Pumpkin (or squash) is one of the signature vegetables of Autumn and there are some delicious recipes to prepare with it. It is also one of my favorite things to eat this season and one fundamental ingredient for many of my Fall/Autumn recipes. The easiest way to use pumpkin is by turning it into a puree. Homemade pumpkin puree is very easy to make and is worth the extra time and effort (which is minimal) because it tastes much, much better than the can one and it contains no preservatives and additives.
Pumpkin puree is also very versatile and can be used for sweet and savory recipes. Pumpkin, and so pumpkin puree, is also a powerhouse. It offers a great number of nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin A, C, B1 & B6, zinc, manganese, magnesium, fiber, calcium, potassium, and copper.
Different methods to make homemade pumpkin puree.
Making pumpkin puree is easy, and I mean EASY. The only thing you need is to slice the pumpkin scoop out the seeds and place it in the oven. And even though my favorite way to make pumpkin puree is by roasting it there are also some other ways.
In the microwave: Clean, chop, and place pumpkin pieces in a glass bowl. Cover it tightly with microwave-safe, plastic wrap and place it in the microwave on high for 14 minutes. Check halfway through cooking to see if any moisture or steam is escaping. Remove, let it cool slightly, and puree the pieces.
Boiling: Clean, chop and place the pumpkin into a pot. Cover with water and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the pumpkin is soft. Drain the water and puree the pieces.
Steaming: Clean, chop, and place the pumpkin pieces into a steamer (machine or basket). Add about 3 to 4 cm (1 to 1.5 inches) of water and let it steam for about 15 minutes until tender. I use my pressure cooker for this method. Puree the pieces.
Instant Pot: I found out through Google that this is also a way to make pumpkin puree. Because I don't own an instant pot I can't recommend this option.
Tools to make pumpkin puree.
Different tools can be used to make pumpkin puree. A food processor, chopper, or blender are the easier ways to make the puree. Other options are to mash it with a potato ricer, a potato masher, or a food mill. The most time-consuming method is to process it with a fork, but it is also a way that works and can be a good hand exercise.
Pumpkin: I use Hokkaido or Kobocha varieties to make pumpkin puree. The best type to use is sugar pumpkin. Some types of squash like butternut and acorn are creating a very tasty pumpkin puree.
Salt (optional): I only use it if I want to make a savory puree to serve with other vegetables, meat, or fish.
Olive oil (optional): I use extra virgin olive oil and use it only when making puree as a savory dish.
Tips & tricks
Try to select and use small-ish pumpkins. They tend to have weird tastes and stringy textures the larger they are.
If the pumpkin is wobbly when you try to cut it, slice a small piece at the bottom to make it steady.
If the variety of pumpkin that you choose has a stem don't try to cut through it
Don't throw away the pumpkin seeds. They can be baked and they are delicious.
The time of baking depends on the size of the pumpkin.
If you want to minimize the baking time cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces.
How to use pumpkin puree?
You can use pumpkin puree for a wide variety of recipes. Use it as:
- Sauce for pasta
- Substitute for oil in a 1:1 ratio
- Instead of butter in ratio 1: ¾ (1 cup of butter to ¾ cup pumpkin puree)
- Or substitute sweet potato or applesauce
- Filling in a pie
How to store the homemade pumpkin puree?
Make pumpkin or squash puree in advance and store it.
Pumpkin puree can be stored in a glass container, with an airtight lid, for up to 1 week, in the fridge.
Freeze the pumpkin puree, for up to 6 months. I use freezer-safe bags. I measure the amount to ½ or 1 cup of pumpkin puree, to make it easier to defrost the desirable amount. Don't forget to note the amount and date on the bag.
A little liquid may separate, just stir it back into the puree.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 1-1.5 kg/2-3 lb Hokkaido or butternut pumpkin
- 2 teaspoon mild olive oil optional
- Wash and dry the pumpkin. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Cut it into half or quarters and then scoop the seeds out with a spoon.
- Place parchment paper on a baking tray.
- Brush some olive oil to the flesh and place them cut side down.
- Bake until the inside (pulp) of the pumpkin is soft, around 40 minutes.
- Remove the skin and put the flesh in a food processor.
- Blend it until it's creamy.
- Enjoy 😉
Servings: 1 (250g) | Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 880mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5.5g | Vitamin A: 26575IU | Vitamin C: 52.5mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 1.75mg | Magnesium: 85mg | Copper: 0.18mg | Manganese: 0.505mg