How to Make Pumpkin Puree in the Instant Pot or Oven

How to Make Pumpkin Puree in the Instant Pot or Oven

Homemade pumpkin puree is simple, inexpensive, and versatile. The undeniable made-from-scratch flavor and texture will take your favorite recipes to the next level.

How to make pumpkin puree

That cute little pumpkin you bought on a whim at the supermarket can go from decoration to deliciousness in just a few easy steps. Ditch the can and whip up a batch of homemade pumpkin puree that is sure to impress.

What you’ll need: 

  • 2-lb. baking pumpkin
  • Sharp knife
  • Instant Pot or oven
  • Food processor
how to pick the perfect sugar or pie pumpkin

Picking the perfect pumpkin

Small baking pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins) are best for making puree. Look for ripe gourds that are uniform in color, sound hollow when tapped, and have a nice, firm stem. A two-pound pumpkin will yield approximately the same amount of puree as a standard 15-ounce can. Give it a good rinse and you’re ready to prep it for cooking.

how to cut a raw pumpkin easily

How to cut a pumpkin (not yourself)

Anyone who’s ever carved a pumpkin knows cutting into one of these bad boys is no easy feat. Check out some of our member-suggested ways of simplifying the cutting and peeling process without losing a finger!

Use the microwave to make a pumpkin easier to cut

Use the microwave
Poke your pumpkin several times with a knife or fork and put it in the microwave for two to three minutes. This will soften it up just enough to peel and cut with ease.

Use a Y-peeler 
This handy, classic kitchen tool makes peeling a breeze! For stability, carefully slice off the top (including the stem) and bottom of your pumpkin before peeling to avoid peeling any knuckles.

Pop it in the oven 
One of our Dirties suggests baking your pumpkin in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes (adjust cooking time if necessary based on size). Remove from the oven with oven mitts and allow it to cool before cutting. 

Take it out back and smash it on the patio. Rinse in a colander.
While we haven’t tried this method, one of our long-time members suggested it, and it had us giggling. Try at your own risk, and if you do, send pictures, please!

how to make pumpkin puree from scratch instant pot

How to make pumpkin puree in the Instant Pot

  1. Pour 1 cup of water into the inner pot of your Instant Pot (IP) and place the trivet on the bottom. 
  2. Cut off the stem of your pumpkin so you can stand it on end on your cutting board, then carefully cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and loose membranes. Place the halves into your Instant Pot, stacking them if needed. If your IP is too small to hold both halves, cook in batches.
  3. Lock the lid into place and make sure the nozzle is in the sealing position. Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) mode and set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then use the quick-release method to release the remaining pressure. 
  4. When all of the pressure is out, open the lid and carefully remove the pumpkin with a pair of tongs or oven mitts and transfer to a plate to cool. 
  5. Once cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scrape the cooked flesh out of the pumpkin skin and place it into your food processor. Process until it’s perfectly smooth. Discard the skin.
how to cook pumpkin puree from scratch in oven

How to make pumpkin puree in the oven 

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). 
  2. Cut off the stem of your pumpkin so you can stand it on end on your cutting board, then carefully cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and loose membranes. Place the halves cut side down in a baking dish in an even layer. Use multiple baking dishes if necessary. Add water to the baking dish until it’s about ½-inch deep (place the dish(es) on the oven rack before adding the water if you’re worried about dropping the dish or spilling water when moving it.
  3. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, then transfer the baking dish to a cooling rack.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scrape the cooked flesh out of the pumpkin skin and place it into your food processor. Process until it’s perfectly smooth. Discard the skin.
Recipes with homemade pumpkin puree

Recipes that use pumpkin puree

We love a good pumpkin pie as much as the next person, but pumpkin puree can be used for so much more!  Add it to baked goods for moisture, or turn it into a creamy, dreamy pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless and here are a few of our favorite recipes.

homemade plant based pumpkin pie
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Common questions about homemade pumpkin puree  

Can I use homemade in place of canned?

Yes, absolutely! Homemade pumpkin puree can be substituted 1:1 for the canned version. Plus homemade means less waste, less processing, and more flavor!  #winning

How long does it last in the fridge?

Pumpkin puree can be safely stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for five to seven days.

Can I freeze my homemade pumpkin puree? 

Yes! Leftover puree can be stored in the freezer for four to five months. We recommend storing  ½ to 1 cup portions in an airtight container for easy thawing later. If you’re limited on freezer space, leftovers can also be stored in zipper freezer bags. Just fill with your desired amount of puree, flatten the bag, and seal. To use frozen puree, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw in the fridge overnight. 

how to roast pumpkin seeds

Wait, don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds! 

Pumpkin seeds make a tasty, healthy snack, especially when roasted or toasted without oil! Check out our Toasted Garlic Pumpkin Seeds for a quick stove top treat. Sprinkle them on salads or veggie bowls, or eat them by the handful. We also have Pumpkin Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds which are a tasty seasonal treat.

Let us know how it goes!

Talk to us in the comments below about the deliciousness you created with your homemade pumpkin puree!

Xo 
Team Dirty

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.

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