Put those decorative pumpkins to good use and repurpose them into homemade pumpkin puree! Your budget will love you and you'll love how easy it is!

Food processor and bowl on a counter with pumpkin puree inside, from Shelf Cooking

Are you one of those people where pumpkin. is. life? We definitely love it and love all the different ways you can use it! Probably one of our favorite things about it, though? The fact that you can take your decorative pumpkins and give them a second purpose in life… To become something delicious for you and your family without spending any extra money! Talk about shelf cooking.

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Are you ready to become the pumpkin master? We're talking all about the types of pumpkins you can use, how to get it to the right consistency, what all you can use it in, how to store it, and more! You're about to be blown away with how easy it is to make your own pumpkin puree.


You know we're all about saving our money and using what we've got! You can use pretty much any type of pumpkin (or even winter squash) to make a homemade pumpkin puree. However, not all are created equal and you'll have to make a few tweaks depending on what type you use.

  • Pie/Sugar Pumpkin – These are the smaller pumpkins (not the mini ones!) that you could carve if you really wanted to, but most of the time they're either painted or left plain to decorate around the house. They're actually quite sweet and the meat is dense.
  • Show Pumpkin – These are the pumpkins you buy to carve! However, you can't make homemade pumpkin puree out of a carved pumpkin. If you're wanting to be able to eat it afterward, then don't carve your pumpkin.
  • Painted Pumpkin – Yes, you can still cook those painted pumpkins down and use them for puree! You either need to completely wash the paint off the outside or you'll have to take the skin off the pumpkin before cooking.

Feel like the pumpkin master? You should! Alright, now moving on to…


Pumpkin puree being scooped out of bowl with measuring cup, from Shelf Cooking

Pumpkins contain a lot of water, so their puree will be more watery than if you were to buy a can of pumpkin puree from the store. This is okay! There are a few simple ways to combat this.


You can take pretty much any recipe that calls for pumpkin puree, besides pumpkin pie, and lessen the amount of liquids the recipe calls for. We'd suggest cutting the liquids down by 2-3 tablespoons.


If you need the puree for pumpkin pie or don't want to worry about tweaking the recipe, no worries! You'll just need to drain the puree before storing it. Either add it to a very fine mesh strainer and stir it around or use a cheesecloth to remove the extra liquid. The show pumpkins have a lot more water than the sugar pumpkins, so they'll have a lot more water to lose when you do this.

If you freeze your pumpkin puree, you may find that it has extra water when it defrosts, even after straining it. Don't fret! Just pour it off so you have a thicker puree to work with.


We love baking. We love pumpkin. The two just seem to go hand-in-hand! And talk about versatile… It's good whether it's savory or sweet! Here are just a few of our favorite pumpkin puree recipes.

Talk about mouth watering! The list really could go on and on. There's a reason we love anything with pumpkin puree in it… Because it's just plain delicious!


You can store your homemade pumpkin puree in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If you won't use it all in that amount of time, then stick it in the freezer!

We suggest freezing it in the most common amount you usually use. That could be ¼ cup, 1 cup, or a variety if you usually need differing amounts. That's up to you! Add it to a freezer safe baggie, label with the contents and amount that's in there, and stick it in the freezer until you're ready to make some pumpkin-y goodness. When you're ready to use it, just stick it in the fridge to thaw for a few hours or overnight.


Mixing bowl and supplies on a counter, from Shelf Cooking

Yep, you read that right! Ready to see just how easy it is to make your own homemade pumpkin puree?

Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe

Don't throw those decorative pumpkins out! Turn them into an easy pumpkin puree that you can freeze and always have on hand.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Ingredient, Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 5 cups


  • 1 pumpkin


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut the pumpkin in half.
  • Scoop out seeds and stringy fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. (Save the seeds to roast!)
  • Place the pumpkin cut-side down on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 60-90 minutes or until tender and a knife can easily pierce all the way through.
  • Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  • Allow to drain in a fine mesh strainer or using a cheesecloth. (Optional)
  • Store in the fridge for a few days or freeze in the serving sizes you'll need for later.
Keyword vegetable

Mmmmm, can't you just smell it now? That's the scent of fall and all your most favorite pumpkin treats.

Alright, well there you go, pumpkin masters! Now that you know how to make homemade pumpkin puree, the real question is what are you going to make with it first? Let us know in the comments below!

Pumpkin puree being scooped out of a measuring bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more great ideas?

  • Print out our kitchen conversion chart, keep it handy, and never get confused when you halve, double, or triple a recipe again!
  • You are gonna flip when you read these cooking hacks!
  • You're going to love this peach cobbler recipe! Plus we've got some great peach hacks that you don't wanna miss.

Go have a puree kinda day!