Making Pumpkin Puree with Fresh Pumpkin – Keepin’ It Real!

Making Pumpkin Puree with Fresh Pumpkin – Keepin’ It Real!

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It’s October! This is one of my favorite months. There’s Halloween right around the corner, one of the best holidays in the States I might add. The leaves are changing to all the brilliant hues of purple, red, gold, brown, and orange. The air is getting that crisp cold fresh scent of autumn. And there are pumpkins everywhere. So I decided to dedicate this month to all things Halloween and especially pumpkins because – well – pumpkins and Halloween are kind of like PB and J. You really can’t have one without the other or, more I should say, you can have one without the other but why would you want to?

So where’s the best place to start? At the beginning with the basics: a pumpkin puree. Have you ever had fresh pumpkin puree? Sure you can buy cans of it at the grocery store all year round but, like many foods, really it’s so much better when made fresh. And there’s no reason not to! Making pumpkin puree with fresh pumpkin is so easy to do and requires minimal babysitting really. You only need a pumpkin, a baking tray, and aluminum foil. That’s it!

And let’s not forget the pumpkin seeds. You really get two awesome foods for the price of one.

All Things Pumpkin

Although pumpkin is treated like a vegetable, it really is a fruit. Pumpkin belongs to the squash or gourd family along with cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, and – you guessed it – squash. It’s high in fiber and vitamin A. Pumpkin has a good amount of vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese. As well as a small amount of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is also very low in calories (1 cup of puree has only 50 calories) which makes it great for anyone looking to lose some extra weight (especially with the holiday food on its way).

And then there are the seeds. These bad boys pack 7 grams of protein along with vitamin K, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper in just one ounce. They are high in antioxidants, a decent amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2, and folate.

It is no wonder that this large, orange gourd is considered a superfood.

If you’ve never bought a pumpkin for cooking before, here’s a couple of things you should know. The large, beastly pumpkins for carving are not the same ones you should use for cooking. Sure, the meat is edible and the seeds are still worth saving, but the flavor will be bland and watery. What you want to be on the lookout for is the smaller pumpkins labeled either “sugar pumpkin” or “pie pumpkin.” They should be between 4 to 8 pounds and free of soft spots and big bruises.

If the pumpkin is healthy and the skin is firm, it should last from 8 to 12 weeks stored in a cool dry place. You’ve really got to procrastinate to let a whole pumpkin go bad! Once cut, it’s a different story. That fella will go bad in 5 to 10 days.

So without further adieu, let me show you how to bake pumpkin.

Making Pumpkin Puree from Fresh Pumpkin

Once you bring that lovely fella home, you can treat it like any other winter squash. You can microwave, steam, or bake it.  But for a pumpkin puree, it’s really best if baked. And as far as I’m concerned, baking pumpkin has the shortest prep time too. You just wash it, cut the stem off the top, and cut that sucker in half. Scoop out all the seeds and stringy bits with either a spoon or ice cream scooper (Save the seeds though! I’ll be showing you what to do those here.). Place it on a baking tray either face up or face down (it doesn’t matter), cover it with foil, and pop it in the oven. Wait about an hour and if it can be pierced with a fork very easily (I’m talking like butter at room temperature easy), it’s done.

I usually pull it out and let it cool with the foil still on for about 20-30 minutes. Once cooled, remove the skins (the skins should fall off on their own) and store the pumpkin as it is until you are ready to use it. Depending on how watery it is you can use a cheesecloth to strain out some of the liquid. Once you are ready to make a puree can mash it with a hand masher, use a hand blender, throw it in a standing blender, or put it in a food processor. I personally use my Vitamix as it makes the pumpkin puree incredibly smooth and silky.

If you have a dish you plan to use it in soon, it will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. But pumpkin freezes very well too and will last a year.

5 from 1 vote
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

Making fresh pumpkin puree from home is very easy to do and a thousand times better tasting than canned pumpkin.

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Drinks, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to bake fresh pumpkin, how to bake pumpkin, making pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin, making pumpkin puree with fresh pumpkin
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 49 kcal
Author: Tina
  • 1 pie pumpkin
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C).

  2. Wash the outside of the pumpkin and cut off the stem.

  3. Cut it into two halves.

  4. Scoop out all the seeds and stringy bits.  Save the seeds.

  5. Lay either facing down or up on a baking tray or sheet and cover it with foil.

  6. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the center is easily pierced and the skins easily come off.

  7. Let it cool on the tray until it can be handled.

  8. Peel off the outer skins and mash either with a hand masher, blender, or food processor until smooth.

  9. Store in fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to a year.

Recipe Notes

Calorie count is based on one cup of puree.

And that about covers it!

I really hope you give this a try. Making pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkins is so easy. And as an ingredient there is so much you can do with it too! There’s pumpkin butter, soup, bread, hummus, alfredo sauce, and of course, pumpkin pie and much much more! And just think, all the extra kudos points you will get at the parties when you bring them a pumpkin pie made with fresh pumpkin. Little do they know how easy it was…

So what are your favorite pumpkin dishes?

If you have any questions or would like to share your favorite pumpkin dish, I would love to hear from you! Just leave me a comment below and I’ll hit you up in about 24 hours.

Happy Pureeing!

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14 thoughts on “Making Pumpkin Puree with Fresh Pumpkin – Keepin’ It Real!”

  • 5 stars
    I am fond of the holidays as well more so Christmas and New Years. I appreciate your story post about making pumpkin puree. I really love pumpkin pie myself. I liked how you mentioned all the natural properties that are in a pumpkin and the pumpkin seeds themselves that are really good for the human body.

    • Hi Erick and thanks for the visit!

      I’m glad you found the information helpful. Really there is more that could be said about how much pumpkin can do for you but I didn’t want to write a novel about it. 🙂

      Thanks again for the visit and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • 5 stars
    Perfect timing! I love pumpkin pie and bread, but honestly, I thought it was more difficult to make the puree. And I didn’t realize it was a pie pumpkin. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Hi JB and thanks for visiting my post!

      Yes, I was really surprised when I started making my own pumpkin puree at how easy it was too. And it tastes light years better than the canned stuff. I’m really glad you found this post useful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

      Take care! Tina

  • 5 stars
    What a great way to jump into the fall spirit! This looks delicious. My wife and I like to make our own ingredients rather than purchase and I think it would be so much fun to make a pumpkin pie using our own pumpkin puree. Great post!

    • Hi David and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

      I am the same way. I try to make as much of our meals from scratch as I possibly can. It can’t always happen but in the case of things like pumpkin, once you realize how easy it is, there’s no reason to buy it canned! Plus, it makes a great activity to do with kids.

      Thanks again! Tina

  • 4 stars
    Thanks for all the information about pumpkin. I know the seeds are suppose to be really good for you and I just love pumpkin. My favorite recipe is Pumpkin Chiffon Pie. I’ve been making it every Thanksgiving for over 30 years. I have never tried making it with fresh pumpkin though. I guess I always thought it was a lot of work. You have shown me an easy way to do it. I think I will try this recipe this year,

    • Hi Lynn! Thanks for visiting my post and taking the time to comment!

      You know, I’ve never had a pumpkin chiffon pie before. That sounds supremely delicious though! I’ll have to find a recipe.

      I hope you try this out! I would be excited to hear how different your pie is using fresh pumpkin. The great thing about pumpkins is you can buy them now while they are at the store. And either you can store them in a dark, cool place and they should keep just to Thanksgiving or even Christmas possibly or bake them up now and freeze them until needed.

      If you have any questions, let me know and I will be glad to help out! Thanks again!

    • Hi Pearl and thanks for the visit!

      I’m a big fan of pumpkin pie myself! Although I have found a ton of dishes since then to use pumpkin, pumpkin pie is still a favorite. I used to think of pumpkin exclusively for sweets like pie, cookies, bread, and the like but after having a pumpkin soup and a vegan sandwich with pumpkin and hummus, I really like pumpkin in savory dishes too. So I’ve decided I just love pumpkin period. If you’ve not had a savory dish with pumpkin, I highly recommend it!

      Thanks again and I appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment! If you have any questions when you give this a try, let me know. I’m always happy to help!

  • Gosh this looks so delicious. I love pumpkin all year around but autumn it is of course the perfect season. I have a baby girl and she loves pumpkin but we haven’t made pumpkin puree in a while! What do you do with the seeds?

    • Hi Allie! Thanks for the visit!

      That’s awesome you are making your baby’s food! I’ve got this pumpkin baby food recipe I will be posting soon that’s a little more than just pureed pumpkin so I hope you pay me a visit again.

      The seeds make a great snack once roasted. It’s one of the extra incentives to buy pumpkins and make your own puree. In fact, my very next post is going to be one on roasting pumpkin seeds. I won’t say this method or any method for roasting pumpkin seeds is quick but it is really easy to do. You should definitely pay me a visit in a few days and it will be up! I hope to see you then!

      Thanks again for visiting and leaving me a comment!

  • 5 stars
    I love pumpkin pie!! Although, I’m usually the lazy one and go out to buy the costco pies but they’re never as good as homemade. My girlfriend would be the one to make a homemade pie, I’ll have to let her know about pureeing the pumpkin next time 😉
    The only problem going into costco is seeing the vitamixs that we can’t afford haha. Those things will blend anything! Thanks for the post.

    • Hi Nate and thanks for the visit!

      I really love my Vitamix! They really will blend up almost anything. I haven’t tried it yet but they can even make nut butter and heat up soup while blending. I saved up money to buy mine and it was completely worth it.

      I hope you guys try this recipe out. If your girlfriend has any questions, please have her get in contact with me. I will gladly help!

      Thanks again!

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