Pumpkin Pie Filling

"I am often astounded at how few people know how to make pumpkin pie filling from scratch. In my opinion, it makes all the difference in the world when you're looking to make a truly spectacular pie for Thanksgiving or any autumnal dinner. Remember: A pumpkin is a squash, and the meat can be prepared in the same way any other large squash can. When shopping for your pumpkin, the standard "Veggie Rule" applies: Smaller specimens tend to pack a lot more flavor, and the heavier pumpkin will be denser. Little pie pumpkins are available in the fall, should weight about a pound and a half to two pounds a piece, and are the ones that you'll need for this recipe. You can use the big ones, but they just don't pack the same punch. Also, just as a tip, keep some exam gloves handy for easy clean-up after de-seeding your pumpkins."
photo by 0bee40dd photo by 0bee40dd
photo by 0bee40dd
Ready In:
32 ounces, dep. on pumpkin




  • Cut the tops off of the pumpkins in a circle, just like you would for making a jack-o-lantern.
  • Quarter the pumpkins from the top down and scoop out the seeds and tendrils. (Keep seeds for pepitas if you like.).
  • Place the pumpkin shells meat-side up on a large cookie sheet or other sided baking dish.
  • Smear the inner surfaces of the pumpkins with the butter.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar and spices, including a small bit of salt, over the shells.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until you can easily stab through the flesh with a fork.
  • Let stand to cool.
  • Gently cut away the outer skin. (This is great for compost!).
  • Puree, mash, or process the meat to the desired consistency for the recipe you're preparing - very smooth for a mousse, less so for a standard pie.

Questions & Replies

  1. How long will this keep? I know I cannot safely can it because I dont have a pressure canner so I was thinking about making and freezing but once out of the freezer how quickly does it need to be used? I am hoping to give some away in my Christmas baskets.


  1. Yummy! My husband said I didn't have to wait for the the fall to make this again, and I agree!
  2. Thank you for saving the day! I wasn't sure how to do this, but when I got 40 free pie pumpkins, I had to find out! So easy and economical. I didn't cut mine in half, just hacked the top off and saved the seeds for pepitas. Mine weren't quite done after 30 minutes, but just turned off the oven and left them overnight. Now, on to search for what do with all this pumpkin!
  3. this is really superior to using the canned stuff. my DH who doesn't like pumpkin pie, really liked the tarts I made with this recipe. 117531 - Light and Spicy Pumpkin Pie Tarts. Thanks for posting!!
  4. I've been looking for instructions on how to do this everywhere... Thank you!
  5. Great! Only difference is I chopped mine in pieces and put it in a steamer...The pumpkin was steamed soft in about 15 minutes I then easily peeled of skin with a paring knife.


I'm one of those lucky people who gets to work from home (for now), so I have a bit of time here and there to try out new ideas in the kitchen to keep my foody-brained kids and hubby entertained. I'm also a compulsive do-it-yourself-er. I knit, sew, cook, sculpt, paint, and do whatever home improvements I can shoe-horn into my budget. I tend to buy base ingredients in bulk and then make as much as I can from scratch. I also (most years) try to keep a well-stocked garden for fresh veggies and herbs, and that's a heck of a challenge up where in rural Wyoming. As far as cookbooks are concerned, I am painfully spoiled since I inherited all of my grandmother's gourmet cookbooks, including her translations of my grandfather's royal Austrian recipes. And yes, that includes squab, quail, boar, venison, and moose. Beyond that, I also tend to collect as many recipes as I can get my hands on, modifying them to fit the kids' tastes and my locally-available ingredients (a serious consideration, especially in the winter time).
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes