So many wonderful recipes call for pumpkin puree from desserts and baked goods to soups, sauces, and smoothies. Some of them will require less than a can, or far too little compared to that huge homemade batch you just made. The refrigerator will keep it fresh for a while but how long is pumpkin puree good in the fridge? Let’s dive into the specifics!
🎃How Long Is Pumpkin Puree Good In The Fridge?
Short answer: pumpkin puree stays safe to eat for up to 4 days when stored in the refrigerator, whether it is homemade or it comes from an opened storebought can.
Of course, the shelf life of pumpkin puree will also depend on how you store it and we’ll discuss the best practices for both homemade and storebought canned pumpkin puree so it can stay fresh for as long as possible.
Regardless of the type, don’t leave your pumpkin puree at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Ideally, you should transfer it to the fridge as soon as possible.
The official USDA recommendation for low-acid canned goods, including pumpkin puree, is to consume them within 4 days after opening if they are kept in the fridge.
Canned pumpkin puree often has added preservatives, and considering the homemade stuff doesn’t have any, the safest option is to also follow USDA’s guidelines for cooked food. Based on that, homemade pumpkin puree stays safe to eat for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Note: You might have seen others saying refrigerated pumpkin puree can last up to seven days. It might be true, in some cases, but is it worth the risk?
🍱How To Store Pumpkin Puree In The Fridge
If your leftover pumpkin puree comes from a can, you might be tempted to simply place it in the fridge. Don’t!
Transfer it to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag to avoid bacterial contamination. Storing in a can can also affect the taste and flavor of food.
The same storage method applies to homemade pumpkin puree and butternut squash puree. Be sure to label the bag or container with the date.
It’s also important that your refrigerator is able to maintain a constant temperature of 40°F or below. You can easily check this by placing a thermometer in the fridge.
❄️How Long Does Pumpkin Puree Last In The Freezer?
Frozen pumpkin puree stays safe to eat for up to 1 year. However, it remains at its best for 3 months after which its taste and texture can become altered.
🧊How To Freeze Pumpkin Puree
Sometimes, you might need to lengthen the shelf life of pumpkin puree because you have too much of it or no immediate plans to use it. For this reason, it’s worth learning how to freeze pumpkin puree and you can read our easy guide to find out the most common freezing methods and how to thaw it.
You can store it in an airtight container, or a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Depending on what you use it for, it might be worth dividing it into portions.
This is very easy to do using a muffin tin or an ice cube tray. The muffin tin will give you 1/2 cup portions, while the ice cube tray lets you divide the puree into one-tablespoon portions.
You simply need to freeze the pumpkin puree in the muffin tin or ice cube tray and transfer the pucks or cubes to a freezer bag or airtight container.
A quart-sized ziplock bag can hold about 15 ounces, which is the weight of the typical can of pumpkin puree.
Regardless of how you choose to store and portion your pumpkin puree, label the containers or bags with the date and contents. This is very helpful for avoiding waste!
The ideal way to thaw pumpkin puree is in the fridge. This might take anywhere between 12 and 24 hours.
A speedier method is placing it in a bowl of cold water. Do it only if you store the pureed pumpkin in an airtight container or sealed bag.
Otherwise, you can let it sit on the counter for up to 3 hours, or microwave it in 30-second intervals.
⛔How To Tell If Pumpkin Puree Has Gone Bad
Even with all the precautions, it can still happen that we forget food for too long in the fridge. An opened can of pumpkin puree or homemade pumpkin puree share the same signs of spoilage so give the leftovers a quick inspection and see if any of the indicators below apply.
- Mold or color changes – Pumpkin puree should have an even, bright color. Visible mold, dark or light spots, and other color changes are a sure sign it should be discarded.
- Bad smell – Pumpkin smell is not just inviting, it’s also very distinct and easy to detect. Any off odor means it’s spoiled. If the scent is sour or uninviting in any other way, it’s not safe to eat anymore. A good number of recipes allow you to substitute with applesauce if you suddenly realize your pumpkin puree is no good.
- Stored for too long – If your pumpkin puree has been in the fridge for over a week, toss it even if there are no visible signs of spoilage. They don’t show up in the early stages of bacterial development but it doesn’t make the food safer to eat.
- Unusual or sour taste – Taste testing is not recommended but if none of the clues above were present and you tried the pumpkin puree, be aware it should have a pleasant taste. If it’s sour or off-putting, it’s best to let it go.
🥫Does Unopened Canned Pumpkin Go Bad?
Unopened canned pumpkin puree has a long shelf life but if it’s past the expiration date, it’s not safe to eat.
There’s also the option of opening the can and checking for the signs of spoilage listed above. If stored in the recommended conditions, canned pumpkin puree can last years after the expiration date has passed.
Either way, check if the can is swollen, rusty, or leaking. This means the pumpkin puree has gone bad, even if the expiration date hasn’t been reached yet.
🥣How To Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Once you realize how effortless it is to make your own, this will become one of your go-to recipes!
Here’s my guide to homemade pumpkin puree in the Instant Pot, slow cooker, and steamer. Whatever appliance you use, you only need one ingredient: the pumpkins.
You can also roast the pumpkins in the oven. It’s very convenient and baking the pumpkins will caramelize the flesh a bit for a richer and sweeter flavor.
- Turn on the oven and set it to 400°F.
- While the oven preheats, prepare the pumpkins. Wash and halve them, remove the seeds and strings, and set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I recommend not skipping the parchment paper to make the cleanup faster.
- Poke a few holes in the skin of the pumpkins using a sharp knife or a skewer. The steam released through those small pockets will soften their skin. It’s so much easier to remove!
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the pumpkin flesh is fork tender and the skin is blistered.
- Once they cool off, peel the pumpkin halves.
- Use a regular blender, immersion blender, or a food processor to puree the cooked pumpkin. Don’t have either of these? A potato masher will work too.
- Does your pumpkin have too much moisture? Let the mashed pumpkin strain over a strainer lined with cheesecloth for 2-3 hours.
- Store the pumpkin puree in an airtight container, or ziplock bag in the fridge and use within 4 days. Alternatively, freeze it using the steps described in the “how to freeze” section above and use it within 3 months for the best quality.
Tip: Don’t throw away the seeds! I always use them to make air fryer roasted pumpkin seeds and the oven-roasted version tastes just as good.
🍲Recipes Using Pumpkin Puree
I’m sure all pumpkin fans have some favorite recipes that wouldn’t be the same without pumpkin puree. Pumpkin is a star in my kitchen and we always enjoyed it in desserts such as pumpkin cookies, ice cream, oats, smoothies, and other fabulous pumpkin recipes.
I can never pass some freshly baked pumpkin cookies or pumpkin air fryer granola!
These air fryer pumpkin muffins use 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, while my pumpkin oatmeal breakfast cookies call for 3/4 cup. For the muffins, you’ll need exactly one frozen and thawed puck of pumpkin puree if you used a muffin pan to portion it.
Frozen pumpkin puree in the ice cube tray will work really well for the pumpkin cookies recipe above. Since each cube is one tablespoon by volume, and one U.S. customary cup is equivalent to 16 U.S. customary tablespoons, you’ll need 12 cubes of pumpkin puree to fill the required 3/4 cup.
Need to use exactly 1 cup of pureed pumpkin (16 cubes or 2 frozen pucks)? Make these healthy pumpkin yogurt muffins for a light and easy treat!
When I have a can of pumpkin puree that I need to use up, this pumpkin delight dessert recipe always saves me. Bonus points if you have fresh pumpkin puree.
If you have a bigger batch of pumpkin puree that needs to be put to good use, try my savory pumpkin pizza. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree to make it. This means three frozen pucks or 24 cubes.
Pumpkin puree is used for many savory recipes. I make this slow cooker pumpkin salsa chicken when I have a busy day since it’s such a hands-off dish. It’s another recipe that needs exactly one can of pumpkin puree so you don’t have any leftovers.
My Vitamix pumpkin soup requires 2 cans, which will sure come in handy when you’re craving some comfort food!
I also have to mention the wonderful flavor of pumpkin spice. You have to appreciate a pumpkin spice latte or a healthy homemade treat like these roasted pumpkin pie spiced pecans.
Refrigerated pumpkin soup stays good for 3-4 days, like most cooked foods, as per USDA’s food safety guidelines.
You can freeze it, just like you would pumpkin puree in which case it retains its best qualities for 3 months.
Refrigerated pumpkin pie has a 4-day shelf life. If you purchased it from a bakery or made it at home, don’t leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Pumpkin pies purchased at the grocery store from a shelf usually have added preservatives to make them last longer. For optimal storage, check the label on the packaging.
For long-term storage, you can freeze pumpkin pie, tightly wrapped in multiple layers of plastic wrap for up to a month.