Making your own Pumpkin Purée in the Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or Steamer is silly simple! You are going to love the clean pure taste of the pumpkin that has no additives or preservatives, plus it is freezer friendly so you can make extra for recipes later in the season. 15 Minutes in the Instant Pot, 50 Minutes to Steam and 4 Hours in the Slow Cooker is all the time you need.
Making Pumpkin Purée has been something that our family has been doing for years. Families that make a lot of food from scratch already know how quick and easy this can be.
You know if we are showing you how to do this, it is super simple to do and you will come out the other side looking like a rockstar. I pinky swear you will want to make more than one batch. I made four batches this year as I love to store them in the freezer. You are going to love making this and using it in your favorite pumpkin recipes like Pumpkin Delight, Healthy Pumpkin Yogurt Muffins and one of our all time favorites – Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies.
🍽️ Why This Works
Easy – This is silly simple, like I mentioned above. It uses just a pumpkin. That’s it. The key is getting the right kind of pumpkin.
One ingredient – You have to love this. You don’t have to hunt down extra ingredients to make this one happen.
Three Ways To Make – Depending on your kitchen set up or your personality, there are three ways to make this purée and they all turn out perfectly! If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, you can use the Slow Cooker. If you don’t have either and are in a small apartment, you can steam it on the stove top. We are determined to help you make this happen.
There is only one ingredient (plus water) for this whole recipe, but I do want to make a couple of helpful observations.
Sugar or Pie Pumpkins – Look for small sugar or pie pumpkins to make your purée as they taste better and are meant for cooking/baking. You will find them at farmers markets and inside the grocery store in the produce section.
They run 3-5 pounds. You will be limited to find these from September to November though, so be on the look out. Grab a couple and make this purée and freeze it so you don’t need to stress.
🍴Instant Pot Instructions
Instant Pots are the rage right now so I’ll start here since it is also the fastest of the three versions.
Step One: Clean the outer pumpkin shell. If the pumpkin is too large to fit, cut it in half and remove the seeds and attached strings. Mine fit just fine whole, which saves some hassle!
Step Two: Place one cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add the steam rack to the inner pot. Place the pumpkin inside the and turn on MANUAL to 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
Step Three: Remove the pumpkin from the Instant Pot and allow it to cool for a bit. When it is cool enough to touch, cut it in half and remove the seeds. The skin will easily peel away from the meat.
Place the pumpkin into a food processor and blend until creamy. If your pumpkin is dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time to the food processor to make it creamy. Don’t over-add water. My pumpkin needed a little extra water but yours may not. Each pumpkin is different and each time you do it will be different.
Step Four: At this point, you can use it right away, store it in the refrigerator for up to five days or store in freezer safe bags for up to six months.
🥘 Steam Instructions
If you want to use this method but don’t have a steamer basket, don’t worry. Crumble up large pieces of foil into balls and put in the bottom of the pan. Then, lay the pumpkin on top of the foil balls and slowly add water. Make sure that you have the pumpkin above the water line though. You may need to refill with water once or twice.
Step One: Using a large steamer, bring the water to a boil and place the whole pumpkin (you aren’t going to cut it this time) into the steamer basket and cover. If the pumpkin doesn’t fit with your lid, add a layer of foil over the top.
Step Two: Steam for 50-60 minutes or until you can poke the pumpkin with a skewer and it goes in easily. Remove and allow to cool.
Step Three: Once the pumpkin has had a chance to cool, cut it in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Then, take the pumpkin meat out of the shell and put it in a food processor. Just like in the Instant Pot version, if the pumpkin is dryer, add in a tablespoon of water at a time to add more creaminess. Our steamed version didn’t need anything added and blended up in seconds.
Step Four: Use the pumpkin purée immediately or store it in the refrigerator for five days or freeze it in freezer safe bags for up to six months.
🍲 Slow Cooker Instructions
This is the most hands-off technique and most people have a slow cooker, so this could end up being the most popular option of all three.
Step One: Clean the outer shell of the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and the stringy pulp.
Step Two: Place the pumpkins inside the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours and leave it alone. Test the pumpkins with a knife or skewer at the four hour mark and see how much longer it will take.
Note: You do not have to put water in the slow cooker. Water won’t hurt you as I am going to show you how to get the water OUT of the pumpkin purée below if you have too much moisture.
Step Three: Allow the pumpkins to cool and remove the pumpkin meat from the skin and blend in a food processor. If you find your pumpkin is not blending well and/or it is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time to the food processor. Don’t add too much at a time.
Step Four: Add this to your favorite recipes now, store in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze in freezer safe bags for up to six months.
❄️ Freezer Instructions
To freeze, divide these into one cup portions and place in a quart sized freezer safe bags and seal up flat. Try to squeeze all of the air out. They will keep for up to six months.
If you don’t have quart sized freezer safe bags, put them in regular sandwich bags, but them place them into a large gallon sized freezer safe bag.
Another option is to freeze each up in a small rubbermaid container overnight, pop it out of the container and then place it into a gallon sized freezer safe Ziploc bag.
💦 Removing Excess Fluid
I learned this technique from America’s Test Kitchen years ago when making my pumpkin cheesecake. The thought was that you needed to remove as much of the excess liquid as you can before adding the Pumpkin Purée to the mixing bowl. So, if you find that yours has too much fluid, simply follow a couple of steps, thanks to ATK!
Step One: Lay out 1-2 layers of a flour sack towel or paper towels on the counter. Pour the purée on top of the towels.
Step Two: Take another 1-2 layers and press on top of the pumpkin. This allows the towels to absorb the moisture that is left inside the purée. You may need to do it a couple of times to get the excess moisture out, especially if you are using a canned version with this technique.
Now, you can use it in the recipe as you would like.
🥄 Recipe FAQ
No, these are meant for carving, and aren’t ideal for cooking/baking. They don’t taste quite as good. Stick to the smaller pie or sugar pumpkins.
Pumpkin Purée is just pure pumpkin that is cooked and blended in a food processor. Canned pumpkin that we normally buy to make our baked goods is actually puréed Dickinson squash which is the closest thing to a pumpkin. The only way you will get 100% pure pumpkin in a can is if it specifically states that on the label. Pumpkin Pie filling is packed full of spices like cinnamon, cloves and all spice.
You bet! It is low in calories and packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
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How to Make Pumpkin Purée in the Instant Pot, Slow Cooker + Steamer
- Instant Pot
- Slow Cooker
- 1 Sugar or Pie Pumpkin
- Clean the outer pumpkin shell.
- Place one cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot and insert the steam rack. If the whole pumpkin fits, add it. Otherwise, cut it into manageable pieces and remove the seeds. Turn it on MANUAL for 15 minutes. Allow it to release naturally.
- Remove the pumpkins from the Instant Pot and allow them to cool for a bit. Cut them in half and remove the meat from the outer shell. Add the meat to a food processor and blend until creamy.
- Use a large steamer and bring the water to a boil. Place the whole pumpkin (you only need to cut it if it doesn't fit) into the steamer basket and cover. If the pumpkin doesn't fit with your lid, add a layer of foil over the top.
- Steam for 50-60 minutes or until you can poke the pumpkin and it goes into the pumpkin freely. Remove and allow to cool.
- Once the pumpkin has had a chance to cool, cut in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Then take the pumpkin meat out of the skin and put it in a food processor.
- Clean the outer shell of the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and the stringy pulp.
- Place the pumpkins inside the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours and let it go. Test the pumpkins with a knife or skewer at the four hour mark and see how much longer it will take. You do not have to put water in the slow cooker, but you can.
- Allow the pumpkins to cool and remove the pumpkin meat from the skin and blend in a food processor.
Storing the Purée
- If the purée is too wet, layer it between two flour sack towels (or paper towels) and gently press. The towels will absorb the excess moisture.
- Add one cup of the pumpkin to a freezer-safe quart sized Ziploc bag, press it flat and remove the air before sealing. These will freeze nicely for up to six months.