This easy oven-baked method for homemade pumpkin purée is life changing. Once you try it you will never go back to canned. It is completely different than canned in every way. Canned pumpkin can sometimes have a watery texture and bitter taste, whereas homemade pumpkin puree is thick, creamy and slightly sweet. The homemade version also has more pumpkin flavor and a vibrant yellow-orange color which clearly indicates how fresh it is.
How to roast a pumpkin
Simply roast the pumpkin whole in your oven and then purée the cooked pumpkin flesh in your blender. I was always skeptical about the process of roasting a pumpkin and I assumed it would be difficult and time consuming to make the purée. But in all actuality, roasting a pumpkin doesn't take much effort at all (see my pressure cooker method to cook in half the time using an Instant Pot!).
Here is exactly how to do it... place the pumpkin on a bare baking pan and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-55 minutes. The baking time will depend on the size of your pumpkin and the accuracy of your oven. You will know it is done when the skin starts to brown as shown below.
After it is done baking, simply cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and guts with a fork or spoon. Set aside.
If you are unable to cut your pumpkin easily return it to the oven flesh side down to bake for another 5-15 minutes.
Next, peel away the pumpkin skin leaving the pumpkin flesh.
You will be left with three piles: the seeds/guts, the skin and the pumpkin flesh.
You will then transfer the yellow pumpkin flesh to your blender and blend until it is smooth and creamy. Below is a photo of the flesh in the blender before it is pureed.
I typically blend on the low speed and use my blender's tamper/plunger to help it along. You may have to stop to scrape down the sides of the blender to ensure it all gets puréed. Below is a photo of the smooth and creamy pureed pumpkin purée.
Overall, the total hands-on time is less than 10 minutes and the results are most definitely worth it. I promise!
What are the health benefits of pumpkin?
Pumpkin is everybody's favorite fall superfood and it is known for being packed with disease-fighting nutrients. It contains powerful antioxidants known as carotenoids that can protect cells from free radical damage. It also offers fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, folate, potassium and vitamins A, C, E and K.
Let's put your homemade pumpkin puree to use!
Here are my favorite refined sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free pumpkin recipes (both savory and sweet):
An easy oven-baked method to make homemade pumpkin puree. You won't have to cut the pumpkin while raw. Once cooked you separate out the pumpkin flesh and puree in your blender. That's it!
- , 2.5-3 lb. sugar pumpkin (also known as a pie pumpkin)*
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the pumpkin whole on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the skin is dark orange and the top starts to brown a little. Safely remove from oven and test for doneness with a knife. The knife should very easily slide all the way through the pumpkin to cut it in half. If not, bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Allow the cooked and halved pumpkin to cool to room temperature or until you can comfortably and safely handle it. Use a spoon or fork to scoop out the pumpkin seeds (see notes for roasted pumpkin seed recipe) and guts. If cooked properly it should easily separate from the flesh. If it does not or seems hard then return to the oven for more cooking time.
- Use your hands to peel off the skin (it should easily fall right off the pumpkin flesh). You will now be left with the pumpkin flesh which is what you will purée into pumpkin purée.
- Place the pumpkin flesh in a high speed blender and blend starting on low speed for a couple seconds to get the purée going. Then slowly increase to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You may need to use your blender's tamper/plunger while blending or stop the blending to scrape down the sides with a mini spatula. If you are having difficulty you can add water (one tablespoon at a time) to get it going. But, if it is cooked properly you should not need to do this.
- Store pumpkin purée in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week. This recipe yields 2-3.5 cups of pumpkin puree depending on the weight of your pumpkin. One can of pumpkin purée is about 1.5 cups so this recipe will definitely yield more than one can.
To roast the seeds, first place the seeds and any attached strands into a large bowl of water. If any seeds are attached to pumpkin strands/flesh, separate. All the seeds will float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to then scoop them out of the water onto paper towels to blot dry. Once dry, drizzle with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and ½ teaspoon salt. It is the perfect sweet and salty combo. You may also want to drizzle with olive oil for a savory flavor. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Watch closely at the end to avoid burning. Every oven is different and pumpkin seeds vary in size greatly. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying. Store in a glass container on your countertop for up to three days.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Category: DIY
- Method: blender
- Cuisine: American