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Freezing Pumpkin {How to Freeze Pumpkin}

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 without needing to know any special kitchen skills.

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.

HOW DO I USE Frozen PUMPKIN?

Any way you’d like! I use it in muffins, pumpkin bread, and Super Soft Pumpkin 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

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.

Three process steps for freezing pumpkin

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Freeze in portions you plan to use upon defrosting. Quart freezer bags or canning jars will replace a 15 oz can of puree from the store.
  • If freezing in canning jars, only use wide mouth jars and leave 1 inch of space between the top of the puree and the top of the jar.
  • Need just a little bit of pumpkin to add to things like Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce, Whole Wheat Pancakes, or Butternut Squash Chili? Freeze in ice cube trays and then remove and place in freezer bags. These are our favorite reusable bags.
  • I do not recommend freezing a carved trick-or-treating pumpkin as it could contain bacteria that render your produce unsafe.
  • Save the seeds to make White Cheddar Pumpkin Seeds.

a glass jar full of pumpkin puree with mini pumpkins

MORE KITCHEN TRICKS YOU’LL LOVE:

Freezing Pumpkin {How to Freeze Pumpkin}

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Freezing Time3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing pumpkins to extend the harvest.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • ice {optional}

Instructions

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.

Notes

Cubes and puree will keep in the freezer for 6-12 months.
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.
Nutrition Facts
Freezing Pumpkin {How to Freeze Pumpkin}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 30
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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