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Pumpkin Puree Substitute(5 Best Replacements)

Explore easy and tasty pumpkin puree substitute options to revamp your autumn-inspired recipes. No more last-minute grocery store runs – discover simple alternatives for a seamless cooking experience!

We made a list of versatile ingredients that can replace pureed pumpkin if you have ever run out. They will give you results that will not disappoint, for sure!

Canned pumpkin puree, different brands.

What Is Pumpkin Puree?

Pumpkin puree is a silky and dense paste that people make by cooking and blending pumpkins.

It has a distinct vibrant orange color and an earthy, nutty, sweet, and mildly vegetal taste.

Home cooks use this puree in countless recipes worldwide. It’s a baking staple in creating delectable sweet recipes: pumpkin pie, cakes, muffins, and cookies.

Additionally, it taste amazing in savory recipes as well, including: stews, soups, and sauces. Some curry recipes also include pureed pumpkin.

Those seeking healthier pancakes and smoothies also find that using this puree works wonders. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even make pumpkin ice cream.

Canned pumpkin puree is easily accessible in grocery stores, so you can use this ingredient throughout the year. These cans enable you to make pumpkin-based dishes regardless of the season.

Best Substitute For Pumpkin Puree

There are a few reasons why you would need to substitute pumpkin puree. Whether it is due to seasonal availability or simply a desire to experiment, we’ve got you covered!

From sweet potatoes to butternut squash, we’ll explore each substitute’s characteristics. We’ll also give practical tips to help you get the best substitution experience.

Here is a list with best substitutes for pumpkin puree.

1. Homemade Pumpkin Puree

food processor with homemade pumpkin puree

If a store-bought puree is not available, you can always make a homemade pumpkin puree version. It’s easy, and all you need is a pumpkin. Here’s how to make your pumpkin puree:

  1. Cut the pumpkin into half.
  2. Remove the seeds.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Place the pumpkin halves on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast until the flesh is soft.
  6. Remove the roasted pumpkin from the heat and allow to cool.
  7. Use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin.
  8. Pulse the flesh in a food processor or a blender until smooth.


Use a sugar pumpkin or any small pumpkin for the best result. Smaller pumpkins yield a sweeter and smoother puree than larger pumpkins. You may also steam the pumpkin if you do not have access to an oven.

2. Acorn Squash Puree

Sliced in half acorn squash.

Pureed acorn squash is a great ingredient that you can use to substitute pumpkin puree. This particular winter squash variety has a unique shape and captivating green or orange skin.

However, when you puree it, you will barely notice its difference from pureed pumpkin.

It shares the same color, texture, and taste. After all, pumpkin and acorn squash hail from the Cucurbitaceae family. That said, they have comparable characteristics.

Acorn squash is widely available during the autumn and winter. It is a convenient option during these seasons.


To enhance the flavor of acorn squash, roast it as you would a pumpkin before pureeing. Use pureed acorn squash in a 1:1 substitution ratio to replace pumpkin puree.

3. Butternut Squash Puree

Sliced in half butternut squash.

Another one of the best substitutes for pumpkin puree is pureed butternut squash. It boasts a velvety texture and a subtly sweet flavor like pumpkin puree.

It belongs to the same family as pumpkin and acorn squash, too. For this reason, it pairs well with all foods that taste great with pureed pumpkin.

Plus, you can find butternut squash in most stores all year round. That said, it is an accessible alternative you won’t have challenges finding.


Customize your butternut squash puree depending on your recipe needs. Try adding brown sugar or maple syrup to enhance its sweetness. For savory dishes, you may combine it with powdered ginger, cloves, or allspice.

Use the same amount of pureed butternut squash as the pureed pumpkin your recipe calls for.

4. Sweet Potato Puree

Pan with mashed sweet potato puree.

If you don’t particularly like the taste of pumpkin or squash, you can use sweet potatoes instead. The process of making pureed sweet potato is similar to making pumpkin puree.

If you use it in place of pureed pumpkin, you’ll notice a difference in flavor. After all, sweet potatoes do not taste like pumpkins.

However, like pumpkins, sweet potatoes boast a vibrant orange hue. They also possess an earthy, slightly sweet taste. They also develop a creamy and smooth consistency once pureed.

The great thing is that sweet potatoes are versatile. They will taste great in both sweet and savory dishes.

If you want to give your recipes a surprising twist, try using white sweet potatoes. They don’t have that distinct orange color, so your dish will look entirely different.


Use a 1:1 substitution ratio when using pureed sweet potato to substitute pumpkin puree.

5. Carrot Puree

Two glass jars filled with carrot puree.

Carrots are nutritious and orange in color, too. For this reason, pureed carrot is also among the best pumpkin puree substitutes.

In most cases, though, you will find that pureed carrot has a darker orange color than a pumpkin puree. Plus, it would also have a distinct vegetal taste. It’s nothing to worry about, as it will still taste great with almost anything that calls for pumpkin puree.

The texture of pureed carrot closely resembles that of pureed pumpkin. That said, the substitution will be seamless.


To make a carrot puree, you may boil them instead of roasting them. When you do so, save a bit of the boiling liquid. Use it to thin out the puree while blending or pulsing in the food processor.

Replace each cup of pureed pumpkin with a cup of carrot puree.

What Is The Difference Between Fresh Pumpkin And Canned Pumpkin?

Fresh pumpkins and canned pumpkins differ in texture and color. Canned pumpkin tends to be thicker and lumpier. Plus, it also has a more vibrant color. However, canned pumpkin has preservatives. When you make a puree out of fresh pumpkins, the results are usually smoother, and the color is lighter. They also have a more natural taste, as they do not contain artificial ingredients.

How Much Fresh Pumpkin Puree Equals One Can?

One can of pumpkin puree usually contains 15 ounces of product, equivalent to 1.875 cups. A pound of pumpkin typically yields more or less a cup of puree. That said, you’ll need approximately 2 pounds of fresh pumpkin to replace each can of pumpkin puree. It is worth noting that the ratio can be affected by how moist or dense the pumpkin is.

Is Pumpkin Puree Same As Pumpkin Pie Filling?

No. A pumpkin puree is not the same as a pumpkin pie filling. A pie filling usually has added flavorings that make it a convenient option for making a pie. After all, you won’t need to season it further. A pumpkin puree is just pureed pumpkin, no more and no less.

Why Use Pumpkin Puree In Baking?

Pumpkin puree is a useful baking ingredient. Aside from giving baked goods flavor, it also acts as a sweetener. Pumpkin puree also adds moisture, giving baked goodies a nice texture.


There are several options you can choose from if you need a pumpkin puree substitute. The closest alternative to a canned pumpkin puree is a homemade version. You may also use butternut or acorn squash puree for the closest flavor match.

You may also use sweet potatoes or carrots to make a puree if you want a different flavor. These options give you a similar color and texture but a different pleasant taste. Nevertheless, these pumpkin puree replacements will give your dishes a nutrition boost. In a pinch, even apple sauce will work in certain dishes.

More Ingredient Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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