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Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing pumpkin to extend the harvest. Learning how to freeze pumpkin in cubes or puree is a great way to preserve this wonderful ingredient.

a bag of cubed frozen pumpkin with mini pumpkins
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If you snag a great deal on fresh pie pumpkins (often labeled as “sugar pumpkins” or “small sugar pie”), it is so simple to prep and freeze them for fantastic sweet and savory recipes.

As long as you can cut a pumpkin and have a freezer, it is a cinch. Let’s do this!

I do have a recipe for canning pumpkin if you have a pressure canner and a bit more time to preserve your pumpkin. But I’m also a huge fan of “freezing all the things”, so check out my How to Freeze Fresh Produce post for more helpful tutorials.

Can You Freeze Pumpkin?

Absolutely! It makes an incredible addition to your freezer essentials for fast and healthy recipes. It can be frozen in pieces/cubes or puree.

Three process steps for freezing pumpkin

Should I Blanch Pumpkin Before Freezing?

Yes, if you are freezing in cube form. Blanching helps to lock in the flavor and keeps everything safe for preservation. Thankfully it is an easy process and will take you less than 10 minutes.


Any way you’d like! I use it in muffins, pumpkin bread, and Pumpkin Spice Cookies. In a pinch, you could use it in place of butternut squash in Spicy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup. It’s also fantastic in this Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Pie from Hey Nutrition Lady.

Cubes of frozen pumpkin on a baking tray

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

a glass jar full of pumpkin puree with mini pumpkins
5 from 1 rating

Freezing Pumpkin {How to Freeze Pumpkin}

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes
Freezing Time: 3 hours
Total: 4 hours 30 minutes
a bag of cubed frozen pumpkin with mini pumpkins
Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing pumpkins to extend the harvest.


  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • ice {optional}


Freezing Pumpkin Cubes

  • Wash the outside of the pumpkin. Cut your pumpkin in half, slightly on one side of the stem.
  • Remove the innards using a spoon. Set the seeds aside. It's ok to not get all the strings out of it; we'll deal with it later.
  • Lay one half of the pumpkin, cavity side down, and slice it like you're slicing a melon. Repeat with the other half.
  • Place the slices onto a plate and microwave for 1 minute. This will soften the pumpkin to make the next step easier.
  • Take one of the slices, and cut the rind off of the chunk. Trim any strings. Cut into 1-inch chunks. Repeat with the rest of the pumpkin.
  • Set aside a bowl of ice water. Boil a pot of water and add the pumpkin cubes in batches for 2 minutes.
  • Once the time is up, strain the cubes through a colander or scoop pieces out of the water with a slotted spoon and immediately add to the ice water for two minutes.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. 
  • Strain the cooled cubes and add them to the baking sheet without crowding the tray and place the tray in the freezer. 
  • Freeze for three hours. 
  • Break apart any clumps that have formed on the baking sheet and transfer to freezer-proof storage.

Freezing Pumpkin Puree

  • Wash the outside of the pumpkin and cut the pumpkin into quarters.
  • Remove the innards using a spoon. Set the seeds aside.
  • Place quarters cavity-side up in a pan with an inch of water.
  • Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 hour, or until the pumpkin can easily be pierced with a knife.
  • Remove the flesh and either mash with a fork or potato masher, or process in a food processor with a bit of water.
  • Allow puree to cool and place in ice cube trays, freezer bags, or wide-mouth canning jars with 1-inch of space between the top of the puree and the top of the jar.


  1. Cubes and puree will keep in the freezer for 6-12 months.
  2. To defrost: place bag or jar on the counter and defrost at room temperature. You can also defrost in the fridge overnight. In a pinch, you can place bag/jar in a bowl of warm water.


Calories: 30kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: How To
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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  1. Did you at one time have a recipe for making the pumpkin puree in the instant pot? Or at least cooking the pumpkin parts in the IP? Am I dreaming again??

    1. Technically yes. The ice water is meant to halt the cooking process almost immediately. Cold water will work but will take a bit longer for the pumpkin to fully cool. You run the risk of the cubes being a bit softer, but the safety of it is the same.

  2. The recipe is great-really like different options. It says you’ll get to the string/seeds later but I don’t see it…did I miss it?
    Thank you 😊 5 stars

    1. Step 5 in the recipe card: Take one of the slices, and cut the rind off of the chunk. Trim any strings. Cut into 1-inch chunks. Repeat with the rest of the pumpkin.

      You’re basically cutting them off with a knife.