Making Your Own Pumpkin Puree from Fresh Pumpkins

I finally had a chance to work on some of my pumpkins this last week. I made pumpkin puree for the freezer and roasted pumpkin seeds. My son Isaac helped me by taking some pics and he was in charge of doing the seed roasting, and he liked that quite a bit..

I planted smaller size pumpkins that were meant for pies. The big ones you get in the grocery store this time of year are not really pie pumpkins. I have heard that they tend to be stringy and not too tasty. Pie pumpkins are sweeter.. so my suggestion is if you want to do this at home see if you can locate some pumpkin varieties that were grown for making into pies (maybe farmers markets or health food stores).

I processed 4 pumpkins on this day weighing a total of 33bs. Here is how I did it…

The first pumpkin was about 8lbs.

I started by carefully cutting it in half..

Then cleaning out the insides by scooping with a spoon until all the seeds and insides were gone. Make sure you save the seeds.. I will show you at the end how to roast them.. I did all 4 of them this way..

Then it was time to cook them. I have a 14 quart stock pot and that was big enough to hold half of them. I would have used my big canner pot for the job but at the time it was sitting on the stove simmering beef broth. So I did the cooking in two batches. I added a couple inches of water in the bottom of the pot, cut my pumpkin halves in half again to get them to fit in the pot. I brought the water to a boil, put the lid on, reduced the heat and let it basically steam until the pumpkins for fork tender. This took about 45 minutes..

When they were done cooking I pulled them out of the pot and put them in a bowl.

Then I began to peel them. The peels come off pretty easy at this point. You can use a knife to loosen the peel and take it off…

But what I found to be the easiest way is to use the same thing I use to peel potatoes.. a cheese slicer .. if you have never peeled potatoes with one of these little guys.. you should.. once I tried it, I never went back to a regular potato peeler. I found the skins came off quick and easy this way..

After peeling, it was time to puree… I used my food processor. You could also use a hand blender. But the food processor made very fast work of it all…

After all the pumpkin had been processed I had a large bowl full of puree….

Which I bagged up into quart size bags. I ended up with 5 ½ quarts of pumpkin puree…

Now you can freeze this. You can not safely can pumpkin puree.  It is too heavy and dense and can not get hot enough to be able to can safely so it must be frozen.This puree can now be used in any of your favorite pumpkin recipes! 

Now for the pumpkin seeds…

This was my sons job to do and he enjoyed it quite a bit..

Begin by removing the seeds from the inside goop.. and putting them in a bowl..

Then put the bowl of seeds in the sink and fill the bowl with water to start rinsing the seeds off. Make sure you remove any pumpkin pulp you find.

Then strain the seeds to remove the water…

Measure and see how many seeds you have. Put the seeds in a large pot. For every ½ cup of seeds add 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring this to a boil. Let the seeds boil in the salt water for about 10 minutes. As you can see below we did not have a big enough pan and our water boiled over a bit.. but nothing was lost..

When the boiling time is done, strain the seeds…

Get a baking tray (preferably one with sides) and pour a little olive oil on the tray…

Spread out your drained seeds and stir them to coat with the oil….

Put your own rack at the top of you oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Put the seeds in the oven…

Bake until the seeds are golden brown. You may need to stop and stir them occasionally as they are roasting…

And here are the finished seeds!! And boy are they tasty!!  :)



  1. Very interesting post, Crystal! I didn't know about boiling the seeds before roasting them. How do you keep your roasted seeds afterwards? In a glass jar or do you need to freeze them? Also, how long can you keep them?

    Catherine from Bury (QC)

  2. Oh thank you! Your explanation and pictures are super!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you!
    Bookmarking to use after our trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend!

  4. I have never thought to boil the seeds first. No wonder our seeds never roast quite right. Thanks!

  5. Wow! This is IMPRESSIVE! I have never grown a pumpkin or made fresh puree from it. The color of that puree is what sold me! Bright, beautiful orange!

  6. Thank you for this post! Everything looks good. :)

  7. I grew pie pumpkins this year too. Love 'em! I bake my pumpkins in a big roasting pan though, and then use a spoon to separate the skin from the meat. I am going to try your method of doing the seeds this year as we have never been happy with the ones we have done before - I'm going to bet it is the boiling part that makes the difference. Thanks!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this,I cannot wait to make my own.

  9. Thank you! Very timely post:)

  10. I didn't know about boiling the seeds. That's interesting. I will try it. ALSO I named you to participate in a meme called 'A DAY IN THE SLOW LIFE'. Visit my blog, take a look and join in if you'd like.

  11. Thanks for sharing. I just did pumpkin puree yesterday. I (shamefully) did not know how to do the seeds. I will next time though. Enjoy your day and God bless.

  12. Thank you so much for this post !! I am so tired of, first--trying to find can pumpkin at the store and second-- having to pay what they want for the can pumpkin, lol....

    Tomorrow I am going by Whole Foods to get me some pumpkins and I will be back here for the step by step lessons.

    Again, thank you !!


  13. Hi. I found you via a link on Alla's blog. Your post has me lamenting that I only got two pumpkins this year. :( I've made puree to can in the past, but have never tackled pumpkin seeds. You make it look so easy; I'm definitely going to have to try that.

  14. Thank you Crystal, that helps a lot. I wonder if the peeling would be easier if the pumkin was cold, I see you peel them while hot...
    thank you

  15. That looks fantastic! Love the picture tutorial. :) I think even someone like me could tackle the pumpkin puree! :D

  16. LOL miss emy.. ;) .. however you can use it for your pumpkin smoothie.. :) :)

  17. Thanks for this tutorial. Do you have any particular ways you use the pumpkin when you pull it out of the freezer?

    BTW, I just tried your technique for making sauerkraut--fantastic! None of my other fermented vegetable experiments even come close to how tasty this is. Thanks so much for sharing.

  18. Is there a way to make the puree from the larger pumpkins suitable for pies and recipes?

    I know of someone who is giving away 40 large pumpkins - I would love to take advantage of the offer, getting 2 or 3 of them for free. But they're not the sweeter pie pumpkins. If I can't use them for puree, it's really not a bargain for me to take them.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  19. Wow this is so interesting, yeah that pumpkin rind sure comes off easier after cooking, thanks for that tip sister, lots of hugs Barbara

  20. It seems many of us had never heard of the "boiling" step for the seeds. All the recipes I've seen have left that out.

    What is the purpose? Does it remove the stickiness and extra strings? Does it make them easier to shell?

    I, too, would like to know the different uses you have for the puree! I'm sure it's super-healthy with all that lovely, bright color.

  21. Today was my day to do pumpkin puree. For the first time I did the salted water boil with the seeds, and they are awesome. It makes all the difference in the world. In answer to Roxanne, yes it does help with the stickiness and remaining strings, but the rinsing in plenty of cold water before boiling does most of that. It also means you don't have to shell them at all. I never liked the ones I made before because I found the shell about as palatable as tree bark, but these are just nice and toasty. As for using the puree, because pumpkin is a big favorite here, I make standard pie filling but just bake it in a lightly greased pie plate or souffle dish without the crust. I also use it for pumpkin scones, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin bread, pancakes, waffles and cookies. By the time I've run through those ideas I'm usually out of pumpkin. Many thanks, Chrystal, for posting the most important step in preparing pumpkins seeds!

  22. I've made your recipe before and loved it. Back again to find the directions to make some more. :-)


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