I like to roast my own pumpkin for using in pies and other sweet projects so I can avoid any leaching of metals or chemicals from cans (such as BPA) and I am sensitive the tinny taste that canned goods can have. But with a month old baby, I am just lucky to get any type of dinner on the table, let alone do extra projects. That’s why I was thrilled to learn that you could “roast” your pumpkin in a slow cooker to make a super easy pumpkin puree! Even I can do this! Simply buy a small pie pumpkin, give it a few pokes and roast whole in the slow cooker all day and then you can easily scoop out the flesh and puree it. How easy is that? It’s much easier than having to cut and scoop seeds from a raw pumpkin. I got the idea from Healthy Slow Cooking A new tip just in time for Thanksgiving! I did one batch this week and will probably do another next week. I recommend a big slow cooker for this recipe. I use this 8 quart one (#affiliate link).
Here’s the full instructions, in three easy steps.
Easy Peasy Slow Cooker Pumpkin Puree
1 pie pumpkin, small enough to fit into your slow cooker (mine was just a bit too big, so I simply cut it in half)
1) Poke the pumpkin a few times with a fork and place in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until quite soft.
2) Remove from the slow cooker and scoop out the seeds and discard or roast. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh and puree in a food processor, using a hand blender or regular blender until well blended. Use in recipes as desired.
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Thanks for sharing this. I have two pie pumpkins that have been sitting on my counter for I don’t know how long that need to be cooked and pureed . . . now I know just want to do with them for pumpkin pie a week from now . . .
Interesting. I would think you could do other winter squash this way as well. (?)
I’ve somewhat read through some info online about the lead-in-crock-pot debates and all. Is there one that you or your readers have or know of that is supposed to be safer than others? I’m in the market for a new one. Thanks. 🙂
Heather, I have a Hamilton Beach crock pot. Just got one earlier this year, to replace my old one (a Rival brand), after learning about lead in a lot of crock pot brands. Hamilton Beach states that their crock pots are indeed lead-free.
So I would go with a Hamilton Beach if you’re looking to buy a new crock pot. They’re inexpensive, usually, and they work great according to my experience.
Hope I’ve been of some help.
I’ve done winter squash (delicata, acorn, halved or quartered butternut) in the crockpot (as well as sweet potatoes) but pie pumpkins never occurred to me — and I have a good half dozen that I need to cook this year, too. Thanks!
Thanks Nick for letting us know! Will try for sure!
Heather, I think it would work with other winter squash too! I hadn’t thought of that until someone mentioned that idea on facebook. I’ve researched myself into circles with the crockpot issue. I know that there is one model of the Hamiliton Beach brand that tested lead free at one point.
Thanks a lot. I hear ya, from what I was picking up it was really a somewhat daunting issue to research!
PERFECT! I just bought a pie pumpkin and have a crock pot.
I would think I could do this with the winter squash I have stored as well…..love them, but would love them to be easier (if not quicker) to cook. Love it! Thanks for getting me thinking.
I’ve actually been using this same method for winter squash and for pumpkins, only in my oven at 350 for 1.5-2 hrs. (approx.) It’s SO much easier to just rinse it off and pop it in whole, then cut in half, de-seed, and puree when finished. I think I’ll stick w/ the oven method b/c then I can do several at once. and the immersion blender works perfectly to puree a big bowl of the squash or pumpkin!
I agree; the oven method is pretty simple and you don’t have to worry about what fits in your crockpot 🙂 The only thing is that sometimes it’s unevenly cooked/starts to brown if I use a dark pan (or even if not). But putting the thing in whole is DEF easier than “cut in half and place cut side down on a pan.”
Thanks for these comments! I did it and it went fabulously. I had several pumpkins I needed to cook so this was a great option.
What a good idea!
ok, that is too funny, I posted on the same exact thing just a couple of days ago! but I didn’t poke my pumpkins and baked them. Just as easy peasy!
This is great, timely info for me! I have two pumpkins waiting to be roasted. I’m so glad you shared this!
Thanks for sharing this and the link to Healthy Slow Cooking.
You can do this with any type of winter squash as long as they will fit in your slow cooker. I have a 6 quart oval that works perfect with medium to larger ones.
Don’t forget you can do pretty much the same thing to bake potatoes (http://healthyslowcooking.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/slow-cooker-beyond-easy-baked-potatoes/). I just love baked potatoes with chili for dinner!
Here is my question – make extra – can I freeze? I know – duh type question but sometimes things do not always freeze well.
yes, pumpkin puree freezes beautifully for use all year. i do this every fall with the intention of the puree lasting all year, but we love pumpkin goodies so much it only usually lasts until about February!
This is wonderful news… unfortunately I read it this morning after spending yesterday evening cutting, de-seeding and oven roasting 5 pumpkins. When you make your puree do you put it in cheesecloth and let it drain overnight? I have heard that if you want the same consistancy and the ability to substitute fresh pumpkin puree for canned in many recipes, then you have to drain some of the liquid out. Thank you!
Okay, so I have two pie pumpkins that I bought at the farmer’s market to roast and they have just been sitting on my counter because I was dreading the initial cutting/de-seeding process… Thanks SO much for posting this! You saved my pumpkins!
Just finished roasting the first, the second is “cooking” as we speak.
Question . . .
I wanted to do something with the seeds, but all the recipes I find all for raw seeds. Since these are cooked, can I still make a little snack out of them by roasting them, or am I just going to have to toss them?
This is awesome thanks! I was just trying to figure out how to get everything done tomorrow including the pumpkin for the pie. Now the pumpkin will be done when I wake up!!! Love it!
Maybe I’ll have to try this with acorn squash. I’ve got some acorn squash recipes I really like, but I really hate having to try to cut through them when they’re raw.
Heather – thk you so much for the heads up on Lead in Crock-Pot brand, which I owned.
Interestingly – the very first batch I did over ago was followed by flu like & diarrhea symptoms. I threw away the whole batch thinking something might have been bad – and smell was strange…
Now – also emailed Rival – Crock-Pot manufacturerers and they gave me the run around re: lead content. After 3 emails they confirmed there was lead but was tested and safe, but refused to provide for the test results…
After reading this post I went out and bought some pumpkins at my local Walmart and threw them in the crock on low for 8 hours…
Somehow I burned a piece? I cut them up to fit better in the crockpot but somehow it didn’t end up very good. The pumpkin was brownish and the skin actually tore apart. Did I cook it too long?