Learn how to make homemade pumpkin puree from scratch using this simple basic recipe for 3 easy ways – either in the oven, microwave, or pot. The pumpkin puree is great for making a variety of dishes, such as a creamy pumpkin soup, pumpkin pasta, or vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.
The Best Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe
Pumpkin puree is healthy, delicious, and versatile. Especially in fall, when pumpkin season starts and festive occasions like Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner, there are many varieties of pumpkin available everywhere. In this recipe, I’ll show you how to make natural pumpkin puree quickly and easily with your favorite pumpkin or squash to use it as a side dish or ingredient for many recipes.
Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable that can be used for savory or sweet dishes. The different varieties of pumpkin have a slightly different flavor, however, butternut squash and Hokkaido pumpkin, also called red kuri squash, are some of the most popular varieties. Just like mashed potatoes, you can serve pumpkin puree in a bowl as a side dish for your favorite vegan dinner meal or sprinkle it with brown sugar and cinnamon and enjoy it as a sweet dessert.
How long to cook pumpkin until soft?
When you cook pumpkin in the oven, it becomes especially flavorful as subtle roasted flavors develop. However, it takes longer in the oven, while it cooks faster in the pot or microwave. Depending on the type of pumpkin and the size of the pieces, it takes about 8-15 minutes in the pot. It is best to test in between with a small knife whether the pumpkin cubes are already tender.
What can you eat from a pumpkin?
Theoretically, you can eat almost any pumpkin with shell and roast the pumpkin seeds for snacking. However, since the peel is very hard in most varieties, it is better to remove the peel before or after cooking / roasting. With the Hokkaido pumpkin, however, the peel is relatively soft and cooks quickly, so you can leave it on.
Can you eat pumpkin raw?
Yes, you can eat pumpkin raw. The Hokkaido pumpkin can even be eaten raw with the peel.
How can I peel a pumpkin?
- First cut the pumpkin in half with a large sharp knife and remove the seeds with a large spoon.
- Then remove the peel from the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife.
- Lastly, dice or cut the pumpkin into wedges, depending on the recipe.
How to make pumpkin puree – It’s so easy!
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with the exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Preparation in the oven
- First, wash the pumpkin thoroughly and cut off the ends. Then cut in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. (Optionally, you can also cut the pumpkin into quarters).
- Place the pumpkin halves (or quarters) cut side down on a lightly greased or with parchment paper lined baking sheet. Then drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt if you like. Then bake at 392 °F (200 °C) or 356 °F (180 °C) fan for about 25-50 minutes (depending on size), until the flesh is soft.
- Then puree the soft pumpkin pieces with an immersion stick blender or in a food processor stand blender until creamy or chunky, leaving a little texture.
Method in the microwave
- Cut the pumpkin into pieces as described above.
- Then put the pieces in a microwave dish with a lid and microwave for about 2-3 minutes until soft.
- Finely blend until creamy.
Preparation in the pot
- Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and cut into several small pieces.
- Now put the pumpkin pieces in a large pot and cover with boiling water. Cook for about 10-15 minutes (depending on size) until soft.
- Then drain the cooking water and allow the pumpkin pieces to steam out excess liquid for a short while to ensure the pumpkin puree will not be too watery. Finally, puree the soft pumpkin cubes until smooth and creamy.
What can I do if my pumpkin puree is too runny?
While canned pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie filling is usually thick enough to add straight to recipes, homemade pumpkin puree sometimes turn out more watery, depending on the method of preparation and the type of pumpkin you use.
If you find your pumpkin puree or mash seems very watery, you should either strain the puree through a cheesecloth to remove some of the excess moisture. Or you could cook down the puree in a saucepan, pot or pan to evaporate the excess water and concentrate the puree until thickend to desired consitency.
How long will mashed pumpkin last in the fridge?
Place the homemade pumpkin puree in an airtight container or sealed jar. Stored in the fridge it’ll keep for about 5 days.
How can I preserve pumpkin puree?
You can also make the pumpkin puree last longer by putting it in sterilized jars after preparation and sealing them tightly. Then place the jars in a steam oven at about 212 °F (100°C) or hot water bath and cook/steam for 50 minutes. The preserved pumpkin puree will keep for at least 4 months stored in a cool and dark place.
Can you freeze pumpkin puree?
If you’re making homemade pumpkin puree in advance to use later, you can of course freeze it in portions in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
This easy homemade pumpkin puree recipe is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Without additives
- Vegan, Vegetarian
- Versatile to use!
How to use pumpkin puree
You can use pumpkin puree for many different sweet and savory pumpkin recipes. Here are some favorites:
- Pumpkin Pie
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Bread
- Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- Pumpkin Pasta Bake
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin Risotto with Brussels Sprouts
- Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Pumpkin Ravioli
- Squash Ravioli
- Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi
- Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta
If you make your own pumpkin puree with this easy recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your dish and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I would love to see your result! Have fun trying it out! 🙂
Pumpkin Puree - 3 ways to make it!Author:
- 1 pumpkin or squash *see recipe notes (I used "red kuri squash")
- olive oil optional for roasting
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
Preparation in the microwave:
- Rinse and dry the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in a half, then cut off the ends. Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon, then cut into smaller pieces.
- Place the pumpkin pieces in a baking dish with a little bit of water. Cover the baking dish and microwave for about 2-3 minutes or until the pumpkin pulp is soft.
- Blend the soft pumpkin pulp in a blender until creamy (or use an immersion stick blender).
Preparation in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Rinse and dry the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in a half (or quarters), then cut off the ends. Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon.
- Place the pumpkin halves (or quarters) cut-side-down on a lightly greased baking sheet or baking dish. Brush the pumpkin with a little bit of oil and bake until the pulp is soft, about 25-50 minutes (depending on the size of your pumpkin).
- Remove the skin if needed, then blend the soft pumpkin pulp in a blender until creamy (or use an immersion stick blender).
Preparation in the pot:
- Rinse the pumpkin, cut in a half, then cut off the ends. Scoop out the seeds and strings, then cut into smaller pieces.
- Place pumpkin pieces in a pot with boiling water. Cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your pumpkin).
- Then drain and blend the soft pumpkin pulp in a blender until creamy (or use an immersion stick blender).
- If using a Hokkaido Pumpkin (red kuri squash), you don't have to peel it because the skin gets soft after cooking. My 2 lbs Hokkaido pumpkin yielded 1 pound of pumpkin puree, about 2 cups.
- If using butternut squash or another kind of pumpkin, you have to remove the skin but it peels off easily after cooking.
- More helpful tips and information about this recipe, including instructions for storing and freezing as well as many recipe ideas, are mentioned in the blog post above.
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