How-to: Homemade Pumpkin Puree

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on

How to make your own thick homemade pumpkin puree, straight from a pumpkin instead of a can!  Avoid having watery puree with this trick!

Homemade Thick Pumpkin Puree Image

So the problem with homemade pumpkin puree is that sometimes it can be far more watery than the canned variety.  Of course fresh pumpkin puree is going to be better for you.  There’s no risk of bpa and you know exactly what’s going into it.  I can’t help but be suspicious of any kind of canned food if I don’t can it myself.  Yes, I do occasionally buy canned pumpkin puree, but mostly I make my own and freeze it to use whenever I want.  If you’ve been putting off trying to make your own and if you already make your own but it’s too watery, this is for you 🙂

Homemade Thick Pumpkin Puree Image

First start off with some fresh pumpkins.  I bought mine from our local fruit stands, I got six in total for under $10.  Make sure you buy sugar pumpkins though, they will be a smaller variety and will make for a smoother puree.  I think the largest of my pumpkins actually wasn’t the right kind, but mixed with the other sugar pumpkins it was just fine.

Homemade Thick Pumpkin Puree Image

Start by washing your pumpkins.  Then remove the stem and slice the pumpkins in half with a large sharp knife.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon(you can save them for roasting if you want!).  Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet.  Pour water in the baking sheet to come up about half way on the edge of the pan and place in the oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until the flesh is very soft, depending on the side of your pumpkins.

Homemade Thick Pumpkin Puree Image

Remove from the oven and let cool for just a few minutes before scooping the flesh into a food processor, blender or a large bowl or measuring cup(to blend with an immersion blender).  Blend until completely smooth.

Homemade Thick Pumpkin Puree Image

Place a large sieve lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl.  Pour the pumpkin in and let it drain.  Your puree may not need much time to drain or if it’s particularly wet like mine was it may take a while to get to the right consistency.  If you’re doing a large batch of pumpkins all at once like I was it’s best to do it in a few different batches to ensure that it drains properly.

When it’s done draining place the pumpkin in a bowl and stir together as the parts closest to the cheesecloth with have less moisture than the pumpkin at the top.  If your pumpkin puree seems too dry add a little of the liquid from the bowl.

Homemade Thick Pumpkin Puree Image

Place in well labelled ziplocs or containers for freezing and freeze for when you’re craving some delicious pumpkin treats!

Homemade Thick Pumpkin Puree Image


How-to: Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Author: Heidi @ Food Doodles
  • Sugar pumpkins
  1. Wash sugar pumpkins before cutting in half. Remove all the seeds and place pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with water, about half way up the edge of the baking sheet.
  2. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until the flesh of the pumpkins is very soft. This will depend on the size of your pumpkins. When cooked, remove from the oven and let cool just a few minutes.
  3. Scoop the flesh into a food processor, blender or large bowl or measuring cup(to blend with an immersion blender). Blend until completely smooth.
  4. If the pumpkin is thinner than the canned variety line a large sieve with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the pumpkin in and let drain as long as needed draining pumpkin in several batches if needed.
  5. Once the pumpkin has drained as much as needed place in a bowl and stir together. Place pumpkin in containers to freeze or refrigerate until needed.

And in case you’re looking for some pumpkin inspiration here are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes.  And stay tuned for next week for some more pumpkin recipes!


 Whole Wheat Crustless Pumpkin Pie Bars


Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cheesecake Loaf

Leave a Comment

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer Fisher November 17, 2019 at

This is good to know! And, easier than I expected. One thing I learned was to get the sugar pumpkin . . . not the regular ole jack o latern ones!


2 Stacey Crawford November 16, 2019 at

I seriously need to try this! I still have not tried making pumpkin puree from scratch. Thanks for the detailed instructions 🙂


3 Don Baiocchi November 14, 2019 at

Yum. I bet this tastes so much more pumpkin-y than the canned kind!


4 Kelly November 13, 2019 at

Thank you for this recipe! Better for you than canned puree and so delicious!


5 ChihYu November 13, 2019 at

I love that pumpkin puree is easy to make at home! So much better and healthier than canned!


6 Raia Todd November 12, 2019 at

Mmm… That pumpkin cheesecake loaf is totally calling me. Haha.


7 Heather@EasyKetoDishes November 12, 2019 at

I’d love to be one to eat the pumpkin pie from this! Thanks for the tip on removing water.


8 Heather Harris November 12, 2019 at

Sometimes you get so used to buying a particular item in a can that you forget that its so much better to make it yourself, and so much easier!


9 Jean Choi November 11, 2019 at

Didn’t realize how easy it is to make pumpkin puree at home! Looks so much tastier than the store bought version.


10 Joni Gomes November 11, 2019 at

Wow just 1 ingredient, I am pleasantly surprised! Will make this for sure!


11 Trynna October 8, 2017 at

Is there anything you can do with the pumpkin drippings? It seems a waste to toss them away.


12 Heidi @ Food Doodles November 24, 2017 at

I realize this reply is a little late, but if you’re still looking for some ideas or in case anyone else is… I’m sure you could freeze it into cubes and use in smoothies, or use it in squash soup instead of broth or even add it to chili or something else full flavoured where you probably wouldn’t notice the flavour but it might add a little extra nutrition 🙂


13 Kelly November 18, 2016 at

What do I do if I don’t have a cheese cloth and a sieve? Is there another way to strain it? Thanks!


14 Heather September 21, 2019 at

You can use a thin cloth in place of cheese cloth. I have several receiving blankets that are the perfect thickness. I place them on top of the bowl, anchor it in place (rubber bands on either side) and then tip the bowl upside down into another bowl. It works great!


15 Debra December 7, 2013 at

Great pumpkin pudding!


16 Debi November 11, 2013 at

My kids wanted to do this all Fall but I didn’t know how. Now I know.


17 Sharon October 27, 2013 at

This is such a great tutorial! I’m definitely making my own next time. How long can you keep the pumpkin in the freezer?


18 Heidi @ Food Doodles October 30, 2013 at

I’d say at least 6 months, if not longer! 🙂


19 Erin | The Emerging Foodie October 27, 2013 at

This is such a smart idea! I stay away from making my own pumpkin puree because of the texture difference but I never thought of using cheesecloth to remove liquid… brilliant! Definitely storing this away for use once I use up all my cans of pumpkin. 🙂


20 Megan October 26, 2013 at

Thanks for this. You make it look super easy!! I don’t know if I have the patience for it 🙂


21 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} October 25, 2013 at

Look at that color!! Love it. I have to admit, though, I got a pie pumpkin in my CSA box and it’s on my mantel for decoration. 🙂 Ha!


22 Laura @ Kneadwhine October 25, 2013 at

This is really fortuitous timing as I was thinking about trying to make my own puree – I never manage to use the whole of a tin and it seems like a massive shame (I make a pumpkin macaroni cheese).

Now to get some cheesecloth – several recipes I’ve seen recently have needed it, so probably time to take the plunge!


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