Easy Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

How to make homemade pumpkin puree from scratch to be used in your favorite pumpkin recipes.

Watch the Video

Pumpkin Puree Recipe Video

Related: We love using homemade pumpkin puree to make our classic pumpkin pie.

How to Make the Best Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Our easy recipe requires only two ingredients and that’s counting salt, which is technically optional! You are looking at 45 to 60 minutes of roasting time, but that’s really not too bad especially since it makes your home smell amazing. You can make pumpkin puree in advance, too. It will keep for a week in the refrigerator and for months in the freezer. (Some find that the texture changes over time when frozen, but we haven’t had any issues with that yet. I’ll keep you updated, though.)

How to make homemade pumpkin puree from scratch to be used in your favorite pumpkin recipes.

You want to use small baking pumpkins when making pumpkin puree. Look for signs that say “sugar pumpkin” or “pie pumpkin.” They just taste better than anything larger (especially your Jack-O-Lantern varieties. Leave those to the decorating).

If you are at a farmer’s market, ask the farmer which pumpkin to get. They’ll know best.

How to Safely Cut a Pumpkin

Once it’s home, give the pumpkin a good rinse then get to cutting it in half. It’s pretty easy, especially when you are using the smaller varieties.

If the pumpkin doesn’t sit steady, slice a small bit away from the bottom so that it does. Then plunge a heavy knife into the top near the stem and push down to the bottom.

How to Cut a Baking Pumpkin

Keep your fingers out of the way. I find that a dishtowel helps to keep the pumpkin from moving around on me.

Rotate the pumpkin and make a cut from the stem to the bottom again. Wiggle the knife through the bottom so that all but the stem is cut. Don’t try to cut through the stem, it’s way too tough.

Finally, pull the two halves apart. As you do this, the top of the pumpkin should break just under the stem and the stem can be pulled away. By the way, we use this cutting method for spaghetti squash and shared a video showing how we do it.

How to Cut a Baking Pumpkin

And there you go. Before roasting, scoop out the pumpkin seeds and any stringy flesh, and then lightly season with salt (you can save the seeds and make our easy recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds).

To roast the pumpkin, place the halves cut-side-down onto a baking sheet and roast until the flesh is soft and coming away from the skin.

How to Roast Pumpkins

Once the pumpkin is roasted, throw the softened flesh into a food processor and blend until smooth. Easy!

This recipe isn’t just for pumpkin. Think about swapping in other winter squashes like butternut or acorn. The roasting time might need to be adjusted slightly, but the method stays the same. Simply roast until the squash can easily be pierced with a knife in several places.

Use this homemade pumpkin puree for things like our Easy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes, your very own Pumpkin Spice Latte From Scratch and Pumpkin Pie.

For more from scratch recipes, check out our Fail-Proof Homemade Mayonnaise, Ketchup From Scratch and Homemade Hummus that has so many reviews we can’t keep up.

Finally, keep this recipe for homemade pumpkin pie spice handy so that you can make all your favorite pumpkin recipes.

Homemade pumpkin puree from scratch

Easy Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

  • PREP
  • COOK

Skip the can and make your own pumpkin puree at home. It’s easy, smells incredible and works perfectly in your favorite pumpkin recipes. Look for baking pumpkins often labeled “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins”. There’s lots of variety so if you are buying directly from the farmers at farmer’s markets, ask them which pumpkin works best for your needs. This method works with most winter squashes — think butternut, acorn or interesting varieties like honeynut.

Makes 5 to 6 cups pumpkin puree

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 small baking pumpkin, 4 to 6 pounds

Fine sea salt, optional


    1Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2Rinse and pat dry the pumpkin. Cut the squash from stem to end, but don’t try to cut through the stem (it’s too tough). When you’ve cut through the pumpkin, just pull each half apart. We do this in two parts. Cut one side from the stem down to the bottom of the pumpkin. Remove the knife, rotate the pumpkin to the opposite side then do the same. When there is a slit down both halves of the pumpkin, put down the knife and pull the halves apart. They should separate at the stem.Easy Pumpkin Puree Recipe-4-1200

    3Scoop out the seeds and most of the stringy bits. Lightly season the inside of the pumpkin halves with salt then place cut-side-down onto the baking sheet. Bake until the pumpkin can easily be pierced with a knife in several places and the flesh is pulling away from the skin, 45 to 60 minutes.

    4Cool until you can safely handle the halves then scoop out the soft flesh into a food processor — depending on how large the pumpkin is, you may need to do this in two batches. Process until very smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Make-ahead: Store homemade pumpkin puree in food-safe containers in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Before cutting in half, if the pumpkin doesn’t sit steady, slice a small bit away from the bottom so that it does.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1 cup / Calories 49 / Protein 2 g / Carbohydrate 12 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 2 g / Total Fat 0 g / Saturated Fat 0 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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90 comments… Leave a Review
  • Heather November 9, 2023, 9:50 pm

    This was the best pumpkin pie I have ever had! Even though I make my pies I have never do e it with fresh pumpkin but my daughter wanted to use pumpkins she got for Halloween but hadn’t cut. We made 6 pies out of the pulp of one pumpkin. I think the half and half makes it. Soooo good.

  • Lani November 4, 2023, 8:57 pm

    Is it okay to roast in the evening, separate from the skins, then puree the next day?

    • Joanne November 4, 2023, 9:19 pm

      Hi Lani, Yes, you can puree the next day. We recommend storing the roasted pumpkin in the fridge overnight.

  • Richard Bonokoski October 26, 2023, 1:55 pm

    I followed your instructions to the letter and Im glad I did. I roasted 2 sugar pumpkins and got a quart of lovely pumpkin puree. Thanks, Richard

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:49 pm

      That’s wonderful Richard. We are glad the recipe worked so well for you.

  • Kim October 24, 2023, 9:47 am

    I tried to print recipe from this site. This is a very short recipe and in order to print iit was going to print 24 pages of ads and unwanted information. I’ll just go to another website to get the recipe. Save some trees!

    • Joanne October 24, 2023, 6:05 pm

      Hi Kim, It sounds like you tried to print the entire article. We have a print button (at the top of the article and in the recipe box) that when clicked will take you to a printer-friendly recipe page.

    • Kay November 4, 2023, 4:05 am

      Hey Kim, I have an even better solution that also helps save you from having to use any paper. I just save to my computer and/or copy and paste the recipe to my notepad and voila! no wasted paper or trees! When you need any recipe just transfer or send it through email, messenger…etc, and you can open it up on your phone, tablet, anything. To Adam and Joanne,thank you for the recipe, it is exactly what I needed to teach my son how to make his favorite pie from scratch! We had fun and it was delicious!

  • Bet October 13, 2023, 4:37 pm

    Who knew it was so easy! Great instructions!

    • Adam October 13, 2023, 8:26 pm

      We are so glad that all of the instructions were helpful 🙂

  • Denise October 12, 2023, 7:32 am

    Perfect Pumkin purée, thanks for the recipe. There is so much Pumkin liquid in the tray, how can you use this? Also, is it possible to use the skin?

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:53 pm

      Hi Denise, You can save it and add to soups, pasta, or the puree. If it makes the puree too watery, you can always throw the puree and liquid into a saucepan, place it over low heat and simmer until it has reduced to more of your preferred consistency.

  • Alissa October 2, 2023, 4:07 pm

    I have a small food processor which didn’t want to work for blending the pumpkin. I tried using a potato smasher and it works just as well. So this is an FYI if anyone is afraid to attempt this and doesn’t have that appliance.

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:51 pm

      Great idea to use a potato masher (I am sure other readers will benefit). We love hearing your tips and tricks!

  • Julia Noel June 20, 2023, 11:52 pm

    Nice, simple recipe. I made a beautiful puree from freshly harvested Seminole Pumpkin, though I have to admit it was difficult to not eat the whole small pumpkin after roasting it in the oven. I will use this puree to make pumpkin cornbread, I know it will be delicious! Notes from my attempt: decreased the temp 25F in my convection oven. I weighed my pumpkin and it was less than the weight listed in the recipe, so it did take less time to cook all the way through.

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:55 pm

      Hi Julia, Your idea to use the puree to make pumpkin cornbread sounds incredible (I need to find a recipe for myself now!). Thanks for sharing your extra tips!

  • Liz November 26, 2022, 2:00 pm

    Great and easy

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:55 pm

      We’re so glad you found the pumpkin puree recipe easy to follow.

  • Kayla November 2, 2022, 4:05 pm

    Great instructions! Made this with a nice medium pumpkin for my baby. Now he’s loaded with plenty of purée for us to grab for meal sides!

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:56 pm

      Hi Kayla, You are reminding me of when we made pumpkin puree for our little one (a few years back now). Hopefully they enjoyed it!

  • Elli November 1, 2022, 1:34 am

    Is there any possible substitute for the food processor?

    • Joanne January 18, 2023, 3:01 pm

      A food mill works nicely or you can use a blender. If you use a blender, make sure that the pumpkin has cooled down before blending.

  • Laura October 5, 2022, 9:56 pm

    Can I use a blender (magic bullet) to process the flesh once baked? If so do you recommend adding water if it’s too thing to blend?

    • Joanne January 18, 2023, 2:57 pm

      I bet this will work. Let the squash cool down before blending and try without water first.

  • Kim September 23, 2022, 1:33 pm

    Great instructions…you must have had someone who didn’t put the knife down in the past.

    • Joanne October 26, 2023, 2:57 pm

      Glad they helped, and yes, we’ve had more than one slip up in the kitchen with all the cooking we do. Winter squash and pumpkins are pretty tough to cut, so we tried to add as much caution as we could to prevent an ER visit.

  • Louise September 2, 2022, 12:56 pm

    What are the spices used in a pumpkin latte?


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