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Purée the Pumpkin
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5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Pumpkin Purée

This fall, skip the canned pumpkin! Instead, make homemade Instant Pot pumpkin purée with a sugar pumpkin! (Make ahead and freeze for later!)
Prep Time0 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 105kcal


  • 1 sugar pumpkin (2-3 lbs) Sometimes labeled "pumpkin pie pumpkin"
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  • Rinse off the pumpkin. Use a knife to poke a few holes in the top of the pumpkin (to let the steam escape).
  • Add trivet to the Instant Pot, set pumpkin on top (stem-side up), and add 1 cup water.
    Place the Sugar Pumpkin in the Instant Pot
  • Seal the lid and turn the steam valve to the sealing position.
  • Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manual, high pressure. Set the cook time for 14 minutes.
  • The Instant Pot will take about 6 minutes to come to pressure, and then will start counting down the cook time.
    After the cook time is finished, the machine will begin the natural release process, and the countdown timer will start counting up. Allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes.
    After 10 minutes, carefully quick release the remaining pressure by using the handle of a long spoon (I use a wooden spoon) to turn the steam valve to venting.
    Tip: Quick release can be messy– the vent will shoot some liquids out with the steam. Lay a kitchen towel over the top to keep your kitchen clean.
  • Wait for the steam to escape and the pin to drop down. Then, carefully remove the lid.
    Pressure Cook Until Softened
  • Remove the pumpkin from the Instant Pot, and discard the water. Set the trivet aside.
  • Cut the pumpkin in half, and remove the seeds and membrane.
    Cut the Pumpkin in Half + Remove Seeds
  • Scoop the pumpkin out, and discard the skin.
    Tip: If a little bit of skin ends up in the purée, it's okay. It's edible.
    Scoop Out the Pumpkin
  • Add the olive oil to the empty Instant Pot basin. Press the sauté button. Leave the adjustable temperature setting at normal.
  • Add the cooked pumpkin and salt to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to mash the pumpkin into the oil, and let the pumpkin cook for about 5 minutes.
    This step helps remove any excess water from the pumpkin, and adds a little extra flavor.
    Heat the Pumpkin Purée in the Instant Pot
  • Skip the Blender (Option 1):
    If you're eating the pumpkin as a side dish, adding to a dish that will be puréed after adding the pumpkin, or if you're adding it to a dish where it doesn't matter if the pumpkin is silky smooth, you can stop here.
    Blend the Pumpkin (Option 2):
    For extra-smooth pumpkin purée, add the pumpkin to a blender or food processor. If your blender struggles, add a splash of water while blending, but you shouldn't need to!
  • Serve immediately as a side dish, or add to a recipe.
    Make Ahead:
    Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to two months. Do not can.


Yields approximately 15oz pumpkin purée, or about 1 3/4 cups (the same as one small can of pumpkin).  Nutrition information estimates 3.75 ounces per person.


Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 964mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 24134IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg