How To Roast a Whole Pumpkin (Homemade Pumpkin Puree)

I’ve had a sugar pumpkin decorating my counter top since Halloween, so I figured it was about time that I put it to some good use. Pumpkin pie, here I come.

Making your own pumpkin puree is surprisingly easy.  Sure, it’s convenient to pick up a can of pumpkin puree that’s ready-to-use, but when you roast your own pumpkin, you definitely get more bang for your buck. For less than three dollars, I was able to prepare more than 2 cups of pumpkin puree from a small sugar pumpkin, plus I got to use the leftover pumpkin seeds to make our favorite Pumpkin Seed Granola!

Avoiding potentially BPA-lined cans doesn’t hurt, either.

Since I find raw pumpkins very difficult to cut into, and I rather like having all of my fingers attached to my body, I recommend roasting your pumpkins whole. There’s very little prep work involved, and the pumpkin is much easier to cut into after it’s been cooked!

How To Roast a Whole Pumpkin

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Rinse off the pumpkin, then use a knife to stab the hard outer shell a few times, to allow for ventilation.

Place the pumpkin in a glass baking dish, and transfer to the oven to roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin.

The pumpkin is ready when the flesh is darker, and the skin can be easily pierced with a fork.

Cut the pumpkin in half, and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes, until cool enough to handle.

Use a large spoon to scrape out the seeds, and reserve them for another use. (Like making this granola!)

The skin should peel off very easily at this point, so remove the skin and transfer chunks of the cooked pumpkin into a food processor. Blend until a smooth puree is formed! You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pumpkin.

Store the pumpkin puree in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, and use it in your favorite pumpkin recipes! You could also freeze it to extend it’s shelf life indefinitely.

We’ll be using ours in my favorite pumpkin pie.

Enjoy!

4.6 from 10 votes
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Making your own pumpkin puree is surprisingly easy. Sure, it's convenient to pick up a can of pumpkin puree that's ready-to-use, but when you roast your own pumpkin, you definitely get more bang for your buck.
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • one sugar pumpkin
  • 8 " x 8" glass dish
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Rinse off your pumpkin, then use a knife to stab the hard outer shell a few times, to allow for ventilation.
  3. Place the whole pumpkin in a glass baking dish, and transfer to the oven to roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin. The pumpkin is ready when the flesh is darker, and the skin can be easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Cut the pumpkin in half, and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes, until cool enough to handle.
  5. Use a large spoon to scrape out the seeds, and reserve them for another use.
  6. The skin should peel off very easily at this point, so remove the skin and transfer chunks of the cooked pumpkin into a food processor. Blend until a smooth puree is formed. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
  7. Store the pumpkin puree in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, and use it in your favorite pumpkin recipes! You could also freeze it to extend it's shelf life indefinitely.

Reader Feedback: Have you ever roasted your own pumpkin to make puree? This is the first year I’ve tried it, but now that I know how easy it is, I think it’ll become a regular thing in our house!

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

43 thoughts on “How To Roast a Whole Pumpkin (Homemade Pumpkin Puree)

  1. jeanne

    How fun! I have a pumpkin I bought at TJ’s that’s been intimidating me since halloween…I’m totally doing this!

    I’m making your favorite pumpkin pie recipe as well, except I sub tofu for almonds…works out great if you want a pie with a little less fat or you’ve got nut allergy people coming to thanksgiving, super creamy and you can’t taste the tofu at all behind the maple syrup 🙂 I can’t wait to share it with my family, I love it!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  2. Misty

    So I have done this also, with the sweet pumpkins from Trader Joes. The first pumpkin I cooked came out perfect, but the second one the outside of the pumpkin was so incredibly hard I had a difficult time piercing it before cooking. Anyways I kept cooking it for it it to soften up when it was in the oven and finally I just took it out because it was so dark colored (it was in the oven over an hour!)I still couldn’t push a fork through the skin like I did with the other pumpkin but I managed to cut it open and it was cooked on the inside! The outside of the pumpkin just became a hard shell instead of getting soft! It was so bizzare, but I just wanted to share!!

    Reply
  3. laura

    You know, I once roasted my own pumpkin for pie, but it was way too watery. Something weird happened with that pie and the filling was all loose and the crust floated to the top. I have never seen such a thing before or since! After that I read you’re supposed to strain the extra liquid out for a while before using. But I never had the gumption to try again. You’ll have to let me know how your pie turns out! I have a pumpkin here too!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Interesting! I’ve had a watery spaghetti squash before, so I think it just varies with each squash. My roasted pumpkin was less moist than the canned stuff, so it worked great in my pie this year!

      Reply
  4. Rachel

    It’s quite difficult to find canned pumpkin puree in the UK so I had no choice to make my own last week – I paid £1 for about 1.2kg of pumpkin, took the skin of the outside with a coarse peeler (you lose WAY less flesh that way) and then chopped and boiled the flesh til it was soft. I blended it all up and got at least 5 cups worth out of it! SO much cheaper than sourcing canned stuff. It’s now frozen in handy portion sizes. AND I got the pumpkin stock for something else. Will be doing that again!

    Reply
  5. Amy

    Perfect timing!…I was feeling adventurous earlier this week and bought two pumpkins with no definite intentions for them or a clue on how to cook them. Thanks for the instructions and all your great recipes. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  6. laura

    So glad it came out good! I’m going to try again. Like I said, it was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Thank goodness I was not bringing it to the in-laws that year! I had to start over in the middle of the night!

    But speaking of roasting squash whole, I just did that with a spaghetti squash and made your mac and cheese and it was awesome! Totally passed the skeptical-meat-and-pasta eating husband test. Left it on the counter and didn’t tell him what it was and he had it for a late snack after a long work day. In the morning he said “what was that delicious stuff you left on the counter? Tasted just like mac ‘n cheese.” He’s lactose intolerant too, so even if I would eat the “real” stuff, he never could. So now we’re both happy! Mind you, I Laura-ized it a bit with mushrooms and onions and stuff while it baked…

    Reply
  7. babs

    Be careful with this method. I was roasting a whole spaghetti squash in the oven once, and after it was done I pulled it out by the stem, and the whole thing exploded in my face! Burns on my chin, and I’ve still got a bit of a scar. I likely did not pierce the skin deep enough. Just be mindful…..

    Reply
  8. Maria

    Thanks SO much for posting this! I’ve been intimidated for years to roast a pumpkin but just did this a few days ago and it was so easy – came out perfect!

    Reply
  9. Carissa

    Wow! I can’t believe how easy this was. Thank you for the simple, step-by-step guide to pumpkin roasting. I have been intimidated by making my own pumpkim puree for years, but no longer! I whipped mine up in the Vitamix after roasting and it came out great! For other readers who have a big pumpkin–mine was quite large, not sure of pounds, but bigger than my head, and it took almost 2 hours to fully roast in my oven.

    Reply
  10. Kate

    Ok. I never knew about this method but I’m going to try it. Pumpkin here is almost 4 $ a can. So after the holiday injust buy like 5 big pumpkins and I cut them up and roast them like squash. Then scoop the insides out and freeze it. I’m going to try this. I wonder though if my pumpkins are too big

    Reply
  11. MJ

    Regular hallowe’en pumpkins may be too bitter to use for pies! I learned this the hard way and wasted many ingredients before tasting the puree filling which was inedible! make sure you use pie pumpkins!

    Reply
  12. Nancy

    I just cooked a sugar pumpkin as your recipe stated and it is amazing! The only thing I did different was I put about 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the baking dish and it cooked in 45 minutes. No more cutting through a hard surface wondering if I going to cut a limb off. The other amazing thing is it was so much easier to remove the pumpkin seeds so I can roast them later. Thanks for this wonderful approach to cooking a squash. I’m planning on doing this to a very large butternut squash that a friend recently gave me.

    Reply
  13. Pingback: Seasonal Cooking: What the heck to do with a whole pumpkin | The Little Red Kitchen

  14. Isabel in Spain

    Hi! I live in Spain where Halloween has really taken a strong hold in the last few years making it way easier to find pumpkins to carve with the grandkids… I have bought four small pumpkins after the holiday and are wondering if these are what are considered “sugar” pumpkins? They are about six to eight inches in diameter and the same high. Please help as I don´t want to use the wrong pumpkin for my Thanksgiving pie making!! Love the site and do plan on roasting these babies whole!!

    Reply
  15. Penny

    After roasting a pumpkin, I put it in a non-stick pan, over low heat, & cook it down, like apple butter. It gets thicker, & develops a rich, carmelized flavor.

    Reply
  16. mary jamison

    I roasted a pie pumpkin last year, and just stuck this year’s in the oven. I’ve been roasting butternut squashes like this for years, and that’s why I decided to take a chance on the pumpkin. (Pie turned out great, btw)

    Here in the States, “pie” pumpkins (or sugar pumpkins) are sold separate from decorative pumpkins at the farmer’s markets. I think they’re a little darker orange than decorative pumpkins, and they don’t get as big, but I personally wouldn’t try to guess.

    So glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks this makes way more sense that taking a hacksaw to the darn thing!

    Reply
  17. Melissa

    I recommend just putting the pumpkin whole (if small enough) into your crock pot with a little water at the bottom and leaving it for four hours. Works like a charm!

    Reply
  18. Lynn

    I did this and not sure what happened. Maybe cooked it too long. The inside was the color and taste of butternut squash. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  19. Elise

    HavE been usuing fresh pumpkins for breads and pies since 1972. I used to cut them up and cook in a pressure cooker. Either way, there’s NOTHING like fresh pumpkin for your fall goodies! 🙂

    Reply
  20. Laura

    This may be a crazy question but would you use the “sugar pies” to puree for savory pumpkin dishes or would you use a regular pumpkin?

    Reply
    1. Marilyn

      I have used sugar pumpkins for savory but I think it’s not a bad idea to follow the rules for apples: some make wonderful pies and some don’t. I’d use the sugar pumpkin for desserts and other pumpkins for savory. Unlike some poster, I do use “Halloween” pumpkins. I have my neighbor’s monster in the oven now. My dog doesn’t really care about the flavor and texture and pumpkin is very good for dogs and the love it. Also our ancestors didn’t have all these hybrid pumpkins and they managed to cook and eat them.

      I frequently roast whole squash and pumpkin. Never a mishap and I never have to struggle to peel a butternut squash or pumpkin or other thick skinned produce. I roadt beets with their skin too.

      Reply
  21. Diana

    after cooking and processing your pumpkin place it in a strainer line with cheesecloth. Place it over a bowl and put it in the refrigerator overnight to strain out the extra liquid to make solid packed pumpkinthis way you can use any variety of pumpkin for your pumpkin pie.this way it is cup for cup with canned pumpkin

    Reply
  22. Pingback: No-Bake Pumpkin Pie | The Recipe Collective

  23. Joy davison

    In New Zealand many people enjoy pumpkin as a roasted vegetable. Despite many near misses I am still blessed with all my fingers. BUT recently I offered to help a 90 year old friend cut her pumpkin. She declined, and asked me to follow her outside where she lifted the pumpkin as high as she could and let go. Gravity helped, and said pumpkin was dashed into a number of pieces. After a wash and scraping out the seeds, it was ready for the oven. The skin was removed when it was cooked. I love practicing and sharing Ida’s idea!
    Thanks for your help – a whole pumpkin is in the oven!

    Reply
  24. Chris

    Just got about 4cups of puree from a rather small “Pie Pumpkin” and a bag of seeds (will get roasted)
    I had to add about 1/3 cup water to each batch in the food processor.

    Reply
  25. The Mad Chef

    Took the pumpkin, put it into the oven at 375, forgot about it. Sliced and bbqd the pork loin, baked and smashed the potatoes, pulled the pumpkin out after maybe two hours? Slit it in half, looks beautiful! Just waiting for it to cool, then I’m going to slice it up into smaller pieces, and put into a stew pot, simmer it with cinnamon, sugar, and condensed milk, unsure about the nutmeg though, then see what we have left. The condensed milk will sweeten it up but it will also keep it from cracking when I put it into my crust later!

    Reply
  26. Helena

    Brilliant! I am in process of making a stuffed pumpkin for 2 (croutons,cheddar,cream, veg bouillon cube). Using a Turk’s Turban squash from the garden 1kg, took 1 hour, softened, easy to cut the top of the turban shape off, scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp. Stuffed and back in the oven. I expect it to be delicious, served with sweetcorn.

    Reply
    1. Helena

      Just to add that now eaten it was delicious. I’m an English vegetarian staying in France for a few weeks where we grow Musquée de Provence, Turk’s Turban and Invincible pumpkins/squash. I found the recipe, Potimarron Surprise on a French website. Bon appétit!

      Reply
    1. Laverne

      Am doing two right now…but might have to leave them in longer.
      Using convection roast. They are both bigger than my head.

      Reply
  27. Gwen

    I can’t wait to try this recipe with pumpkin instead of bananas! I suppose you could also substitute sweet potatoes for the bananas. I think adding chopped walnuts would be a delicious addition as well. Thanks for all your delicious, nutritious ideas. I gets me out of my rut!

    Reply

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