Seeds?

This is one of the best parts of making your own pumpkin puree. You get to use the seeds! Clean the pumpkin seeds of the pumpkin guts (discard the guts) and toss the seeds in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast them in the oven at 300 degrees F for 50 minutes. Give the seeds a stir every 15 minutes or so.

A mason jar of homemade pumpkin puree

Proper Storage

Homemade pumpkin puree will last in the fridge for up to 1 week. Be sure to keep it in an airtight container or even a glass jar. Give it a stir before adding it to any recipes and enjoy it in all of your fall recipes!

Can I Freeze Homemade Pumpkin Puree?

You can! Once you’ve drained the pumpkin puree and it has completely cooled, go ahead and seal it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thaw the puree in the refrigerator and give it one final squeeze through the cheesecloth (the puree will release water as it thaws) before using it.

Pumpkin Puree feature
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Once you make this Homemade Pumpkin Puree, you'll never buy canned pumpkin again. Perfect for pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pumpkin soup, and so much more. And all you need is pumpkin!
Servings: 3 servings (1 cup each)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 1 medium-sized pie pumpkin


  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Prepare the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half from stem to heal and scoop out the seeds and stringy “guts”. Cut as much of the stem off as possible without cutting the pumpkin flesh.
  • Roast. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the prepared baking sheet, poke holes in the top with a fork, and roast (uncovered) for 1 hour or until you can easily poke through the flesh with a fork.
  • Cool. Allow the pumpkin to cool.
  • Puree. Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin and transfer it to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Discard the pumpkin skin.
  • Drain. Place the puree in the center of the cheesecloth. Wrap the cheesecloth around the puree and squeeze as much water out as possible.

Last Step:

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Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 1541mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 38592IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 4mg


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