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Best Pumpkin Puree Substitutes (And How To Use Them)

Best Pumpkin Puree Substitutes (And How To Use Them)

Are you all out of pumpkin puree but need it for a recipe? Don’t rush out to the grocery store just yet. There are a few substitutes you can use in place of pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin puree is found in all types of tasty recipes including pie, cookies, cupcakes, cake, pancakes and more. And no matter what you are making, you can use one of the alternatives below to finish your dish.

So what are the best substitutes for pumpkin puree?

The top pumpkin puree substitutes are sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, or to make your own.

Be sure to read about how to use each of these pumpkin puree replacements for the best results.

Pumpkin Puree Alternatives

Pumpkin puree is used in all types of recipes and can be baked, fried, boiled, and even sautéed. If you need something similar to pumpkin puree, use one of these excellent alternatives.

Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato puree

This kitchen staple is my favorite substitute for pureed pumpkin. You can use canned or fresh sweet potatoes or yams in any recipe that calls for pumpkin puree.

Whether making pies, cookies, cake or anything else, this sweet tuber is an exceptional stand in.

If you are using canned sweet potatoes, drain them and then pop them in the food processor and puree. Once pureed you can add them to your recipe without any other alterations.

When using whole sweet potatoes, boil them first and then puree them in your food processor. You can skin them first, but the skin is loaded with nutrients and the flavor is great.


1 cup of pureed sweet potatoes equals 1 cup of pumpkin puree

Related Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Pie Poppers

Butternut Squash

whole butternut squash

Butternut squash is plentiful in most locations come fall and it makes for an excellent pureed pumpkin replacement. And you can use whole butternut squash or frozen.

To puree a whole squash first cut it in half and remove the seeds. Place your squash halves face down on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven, at 375 degrees.

Bake your squash for about 1 hour. Remove and then scoop out the squash and discard the skin.

In your food processor, puree your squash until it is smooth and an even consistency.

To puree frozen squash, place it in your food processor once thawed and process until it is smooth.

Squash can be used in any recipe that uses pureed pumpkin. It is particularly good in breads and cookies.


1 cup pureed squash equals 1 cup pureed pumpkin

Related Recipe: Pumpkin Waffles with Bisquick

Acorn Squash

halved acorn squash

Acorn squash is another exceptional substitute for pumpkin. It can be used to make pies, cookies, cake, bread and more.

You will prepare your acorn squash just like you would butternut squash. First cut it in half and remove the seeds and stringy fibers. Place each half on a baking sheet at put them in your oven, preheated to 375 degrees.

Bake for about 1 hour and then remove and cool slightly. Scoop out your squash and blend until smooth and creamy.


1 cup pureed acorn squash equals 1 cup pumpkin puree

Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

homemade pumpkin puree

If you have a pumpkin leftover from carving you can make your own pumpkin puree. It’s easy and tastes even better than canned pumpkin puree.

Cut your pumpkin in half and remove all the seeds. You can keep the seeds or discard them, completely up to you.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place your pumpkin halves, facedown, on a baking sheet.

Bake your pumpkin for about 1 hour and then remove and cool. Scoop out your pumpkin and puree it in your food processor. It’s as simple as that!

Pumpkin Puree Replacement FAQ

Can you use applesauce instead of pumpkin puree?

Maybe. Whether or not applesauce will work depends on what you are making and your flavor goals. If all you need is an ingredient that will add moisture to your recipe, such as bread, then applesauce will work.

When making most baked dishes that call for pumpkin puree, applesauce is not your best option. Use butternut squash or acorn squash instead.

What is the best substitute for pumpkin puree when baking a pie?

To good that delicious earthy flavor, the best substitutes for pumpkin in pie are sweet potatoes or another type of squash. These ingredients work well with traditional pumpkin pie spices and will produce a similar texture to pumpkin pie.

What are the best baking substitutes for pumpkin puree?

Whether baking cookies, cakes or bread, sweet potatoes or butternut squash are the best alternatives to pureed pumpkin.

Can you substitute carrots for pureed pumpkin?

Yes. In fact, carrots have been used to make faux pumpkin pie for decades. Simply steam your carrots and then blend them in your food processor until a smooth consistency.