10 Instant Pot Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Yes, opening a can of pumpkin puree is SO much easier, but is making it from a fresh pumpkin worth it?

The folks who have tasted my fresh pumpkin pie think so. I also use fresh pumpkin puree in my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pumpkin Butter

UPDATE! New Video! Now you can choose to watch the process or read the post. Recipe link is at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

What kind of pumpkin to use?
First, you will need a Pie Pumpkin, also known as "sugar" or "cheese" pumpkins.  They are smaller, usually around 5"-8" across.  Regular "Jack-O-Lantern" pumpkins are more work, as they are stringy-er and more watery.

*If you can't find Sugar or Pie pumpkins, you can use sweet potatoes or butternut squash instead. 

This pumpkin was purchased at Sunflower Farmer's Market at 2 for $4.  I have also seen them at Harmons and Smith's supermarkets for around .79/lb.

1. Insert a knife at an angle near the stem base and cut all the way around.

Remove the stem.

2. Cut the pumpkin in half, using a serrated knife. I used a serrated bread knife, which worked much better than any of my other knives. 

Other knives were more difficult to use.  Trust me.  I tried.

3. With a large ice cream scoop or serving spoon, scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff. 

Pumpkin guts!

4. Take each half and cut them into four pieces.  Yes, that's a total of 8 pieces.  

Rinse the seeds in a bowl of water, rubbing them between your hands to remove the pumpkin guts.

Drain and rinse.  Lay the seeds to dry in a single layer on a clean towel or paper towel.

Seeds can be roasted or saved for planting next year.

I think we're going to plant these...

There are a few different ways to cook the pumpkin: Microwave, steaming, in the oven, or pressure cooker. (Directions for all methods are included in the recipe at the end of the post).

I choose the pressure cooker method, as it takes the least amount of time and I just happen to have one.

UPDATE: **Electric pressure cooker instructions included! :-)

5. Put basket/trivet in bottom of pressure cooker.

Add just enough water to touch the bottom of basket.

Electric PC: 1 cup of water into pot. Put in wire trivet. 
This is my Instant Pot Ultra, which I love....

Add quartered pumpkin, skin side down.

6. Cover and turn the heat to High.  Once it starts hissing, reduce the temp to Medium and cook for 10 minutes.
**Electric PC: Manual or HIGH pressure for 10 min, with a Quick Release.

7. Release the pressure according to manufacturer directions.

The pumpkin is fork tender, meaning that a fork goes through the pumpkin easily.


8. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh from the skin.

If the pumpkin has cooked long enough, it will scoop easily out of the skin.

9. Put scooped out pumpkin into a food mill, food processor or use an immersion blender.

I think an old fashioned potato masher will do the job, but may not be as smooth as the result, below...

Blend until smoooooth and creamy.

It's already looking better than the canned stuff!

Measure according to recipe and use, or freeze in Ziploc bags for up to 6 months.

Yes, you can freeze this stuff!

Two 5" pumpkins yielded 3 3/4 c. of thick, fresh puree.

I use pumpkin puree in Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Pumpkin Butter.

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Instant Pot Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Homemade Pressure Cooked Pumpkin Puree

Yield: 1 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups
Author: Frieda Franchina, adapted from KitchenStewardship
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 30 min
Have a favorite recipe that calls for canned pumpkin puree? Use this easy homemade pumpkin puree cup for cup and notice how much better they will taste. You can measure and freeze flat in a freezer baggie for up to 6 months.
  • 1-4 pound Sugar or Pie pumpkin (can use butternut squash or sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup of water


How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

  1. Cut stem from pumpkin. Using a long serrated knife, cut pumpkin in half.
  2. With a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp.
  3. Place trivet in the insert of your electric pressure cooker.
  4. Add 1 cup water into insert. Add pumpkin pieces, skin side down.
  5. Cover, lock, and select High pressure for 10 minutes.
  6. At the end of 10 minutes, open the pressure valve for a Quick Release. 
  7. Scoop the cooked flesh and put into a bowl or food processor.
  8. Using a potato masher, immersion blender, or processor, blend cooked pumpkin until smooth and creamy. Store covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  9. Measure cooked pumpkin according to recipe and freeze flat for up to 6 months. 


  1. I love fresh pumpkin pie. I have found the sugar pumpkins watery. Do you let yours drain at all before using the puree? I find I need to let mine sit in a colander for awhile to let some of the water drain off. I also like cinderella pumpkins and jaradale and sweet meat for pie. Have you ever used anything besides the sugar pumpkins?

  2. I forgot to say I love your new format.

  3. Bonnie, How did you cook your pumpkin? Could it have been watery because it was boiled or microwaved? Just because the pumpkin is "small" doesn't necessarily mean that it was a Sugar pumpkin unless it is labeled as such.
    I did not have to drain this at all; it was steamed in the pressure cooker. I got all this info from pickyourown.org. No, I haven't tried any other pumpkin and look forward to growing these in my garden next year~

  4. I just roasted a "pie" pumpkin yesterday and made some pumpkin muffins with it. It was the first time I'd ever made my own pumpkin puree.

  5. Mags, Congratulations! I'm sure it tasted fabulous!

  6. Bonnie, Thanks! I'm glad you are liking the Fall cleanup of my blog!

  7. Wow, I'm inspired. I think I'll make some pumpkin puree today.

  8. Ann, good luck. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  9. Can you recall if you planted the seeds the next spring? How did that go with harvest?

    1. I can't remember if we did or not....it's always worth a try!


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