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How to make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

If you are wondering how to make pumpkin puree then this easy recipe is for you. With just a small sugar pumpkin and a bit of water, this foolproof pressure cooker method will result in the smoothest, freshest, and most delicious puree. You will never buy store-bought again. Even when there isn’t a shortage!

glass bowl with homemade pumpkin puree

Like many of you may have experienced, I had a hard time finding canned pumpkin in stock. Par for the course this year, I suppose. I had to come to the realization that my tried and true Libby’s Pumpkin Puree would be absent at my table this year.

Lo and behold, I made my own in no time and all, and I will never go back to storebought again. While I love Libbys, now that I’ve had fresh pumpkin puree, there is no turning back.

Having fresh puree, made with simple wholesome ingredients is definitely the way to go. It is lighter, brighter in color, and doesn’t have any added sugar, additives, or sodium is reason enough to continue making my own. Let alone the taste!

Fun Fact: Libbys doesn’t even use pumpkin. They use a patented squash that is more similar to butternut squash called the Dickenson Squash.

I don’t think it’s possible to ever run out of reasons to need a good batch of homemade pumpkin puree. It is such a simple thing to make, and yet it is used in a multitude of ways, both savory and sweet.

You can make a big batch and always have some on hand. Freeze what you don’t want for later and season it any way you’d like. Having jars of it at the ready will come handy all season long.

pumpkins, water and an instant pot on a table
Small Sugar Pie Pumpkins that fit into the pressure cooker

Tips for the best pumpkin puree

  • Use sugar pumpkins, sometimes referred to as pie pumpkins. They are usually no more than 5 pounds. The bigger, carving pumpkin is not what you want.
  •  You’ll want to buy ones that will fit into your instant pot.
  • Look for ones with the stem intact, and no soft spots. The skin should be dull, not shiny and you’ll want to avoid any with cracks You’ll also want to make sure there is no mold anywhere.
  • If you find that your puree is too dry, add a bit more water a little bit at a time. If you find it too watery, drain out excess using a strainer or cheesecloth.
  • Added bonus, you can save your seeds and roast them just as you would with the larger carving pumpkins.

Uses for pumpkin puree

  • Soups
  • Sauces
  • Pies
  • Cookies
  • Great as filling in Ravioli or as the sauce!
  • Shakes~ Freeze the puree in ice cube trays and toss into your favorite shake!  Great with ice cream shakes or healthy vegetable shakes.
  •  Pumpkin Oatmeal- Add ½ cup to your favorite oatmeal with ½ teaspoon Cinnamon.
  • Yogurt- Pumpkin flavored~ Add ¼ cup to your favorite greek yogurt with ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Top with granola and roasted pumpkin seeds for added crunch.

Fun Tip: My vet suggests pumpkin puree as a treat for dogs. For real, Pumpkin Puree for dogs is a thing!  

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Tip:  Make this a couple of weeks ahead of time and freeze it in the amount you need for your pumpkin pie. Lay it flat in a Ziploc bag for easy storage!

How to Puree Pumpkin

  • Rinse and clean off the pumpkin. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut out the stem. Pumpkin skin can sometimes be a bit dense, be sure to have a good grip on it and use a flat surface to cut.
  • Scrape out the seeds and strings out of the inside, using a metal spoon.
  • Place the water at the bottom of the pressure cooker, then the trivet or rack or even a piece of foil crumpled up to make a shelf on the bottom where the pumpkin sits.
  • Place the pumpkin inside, seal the lid and set to seal.
  • Pressure cook for 15 minutes and let natural release for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully release and allow any leftover steam to escape. Carefully remove the pumpkin as it will not only be hot but also delicate. It will probably come apart as you lift it up.
  • Place on a plate or cutting board. Scrape the flesh and add it to a fine-mesh strainer. Allow pumpkin to drain for 20 minutes.
  • Once drained, use a food processor and puree until completely blended and pureed.
Spoonful of pumpkin puree

Common Questions

How can I store homemade pumpkin puree? This will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. It will also keep in the freezer for up to 5 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before use.

I can’t find the right pumpkin to use. Can I use anything else? Yes, both butternut squash or acorn squash can be pressure cooked as a substitute for pumpkin. If they are smaller, the pressure cook time may need to be cut down a little bit.

Can I plant these seeds to grow my own? For real, my niece asked me this question and the answer is yes! You can keep them in a cool dry place until next year to plant them if you want!  

If it calls for canned pumpkin how much fresh pumpkin puree do I use? You use the exact same amount! If it calls for a can, you’ll use the same amount of ounces— 15 ounces— just about 2 cups! 

More Recipes using Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Yield: 3 cups

How to Make Pumpkin Puree in an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

dish full of fresh pumpkin

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree in the instant pot. You'll never want canned again. Ready in about 20 minutes!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3- 4 pounds sugar pie or pie pumpkin (to fit into your instant pot)
  • 1 Cup Water


  1. Rinse and clean the pumpkin.
  2. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut out the stem and set it aside.
  3. Using a metal spoon, scrape as many of the strings and all of the seeds out of the inside of the pumpkin.
  4. Place the water in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Then place a rack or a piece of crumpled up foil to have the pumpkin sit on.
  5. Place the pumpkin into the Instant Pot bottom on the bottom of the pot.
  6. Place and seal the lid, making sure the steam is set to seal-
  7. Pressure cook for 15 minutes, then let it natural release for 5 minutes.
  8. At the end of 5 minutes, carefully release any leftover steam.
  9. Open the instant pot and carefully remove the pumpkin, which will be very soft and will likely fall apart. Remove it to a plate or cutting board with the skin side up. Scrape the pumpkin flesh and place it into a fine-mesh strainer. Allow the pumpkin to drain for 15 minutes. I will sometimes use a wooden spoon to push out any extra water once the 15 minutes are up.
  10. Place fully drained pumpkin in a food processor and puree for 2 minutes until it is completely pureed.
  11. This will keep in an airtight, sealed container for 3 days in the fridge.
  12. It will keep in the freezer for up to 5 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before use.
  13. TIP for freezing. Freeze in sealed bags of 1 cup servings so you can use as needed.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 15mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 7gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exact to what you make and use my calculations as a guide only.

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Thursday 15th of October 2020

i had no idea that this was so easy!

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