Knowing how to roast fresh pumpkin is an incredible asset. Fresh pumpkin puree can be used to make pies, bread, muffins, ravioli, risotto, pasta, and soup.
Basically, anything that calls for canned pumpkin can be made with roasted fresh pumpkin puree.
Roasting fresh pumpkin to make your own pumpkin puree is so incredibly easy. You’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this all along.
That coupled with the deliciously sweet flavor will keep you from grabbing the canned pumpkin off the shelves at the grocery store—no more canned pumpkin for you.
Be sure to read to the end, where we compare homegrown roasted pumpkin with roasted pumpkin from the grocery store and canned pumpkin.
How to prepare fresh pumpkins for baking?
There really isn’t a lot to do to prepare your pumpkin for baking. You can just rinse it off with water. You don’t need to use any soap since you will peel the skin off after baking.
How to roast fresh pumpkin for puree?
- line a cookie sheet with foil for easy cleanup
- cut pumpkin in half
- remove seeds and fibers
- place pumpkin halves cut side down on the foil-lined cookie sheet
- Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes – it should be very tender
- While the pumpkin is still warm, remove the skin – it should remove easily and is incredibly satisfying.
- place the rest of the pumpkin in a food processor and process/pulse until smooth – this won’t take long.
- Sometimes the puree will be a little watery, if this is the case line a strainer with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and strain. Save the liquid from the pumpkin to use in soups or broth – adds a lot of flavor.
- let puree come to room temperature and then store in a mason jar in the refrigerator – it will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator
- 1 sugar pie pumpkin will yield 2-3 cups of puree
See also: The Best Friendsgiving Casserole Recipes
What can you make with fresh pumpkin puree?
- pumpkin pie
- pumpkin roll
- pumpkin cheesecake
- pumpkin bread
- pumpkin muffins
- pumpkin soup
- pasta dishes
- ravioli filling
All your favorite fall recipes that call for canned pumpkin, you can make with fresh pumpkin.
Can you roast a regular pumpkin?
You can roast a regular pumpkin. But, bear in mind that the flavor will vary depending on the type of pumpkin you roast.
The pumpkins that you use for jack-o-lanterns don’t typically make the best pumpkins for eating. You can definitely still roast them just know that they aren’t as sweet. You may need to add a tiny bit of brown sugar to the puree when cooking with it.
When it comes to eating pumpkin, you want to either look for a sugar (pie) pumpkin at the store or a homegrown pumpkin.
We have done a test between roasted pumpkin from the grocery store, roasted homegrown pumpkin, and pumpkin from the can. We focused on color, texture, and taste. See the photos and table below for the results.
How to make pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkins?
To make pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkins, you can just follow your favorite pumpkin pie recipe and substitute the canned pumpkin with fresh pumpkin.
Remember, if you use a sugar (pie) pumpkin, it will be sweeter than most recipes that call for canned pumpkin. So, you will need to adjust your recipe accordingly by adding less sugar.
It really helps if you taste a tiny bit of the pumpkin puree to help judge its sweetness before you add the sugar.
How to roast pumpkin cubes?
- Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds
- Cut each half into wedges
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from each wedge
- Cut each wedge into uniform cubes
- Add olive oil and seasonings of your choice…..salt, rosemary, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cayenne
- Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes
How to roast pumpkin seeds
- rinse seeds and remove all pumpkin
- lay flat on a towel to dry – ensure they are dry before continuing otherwise they will steam instead of roast
- once dry place in a bowl and add 1/2 tsp olive oil and your favorite seasonings – salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, rosemary, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, etc.
- toss to coat
- pour onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet
- roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes
- they are done once they turn nice and brown
Tip: you can also do this with any of the winter squash seeds; butternut squash, spaghetti squash, or acorn squash.
For a sweeter pumpkin seed snack, you can add brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, and zinc and are anti-inflammatory.
What’s the difference between storebought, homegrown, and canned pumpkin?
Right off the bat, you will notice the difference in color between freshly roasted pumpkins and canned pumpkin. The canned pumpkin has a much darker color. The freshly roasted pumpkin is lighter and brighter – definitely looks fresher.
The canned pumpkin is a little thicker but you can let your fresh pumpkin strain overnight in the fridge if you want it to be even thicker. It will really just depend on how you are planning to use your puree.
The taste is what really sets everything apart. The canned pumpkin has a very bland flavor whereas the freshly roasted pumpkin has a light, fresh pumpkin flavor. It is much sweeter than canned pumpkin. You could really eat it without any flavorings or cooking it any further.
This post was all about how to roast fresh pumpkin
Roasting fresh pumpkin is so incredibly easy. And once you have tasted the difference, you will never want to buy canned pumpkin again.
The flavorful difference it makes in your recipes is worth a little extra effort. And honestly, it’s not really much more effort than opening a can.
So, whether it’s growing your own pumpkin in your backyard or picking up a sugar pie pumpkin from your local farmers market or grocery store, you definitely need to add “roasting your own pumpkin” to your repertoire.