Instant Pot Pumpkin Puree – Using a Whole Pumpkin

whole pumpkin in Instant Pot

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I love using fresh pumpkin for my tofu pumpkin pies. It’s also nice to make extra puree to freeze and use later for other baking/cooking projects. Before I had an Instant Pot, I would either roast it in the oven, or steam in a large pot on top of the stove. The Instant Pot is a lot easier!

pumpkin I used to cook in the Instant pot.jpg
Pumpkin after it cooked

I’ve seen lots of methods floating around, here’s what worked for me:

fresh pumpkin puree in food processor


  • Chose a small pumpkin that could fit comfortably inside my 8 qt. Instant Pot.
  • I placed a round cake cooling rack (you can also purchase trivets made specifically for the Instant Pot).
  • I added 1.5 cups of water.
  • Rinsed the pumpkin, then placed the WHOLE, unpeeled pumpkin on top of the rack inside the pot.
  • Set to 20 minutes cooktime (may want to start with just 15, see notes).
  • Natural pressure release for 25 minutes, being sure to manually release any steam that may still be left.
  • Pierce with knife, if it slides in easily, it’s done. If not, add more cook time and repeat the steps.
  • Let cool a bit, then scoop out seeds and slip off outer rind. (A metal spoon works well for both.)
  • Puree (in batches if necesary) in food processor. Blender may work well, too.
  • Use right away in recipes, or refrigerate or freeze.

    If using from freezer: I drain the thawed pumpkin in a fine mesh sieve to remove extra water, as it can become watery after being frozen/thawed.
    This worked well with a smaller pumpkin. If you have a larger pumpkin that doesn’t fit in the pot, I would (before cooking) cut it open, remove seeds and strings. (Do not peel). Then, cut into pieces that will fit in the IP, may have to do in batches. Proceed with cooking directions above.

If you want to try my Tofu Pumpkin Pie Recipe:


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