Cooking With Canned Pumpkin

Everything you need to know about cooking with canned pumpkin (plus 31 recipes featuring this versatile ingredient.)
Published September 28, 2022

Canned pumpkin is most often thought of as an ingredient in pumpkin pie, but did you know this common pantry staple has a wide variety of culinary uses that go beyond pies and tarts? Not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar and spices, puréed pumpkin is a fairly neutral ingredient that can be added to baked goods as well as soups, sauces, and stews. One cup of canned pumpkin contains an impressive seven grams of dietary fibre and is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, copper, and iron. If you find yourself with leftovers after making any of the following recipes, freeze the remaining pumpkin in ice cube trays and then store them in a resealable freezer bag. You can then add the frozen pumpkin cubes to smoothies, soups, and sauces without having to open another can.

Cooking with Canned Pumpkin

Canned pumpkin has several different functions when added to soups, sauces, and chili recipes. When stirred into soups, particularly bisques and other traditionally creamy soups, puréed pumpkin will give the finished recipe a silky, rich mouthfeel. Cheese sauces also benefit from the addition of canned pumpkin which can take the place of heavy cream while adding that familiar orange colour. We also love incorporating puréed pumpkin into chili and braises, where it will increase the amount of dietary fibre per serving, which in turn makes for a super-filling dish without adding to the Points value of the meal.

Baking with Canned Pumpkin

When canned pumpkin is incorporated into baked goods the result is an extra-moist texture and mouthfeel without having to add as much (or any) oil or butter to the recipe. In general, canned pumpkin can replace cooking oil in a 1:1 ratio (in other words, one cup of oil can be substituted with one cup of puréed pumpkin.) When using canned pumpkin as a substitute for butter, use three-quarters of the butter specified in the recipe. Try incorporating puréed into recipes for quickbreads, muffins, waffles, donuts, and pancakes.

Canned pumpkin also lends an airy, whipped texture to familiar favourites such as pie and tart filling, but it can also be used with the same effect in recipes for souffle, custard, fruit butter, flan, and ice cream.