How to Make Pumpkin Puree
Learn how to make pumpkin puree with our easy step-by-step instructions.
Every fall there’s a gorgeous display of fresh pumpkins at the grocery store. Sure, some are for carving into jack-o’-lanterns (Psst! Learn how to carve a pumpkin here), but others are for cooking and baking. If you’ve never used fresh pumpkin before, the process can look a little intimidating. But don’t sweat—we’ll show you exactly how to transform your giant gourd into a silky-smooth puree that tastes (and looks!) better than the canned kind.
Before You Begin: Pick a Pumpkin
When making pumpkin puree, you need to start by picking the right pumpkin. Cooking pumpkins work best—they weigh about 4-6 pounds and are a lot smaller and sweeter than carving pumpkins. You can usually find this variety in the produce section of your grocery store.
Step 1: Cut Pumpkin
Thoroughly wash and dry the pumpkin. Then, with a small serrated or heavy knife, remove the top of the pumpkin. Use a sawing motion to cut the pumpkin into four quarters. Scrape out all of the seeds and stringy pulp.
Step 2: Bake Pumpkin
For easy clean up, line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place pumpkin, flesh side down, on a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until a fork inserted in the skin comes out easily.
Step 4: Strain Pulp
Place puree in a large strainer lined with 4 pieces of cheesecloth or 1 large coffee filter. Place strainer over a large bowl; cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. Remove pumpkin from strainer and discard the liquid.