No need to buy canned pumpkin at the grocery store. Make your own DIY pumpkin puree easily in the Instant Pot or oven with this tutorial! And bonus – I’ll show you how to use it, too…
Rescuing the fall decorations.
I have a problem. Or maybe a solution to a common American problem. I HATE wasting food. Hate. And friends, Americans are pros at wasting food (for the most part). Case in point: fall ‘decorations’.
All fall long my friends and neighbors decorate their porches and mantles with pumpkins and other various squashes. Or they have their kids carve them up for fun. All this only to throw the squash away when the season is over. And it hurts my foodie-heart. All that good nutritious squash going to waste!
Not that I have an issue with carving pumpkins per se, or using them for decoration. But for crying out sideways – DON’T THROW THEM AWAY! Eat them, friends. Eat them.
All the squash.
Not only can you make a boat-load of delicious things with squash (all kinds, too, not just pumpkin), they’re actually quite good for you! In general, squash is full of a long list of vitamins and minerals. They have a huge amount of vitamin A, as well as quite a bit of vitamin C, vitamin E, and B-vitamins like vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and folate.
As far as minerals go, squash contain magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, calcium, and iron. Squash is also a wonderful source of anti-inflammatory andcompounds and carotenoids.
DIY pumpkin puree.
Ok. So now that you know the goodness of squash, go ahead and let your friends know you want their leftover fall decorations. Then grab your Instant Pot and a blender and let’s go!
I use the Instant Pot Duo 6 quart 7-in-1 for all my Instant Pot recipes, and my Blendtec blender is my absolute favorite kitchen appliance of all time. Of course, if you don’t have an Instant Pot (why?) you can totally use your oven to cook the squash. And you don’t have to own a high powered blender to puree it, either. The squash is tender enough after cooking that any blender should be able to handle it. You just might have to do more batches with a little blender.
Whether you use the Instant Pot or the oven, the prep is pretty much the same.
- Slide the squash and remove the stem and seeds. (Save the seeds for a delicious snack!)
- Place the chunks of squash in your cooking vessel of choice.
- Place cooked flesh in the blender (try not to get any skin).
- Use in whatever your heart desires! Recipes at the bottom of the post…
Now, on to the more detailed instructions.
In the recipe cards I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
DIY pumpkin puree in the Instant Pot
1. Remove the pumpkin stem and cut the squash in half. Scrape out all the seeds and strings. Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting!
2. Place the pumpkin halves skin side down on the trivet in the Instant Pot liner.
3. Fill the pot with 1 cup of water. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and push the vent back to seal. Press manual and set the time for 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of your squash chunks. When the timer goes off switch the vent to open to quick release the steam.
4. Take the squash off the trivet and lay on a cutting board. Place the flesh in the blender and puree until smooth. Store in the fridge.
DIY Pumpkin Puree in the Oven
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Remove the pumpkin stem and cut the squash in half. Scrape out all the seeds and strings. Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting!
3. Place the pumpkin halves skin side up in a 9×13 baking dish. Fill the dish 1/2 inch deep with water. This will help keep the pumpkin from getting dry and crusty on the edges.
5. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.
6. Cool until you can handle touching it and peel the skin off (you can tell the squash is cooked just right when the skin peels off).
7. Place the flesh in the blender and puree until smooth. Store in the fridge.
More squashy goodness.
Though they can make a pretty nice fall decoration, squash are really a very versatile fruit in edible ways as well. And yes, they are technically fruit. From soups to pies to drinks and fudge, squash can hide in all sorts of delicious dishes. If you’re looking for ways to use the pumpkin (or other squash) you’ve just rescued and pureed, here are some of my favorite ways to use my pumpkin puree.
Keep in mind that most store-bought canned pumpkin is the sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (I know! not actually a pumpkin!), but you can use any kind of pumpkin puree in recipes that call for it. Some varieties of pumpkin will contain more water, and some aren’t as sweet, so you may have to adjust the sweeteners or strain out a little liquid, depending on the pumpkin you use in your puree. But I promise it will be delicious!
- Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Chai Latte
- Honey Orange Pumpkin Pie in the Instant Pot (pictured)
- Pumpkin Spice Fruit Dip
- Death by Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bread
- Grain-Free Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Pie Gummies
- No-Churn Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream
- Savory Pumpkin Muffins with Apple & Sage
- Paleo No-Bake Maple Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Eggnog Smoothie
- Herbal Pumpkin Mocha
- Pumpkin Spice Muffins
- Hot ‘N Creamy Pumpkin Flax Cereal
- Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
- Mini Cinnamon Pumpkin Doughnuts