Canning Alternatives for Canning Pumpkin Puree

Bowl of pumpkin puree on a table with fall leaves
Canning pumpkin puree isn’t recommended because its density interferes with proper heat penetration. An alternative is to cut and blanch 1-inch pumpkin cubes and hot-pack them into canning jars. Process the pumpkin in a pressure canner for 55-90 minutes. Canned pumpkins may be pureed immediately before use.

Can Pumpkin Puree Be Canned?

No- the USDA and other trusted sources warn against canning mashed or pureed pumpkin in a pressure canner or water bath canner. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the variation in viscosity of this pureed vegetable means there is no universal canning recommendation for it.

Further, pumpkin puree is a low-acid food with a dense consistency. The thickness inhibits proper heat penetration, making it difficult to destroy botulism spores.

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pickled pumpkin in a canning jar

Pressure Canning Recipe for Pumpkin

  • Author: Regie
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes


If you bought too many pumpkins on Halloween or have leftover jack-o’-lanterns and are looking for ideas to preserve pumpkins, look no further! It’s easy and safe to can pumpkin pieces, which can be turned into pumpkin puree whenever needed!


  • 16lbs whole pumpkin
  • Water


  1. Wash canning jars, rings, and lids with soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly. Place jars in boiling water for 10 minutes or until ready to use.
  2. Prepare your pressure canner per the manufacturer’s instructions. Put 2-3 inches of water and a canning rack inside and set it on a stove to begin heating.
  3. Choose firm, fresh, disease-free pumpkins. Wash them thoroughly in cool, running tap water.
  4. Using a sharp knife, chop off the top stem.
  5. Split the pumpkin lengthwise into halves and use a spoon to scoop the pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin. The seeds can be discarded or roasted and eaten as a snack. Next, cut the pumpkin into 1-inch wide strips.
  6. Run a vegetable peeler or sharp knife along the curves to remove the hard rind before cutting the peeled pumpkin flesh into 1-inch cubes.
  7. Fill a large stockpot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add the cubed pumpkins to the water and blanch them for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, carefully scoop the hot cubes out of the hot water and pack them into hot jars. Be careful not to mash the pumpkin. Add ½ teaspoon of canning salt to pint jars or one teaspoon to quart jars, as desired.
  9. Add cooking liquid to the jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Run a bubble popper or plastic butter knife along the edges to release air bubbles.
  10. Wipe rims using a damp cloth or paper napkin. Seal with 2-part canning lids until fingertip tight.
  11. Place the filled jars upright into the pressure canner. Attach a lid and bring water to a boil using high heat.
  12. Remove the weight to allow steam venting for 10 minutes.
  13. Put on the weight or close the vent or petcock to build pressure to the appropriate level based on elevation and canner type.

Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner

  • 0 – 2,000ft: 11 lbs
  • 2,001 – 4,000ft: 12 lbs
  • 4,001 – 6,000ft: 13 lbs
  • 6,001ft and up: 14 lbs

Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner

  • 0 – 1,000ft: 10 lbs
  • 1,001ft and up: 15 lbs

Processing and Cooling

  1. Once the pressure is at the correct level, set a processing time of 55 minutes for pint jars or 90 minutes for quart jars.
  2. Once the processing time is complete, turn the heat off. Let the canner’s pressure drop to zero. Wait to open the lid for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Open the lid away from your face and wait five more minutes before removing the jars.
  4. Using a jar lifter, remove the processed jars from the hot water, placing them on a towel-lined countertop to sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
  5. Loosen or remove screw bands. Check seals by pressing lid centers with your finger. Lids for sealed jars don’t flex up and down when pressed.
  6. Refrigerate any unsealed jars and consume the contents within 5-7 days.
  7. Label all sealed jars with the canning date and contents. Store sealed jars in a cool, dark, dry, clean pantry or cabinet shelf. When ready to make pumpkin puree, open a jar, strain the liquid, and blend or mash the pumpkin cubes into a smooth puree.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 49kcal
  • Sugar: 5.1g
  • Sodium: 2.5mg
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Protein: 1.8g
  • Cholesterol: omg

How to Freeze Pumpkin Puree

Freezing is a convenient method of preserving pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter for up to 6 months. The container chosen to freeze pumpkin puree will impact the method for freezing it.

1. Freezer Containers

  1. Once the pumpkin puree is prepared, set it aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Pack the cooled puree in rigid, freezer-friendly, airtight containers, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  3. Seal the containers with airtight lids and label the containers before storing them in your freezer at 0°F.

2. Freezer Bags

  1. Pack prepared and cooled pumpkin puree into freezer bags.
  2. Squeeze the package gently to release air bubbles before sealing them.
  3. Flatten the puree on a baking sheet, lock the bags, and place them side by side in your freezer until they are frozen solid. This enables them to be stored flat and will reduce the amount of space they take.
  4. When ready to use the puree, remove the bags and let them thaw to room temperature on a kitchen counter.

3. Muffin Tins

  1. Pack pumpkin puree into muffin tins for smaller batches. One muffin tin holds approximately ½ a cup of puree.
  2. Smooth the puree with the top of a spoon to make a level surface.
  3. Place the muffin tin on an even surface in the freezer and freeze at 0°F until rock-hard.
  4. Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and invert it over a cutting board to release the frozen puree. Move the solid, muffin-shaped puree blocks into freezer containers or bags and keep them frozen until needed.

4. Ice Cube Trays

  1. Fill ice cube trays with pumpkin puree to make small portions of puree. 1 cube is equivalent to roughly 1-3 teaspoons of puree, depending on the ice cube tray size.
  2. Place the ice cube trays on an even surface in the freezer and freeze the cubes until solid.
  3. The pumpkin puree can be kept in the ice cube trays or removed and transferred into airtight, freezer-safe containers or freezer bags for proper storage.
Pumpkin puree inside of ice cube molds with a cut pumpkin off to the side
Freezing pumpkin puree

How Long Can Pumpkin Puree Last in the Fridge?

Homemade pumpkin puree lasts for 3-5 days in the fridge. Opened cans of commercially-prepared pumpkin puree keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

What are the Benefits of Canning Pumpkin?

  • Canned pumpkin is a versatile ingredient for quick pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin banana smoothies, or coconut-pumpkin soup!
  • Canning pumpkin is a safe way to save fresh pumpkins to enjoy all year long and reduce waste.
  • Home canning pumpkin or butternut squash saves money as you can buy it in bulk from the grocery store.
  • Pumpkin is an excellent source of proteins, zinc, carbohydrates, magnesium, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that help support a strong immune system.
Jar of canned pumpkin next to stacks of pumpkins and pumpkin seeds
Canned pumpkin

How Long Does Canned Pumpkin Puree Last?

According to the USDA, commercially-canned goods will last for years as long as the can is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling). Homemade pumpkin puree isn’t shelf stable and should be refrigerated and eaten within five days or frozen and consumed within 3-6 months.

How to Store Cubed Canned Pumpkin

Store cubed canned pumpkin in a cool place with a temperature between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid storing canned pumpkins in direct sunlight as it can lead to spoilage.

What is the Shelf Life for Canned Pumpkin?

Canned pumpkin has a shelf life of up to 18 months. However, the NCHFP and USDA recommend a best-used-by date of one year for maximum flavor, texture, and nutrition of canned pumpkin.


Growing up as a farm girl, Regie assisted her grandparents in canning sheep meat and helped her mother sell canned carrots. This grew her passion for canning from a young age. As a writer, she uses her canning experience to give creative, practical ideas for preserving different foods to canning enthusiasts.

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