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Learning how to roast a whole pumpkin is a cozy autumn activity that not only fills your kitchen with a warm, sweet aroma but also provides you with a tasty ingredient for a variety of dishes. From savory soups to sweet desserts, making your own pumpkin puree from a fresh, roasted pumpkin elevates the flavor of your favorite pumpkin recipes. And let’s be honest, homemade pumpkin puree knocks the socks off the canned stuff.

Two roasted pumpkins on a baking sheet.

I’ve whipped up this recipe countless times, and it’s a game-changer. Whether I’m aiming for a show-stopping pumpkin pie or just a cozy pumpkin bread, this puree is my go-to. It’s simple, foolproof, oh-so-yummy, and my favorite way to cook a pumpkin. Get ready to make some pumpkin magic in your kitchen!

🧡 Why You’ll Fall Head Over Heels For This Recipe

  • It’s straightforward. No complicated steps or fancy equipment needed.
  • No need to peel: Just blend the skin into the pumpkin puree!
  • Versatility is the name of the game. Use your pumpkin puree in anything from pies to pancakes.
  • Say goodbye to preservatives. Homemade means you know exactly what’s in your puree.
  • Taste the difference. Freshly roasted pumpkin has a depth of flavor that canned just can’t match.
  • Fun for the family. Get everyone involved in scooping seeds or blending the pumpkin. It’s a great way to make memories.

🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions

When you’re ready to roast your pumpkin, you actually need just one main ingredient:

Sugar Pumpkin: Ideal for its sweet, smooth flesh that’s perfect for pureeing. If you can’t find a sugar pie pumpkin, don’t worry! Any small, sweet pumpkins or even a butternut squash can serve as a stand-in.

And that’s it! For the purest pumpkin purée, all you really need is the raw pumpkin itself. This approach lets you customize the puree for any recipe later on, whether it’s going sweet with pies or savory with soups.

Optional Extras:

  • Olive oil: A little drizzle helps in roasting. No olive oil? No problem! Melted butter or any vegetable oil works great too.
  • Spices: Feel free to get creative. A sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg can add a warm, spicy note to your pumpkin puree.

🥣 How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin

Turning a fresh pumpkin into a smooth, flavorful puree is like a fall magic trick. Here’s your guide to doing it four ways: whole in the oven, cut in half in the oven, whole in the air fryer, and cut in half in the air fryer. Pick your method and let’s get roasting!

Roast A Pumpkin Cut in Half in the Oven

  1. Heat your oven to 190°C (380°F) and line your baking sheet.
  2. Slice the pumpkin in half from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds and any stringy bits inside of the pumpkin.
  1. Place the halves cut side down on your prepared sheet, and pierce the skin a few times with a knife.
  2. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until a fork easily slides in.
  3. Cool slightly, then place the soft flesh (with the skin!) into your food processor and blend until smooth.
A pumpkin cut in half on a baking sheet.

Roast A Whole Pumpkin in the Oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F) and get a baking sheet ready with parchment paper.
  2. Prep your pumpkin by washing it, then patting it dry. Poke holes all around its surface with a sharp knife to let steam escape.
  3. Bake for about 60 minutes. Give it a turn halfway through to ensure it roasts evenly.
  4. Check if it’s done by poking it with a fork. It should be soft and easy to pierce.
  5. Cool, slice, remove the stem, and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Then cut it into smaller pieces for blending.
  6. Blend (with the skin) until smooth. Add a bit of water if needed to get the perfect puree.

Whole Pumpkin in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 204°C (400°F).
  2. Place the whole pumpkin in the basket. Make sure to pierce its skin several times first.
  3. Air fry for 20-25 minutes, checking and turning halfway through.
  4. Test for doneness, cool, then proceed with slicing, scooping, and blending the pumpkin chunks as above.

Pumpkin Cut in Half in the Air Fryer

  1. Set your air fryer to 185°C (370°F).
  2. Prepare the pumpkin by cutting it in half, cleaning out the seeds, and piercing the skin a few times with a knife.
A pumpkin in an air fryer.
  1. Cook with the cut sides down in the basket for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Finish by cooling, slicing, and blending the pumpkin flesh into puree.
An air fryer with a pumpkin in it.

🎃 How to Make Your Own Homemade Pumpkin Puree

  • Cool Down: Let your pumpkin cool for about 20 minutes. You want it to be cool enough to handle without doing a hot potato dance.
  • Slice and Scoop: If your pumpkin is still whole, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds (save those for roasting later!), and remove the stem. Then, cut each half into smaller pieces for easier blending.
  • Blend It Up: Toss those pumpkin pieces, skin and all, into a food processor. Whirl away until you have a smooth, creamy puree. If it’s too thick, you can add a little water to reach your desired consistency.
A jar of pumpkin puree next to a pumpkin.

🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Save the Seeds: Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Clean them, toss them with a little oil and your favorite seasonings, then roast for a crunchy snack. Check out my Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds and Sweet Pumpkin Seeds recipes for some tasty ideas!
  • Smooth Puree: If your puree is a bit chunky, don’t fret. A few extra pulses in the food processor or a pass through a fine mesh sieve can make it silky smooth.
  • Season to Taste: While this guide keeps the pumpkin puree unsweetened and unseasoned, feel free to add a pinch of salt, sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg to tailor it to your recipe needs.
  • Pumpkin Size: Smaller pumpkins tend to be sweeter and less fibrous, making them ideal for roasting and pureeing.
  • Check for Doneness: Depending on the size of your pumpkin, cooking times may vary. It’s done when a fork easily pierces the flesh.
  • Let it Cool: Give your pumpkin time to cool before handling. This makes it easier to work with and helps prevent burns.

🫙 Storage Instructions

  • Cool Completely: Make sure your pumpkin puree is completely cooled before storing to prevent condensation and mold growth.
  • Refrigerate: For short-term storage, put your puree in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to a week.
  • Freeze: For long-term storage, freezing is the way to go. Spoon the puree into freezer bags or an airtight container, leaving some space for expansion. Flatten the bags for easy stacking and space-saving. Frozen pumpkin puree can last for up to 6 months.
  • Label Your Containers: Don’t forget to mark them with the date. This helps you keep track of freshness and ensures you use the oldest stock first.

🤔 Air Fryer vs. Oven – Is there a difference?

Firstly, I’ll say that they both taste much better than canned pumpkin puree! However, there is a slight taste difference between air frying a pumpkin and roasting it in the oven. I find that the cooked pumpkin from the oven is more caramelized and sweet. I could literally eat the puree with a spoon straight from the blender, it’s SO tasty! The air fryer version is slightly less sweet but it makes up for it by taking up less time and energy.

🍽️ How to Use Pumpkin Puree

For a Sweet Treat

  • Pumpkin Pie: The classic choice. Use your puree in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe for a taste of autumn in every bite.
  • Pumpkin Bread or Muffins: Add some puree to your batter for moist, flavorful baked goods that scream fall.
  • Pumpkin Pancakes or Waffles: Start your day with a pumpkin spice twist. Mix the puree into your morning pancakes or waffles for a seasonal breakfast treat. Try my Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe!
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake: Sweet, creamy, tangy, and bursting with fall flavor, my Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe is a dream come true!

For a Savory Spin

  • Pumpkin Soup: Blend your puree with broth, onions, garlic, and cream for a warm, comforting soup.
  • Pumpkin Pasta Sauce: Stir some puree into a creamy sauce for a delightful pasta dish that’s perfect for chilly evenings. Try adding 1/2 cup (75g) to my Keto Alfredo Sauce!
  • Pumpkin Stew: Give your stew a fall makeover by adding pumpkin puree. It adds thickness, color, and a sweet depth of flavor. It’s great in my vegetable stew recipe, instead of pumpkin chunks!
  • Baby Food: An absolute classic! Pumpkin puree is perfect just as it is for little ones exploring food for the first time. You can blend it with fruit for a sweet option or vegetables and cheese for something more savory.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make pumpkin puree from any pumpkin?

Yes and no. While you technically can roast any pumpkin, smaller, sweet varieties like sugar pumpkins work best for puree due to their flavor and texture.

Is pumpkin puree the same as pumpkin pie filling?

Nope! Pumpkin puree is just pure pumpkin, while pumpkin pie filling includes spices and sugar. Always check your recipe to see what it calls for.

How can I spice up my pumpkin puree?

Easy! Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves for a classic pumpkin spice flavor. Or get creative with cardamom, star anise, or even a pinch of cayenne for a kick.

Can I use pumpkin puree for pumpkin spice latte?

Absolutely. Stir a spoonful into your coffee along with some milk, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spices for a cozy homemade version of the fall favorite.

Is homemade pumpkin puree healthier than canned?

Both are healthy, but homemade puree lets you control the texture and flavor, plus you avoid any additives found in some canned versions. Plus, making it yourself is just more fun!

Can I roast a giant pumpkin?

While technically possible, roasting a giant pumpkin or big pumpkins is not recommended. The large size makes it difficult to cook evenly, and the flesh can be stringy and less flavorful. It’s better to stick to small sugar pumpkins for optimal results.

A jar of pumpkin puree next to a pumpkin.

😋 More Pumpkin and Pumpkin Puree Recipes You Will Love

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📖 Recipe

A roasted pumpkin on a baking sheet.

How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin & Make Puree

Bethany Galloway
Learning how to roast a whole pumpkin is a cozy autumn activity that not only fills your kitchen with a warm, sweet aroma but also provides you with a tasty ingredient for a variety of dishes. From savory soups to sweet desserts, making your own pumpkin puree from a fresh, roasted pumpkin elevates the flavor of your favorite pumpkin recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Air Fryer, Cooking Tips, Oven-Baked
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 59 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 pound sugar pumpkin 900-1400 grams

Instructions
 

To Roast Pumpkin Whole:

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 200°C/400°F.
  • Place your pumpkin on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Pierce the outer skin several times with a sharp knife to allow steam to vent.
  • Bake for around 1 hour.
  • Test that it’s cooked by piercing it with a fork. The fork should slide in easily.
  • Allow it to cool for about 20 minutes, or until it’s not too hot to handle.
  • Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.
  • Remove the stem, and slice the pumpkin in half again so you now have 4 pieces.
    A food processor with a pumpkin in it.
  • Add the pumpkin (including the skin!) to a food processor and blend until smooth.
    A food processor on a counter.

To roast pumpkin cut in half:

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 190°C/380°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with paper.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the pumpkin in half, either top to bottom or through the middle.
    Two pumpkins cut in half on a cutting board.
  • Scoop out the seeds and any stringy bits.
    A person cutting a pumpkin in half.
  • Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the baking sheet, pierce the skin with a knife a few times, and roast it for 40 minutes.
    A person cutting a pumpkin with a knife.
  • Test that it’s cooked by piercing it with a fork. The fork should slide in easily.
  • Remove the stem, and slice the pumpkin in half again so you now have 4 pieces.
    A food processor with a pumpkin in it.
  • Add the pumpkin (including the skin!) to a food processor and blend until smooth.
    A food processor on a counter.

To roast pumpkin whole in an air fryer:

  • Begin by preheating your air fryer to 204°C/400°F, and pierce the skin with a knife a few times.
  • Place the whole pumpkin in the air fryer basket, and air fry it for 20-25 minutes, checking and turning half way through.
  • Test that it’s cooked by piercing it with a fork. The fork should slide in easily.
  • Allow it to cool for about 20 minutes, or until it’s not too hot to handle.
  • Remove it from the air fryer basket and slice the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds.
  • Remove the stem, and slice the pumpkin in half again, so you now have 4 pieces.
    A food processor with a pumpkin in it.
  • Add the pumpkin (including the skin!) to a food processor and blend until smooth.
    A food processor on a counter.

To roast pumpkin cut in half in an air fryer:

  • Begin by preheating your air fryer to 185°C/370°F, and pierce the skin with a knife a few times.
  • Place the pumpkin halves cut side down in the air fryer basket, and air fry it for 20-25 minutes, checking and turning half way through.
    A pumpkin in an air fryer.
  • Test that it’s cooked by piercing it with a fork. The fork should slide in easily.
  • Remove the stem, and slice the pumpkin in half again (so you now have 4 pieces).
    A food processor with a pumpkin in it.
  • Add the pumpkin (including the skin!) to a food processor and blend until smooth.
    A food processor on a counter.

Notes

    1. Save the Seeds: Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Clean them, toss them with a little oil and your favorite seasonings, then roast for a crunchy snack. Check out my Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds and Sweet Pumpkin Seeds recipes for some tasty ideas!
    2. Smooth Puree: If your puree is a bit chunky, don’t fret. A few extra pulses in the food processor or a pass through a fine mesh sieve can make it silky smooth.
    3. Season to Taste: While this guide keeps the pumpkin puree unsweetened and unseasoned, feel free to add a pinch of salt, sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg to tailor it to your recipe needs.
    4. Pumpkin Size: Smaller pumpkins tend to be sweeter and less fibrous, making them ideal for roasting and pureeing.
    5. Check for Doneness: Depending on the size of your pumpkin, cooking times may vary. It’s done when a fork easily pierces the flesh.
    6. Let it Cool: Give your pumpkin time to cool before handling. This makes it easier to work with and helps prevent burns.

Storage Instructions

    • Cool Completely: Make sure your pumpkin puree is completely cooled before storing to prevent condensation and mold growth.
    • Refrigerate: For short-term storage, put your puree in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to a week.
    • Freeze: For long-term storage, freezing is the way to go. Spoon the puree into freezer bags or an airtight container, leaving some space for expansion. Flatten the bags for easy stacking and space-saving. Frozen pumpkin puree can last for up to 6 months.
    • Label Your Containers: Don’t forget to mark them with the date. This helps you keep track of freshness and ensures you use the oldest stock first.

Nutrition

Calories: 59kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 771mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 19307IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
Keyword air fryer pumpkin, roast a whole pumpkin
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