Wondering “can you freeze canned pumpkin puree“? The good news is, canned pumpkin puree freezes beautifully if done correctly. Here’s my easy guide to freezing pumpkin perfectly every time.
Can You Freeze Canned Pumpkin Puree?
You’ve just finished whipping up a delicious pumpkin dish and find yourself with leftover canned pumpkin puree. Few recipes use the entire can (guilty as charged). What do you do with it if you don’t use canned pumpkin on a regular basis? Can you freeze it for future use?
Let’s dive into the answers and explore the best ways to freeze and use frozen pumpkin puree.
Benefits of Freezing Pumpkin Puree
A freezer stocked with frozen pumpkin is is a practical way to extend its shelf life and ensure you have pumpkin puree on hand for your next pumpkin recipe.
- Reduces Waste: Freezing leftover puree prevents food waste. Instead of throwing away what’s left of the 15-ounce can, you’re saving it for later.
- Convenience: Having leftover pumpkin puree in the freezer means you’re always ready to add a touch of fall flavor to your dishes, any time of the year.
- Maintains Quality: Freezing pumpkin leftovers preserves the taste, nutritional value, and color of the pumpkin puree.
Freezing Canned Pumpkin Puree: An Easy Guide
There are a few different ways for freezing pumpkin puree. I’ll start with my favorite.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Puree in Bags or Containers
- Portion It Out: Before freezing, consider how you’ll use the puree in the future. Freezing in specific portion sizes can be very convenient. For example, if you often use a cup of puree at a time, freeze it in one-cup portions.
- Use Freezer-Safe Containers: Spoon the puree into freezer bags or airtight containers. I love to use silicone bags or freezer bags because they thaw super quickly. Flatten them out for easy stacking and space-saving in the freezer.
- Label and Date: Mark the bags or containers with the date of freezing. Pumpkin puree can be kept in the freezer for about 7 to 8 months.
I find the most accurate, least messy and easiest way is to portion out pumpkin puree is using a kitchen scale:
- Place a freezer bag inside of a tall glass so that the bag is held open.
- Place the glass with the bag onto a kitchen scale and turn it on (tare it off to remove the weight of the glass).
- Note that one cup of pumpkin puree is 250 grams. Just scoop in the pumpkin until it reaches 250 grams, and repeat with remaining puree!
How to Freeze Pumpkin Puree Using Muffin Tins or Ice Cube Trays
Freezing pumpkin puree in muffin cups or ice cube trays is an ingenious method that offers portion control and convenience. This technique is especially useful if you frequently use small amounts of pumpkin puree in your cooking, or only have a small amount of pumpkin leftover. Here’s how to do it:
- Preparation: Lightly grease the muffin tin or ice cube tray compartments with a bit of oil or cooking spray. This step ensures the frozen puree pops out easily later. If available, silicone versions make the removal of the frozen puree even easier.
- Portion the Puree: Spoon the pumpkin puree into the muffin tin compartments. Fill each to the desired level, typically a quarter or half cup per compartment, depending on your future recipe needs.
- Freeze Until Solid: Place the muffin tin in the freezer and let the puree freeze solid. This usually takes several hours, but leaving it overnight is convenient.
Retrieving and Storing Frozen Puree
- Pop Out the Puree: Once the pumpkin puree is frozen, remove the muffin tin from the freezer. Briefly run the bottom of the tin under warm water to loosen the puree ‘muffins.’
- Transfer to Freezer Bags: Pop out the puree portions and transfer them to labeled freezer bags for long-term storage. Removing the puree from the muffin pans promptly promptly helps to maintain its shape and consistency.
Pros of this method:
- Perfect Portions: This method allows you to freeze the pumpkin puree in smaller, recipe-ready portions, which is great for baking or when you need a couple of tablespoons for a recipe.
- Quick Thawing: The smaller portions thaw faster than a larger block of puree, saving time when you’re ready to cook.
Cons of this method:
- Freezer Space: A freezer bag of lumpy blocks of pumpkin is bulkier and takes up more space than flat freezer bags.
- Possible Freezer Burn: It’s also not possible to get the air out of the bag, leading to faster freezer burn.
Thawing Frozen Pumpkin Puree
Be sure to thaw your pumpkin puree safely. Avoid leaving it at room temperature for more than 2 hours, as this can lead to bacterial growth. Here are the two best ways to thaw frozen pumpkin:
- Fridge Method: If you know in advance you’re going to use the frozen puree, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Quick Method: Submerge the tightly-sealed pumpkin in a large bowl of warm water. It’ll be thawed in 10-15 minutes! Note that this works best with freezer bags where the pumpkin is squished flat. Be super sure there are no holes in the bag, or else place inside another larger zipper bag for extra insurance against water coming in (you can always reuse both bags).
- Microwave Method: To thaw pumpkin puree in the microwave without overheating, use the defrost setting or the lowest power level, heating in short 20-30 second bursts. Stir or flip the puree between intervals to ensure even thawing. Continue until it reaches a spoonable consistency, avoiding overheating to maintain its texture and flavor.
- Avoid Refreezing: Once you’ve thawed the pumpkin puree, try not to refreeze it. This can affect its quality and texture as well as food safety.
How to Use Frozen Pumpkin Puree
Frozen pumpkin puree can be used just like fresh. Here are a couple of things to note:
Use it frozen:
- Add directly to smoothies: Pop a couple of still-frozen ice cube-sized portions of pumpkin directly into smoothies for extra vitamins and thick texture.
Use it thawed:
- Thaw for baking and cooking: Once thawed, use it in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin. It’s perfect for pies, soups, breads, and more.
- Stir Before Using: After thawing, the puree might separate slightly. Give it a good stir to bring back its consistent texture. Don’t drain it off, as that liquid will be factored into your recipes.
- Make Sure it’s Room Temperature: You’ll want to be certain your puree isn’t still ice cold, partially frozen (or hot, if you used the water method of thawing). This ensures your ingredients will incorporate properly and the recipe will turn out perfectly.
Freezing canned pumpkin purée is a fantastic way to extend its shelf life and ensure that you have this fall favorite ready for your next recipe.
Fan Favorite Pumpkin Recipes
Not just for thanksgiving! Try one of these delicious ways to use up a can of pumpkin:
Can You Freeze Canned Pumpkin Puree? Here's how to do it right!
- 1 cup Pumpkin Puree (or whatever amount you have!)
Freezer Bag Method:
- Place 1 cup of pumpkin puree (or desired quantity) in a freezer-safe bag. Flatten the bag to evenly distribute the puree, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Label the bag with the date and freeze. The flat shape allows for quicker freezing and easier storage.
Muffin Tin Method:
- Spoon pumpkin puree into a muffin tin, filling each cup with an equal amount. Freeze until solid, then pop out the frozen puree ‘muffins’ and transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Label with the date. This method is perfect for portion control and ease of use.
- Thaw in the fridge overnight for best results. For quicker thawing, use a microwave with a defrost setting, heating in short intervals and stirring in between to ensure even thawing. Avoid overheating to maintain the texture and flavor.
Last Updated on November 10, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD