Step by Step Slow Cooker Pumpkin Purée

The pie pumpkin before cooking but after being thoroughly washed.

Last week the pie pumpkins were peeking out at me begging to join in on some cooking fun. I’ve talked about making pumpkin puree before, but today I’m providing some step-by-step instructions and pictures. Let’s hear it for trying to overachieve for Mofo!

It’s really easy to make, but you’ve heard that before. Plus if you’re like me, you want to see some proof ; )

Why pie pumpkin? Sometimes they are also called sugar babies or other new small sweet variety that’s hip that year. They are smaller than the decorating pumpkins, but have thicker walls of flesh making more puree for your time and effort.

After you’ve washed the pie pumpkin to remove any dirt (or pesticides if it’s not organic), poke holes in it with a fork.Then place the pumpkin in your slow cooker and cook on low 7 to 9 hours. It may be done earlier, but it won’t hurt it to stay in the slow cooker longer.

I have it pictured below in my Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 which I use alot making tomato and pumpkin puree. I can choose either the 4 or 6 quart insert depending on how tall the pumpkin is. I can even cook a jack-o-lantern pumpkin in the 6 quart one!

It’s true – you don’t have to spray your slow cooker with oil or wrap the pumpkin in foil. You can spray some oil if you’re really worried about clean up. But I find it’s just as hard to clean off the oil as it is any juices that cook out of the pumpkin.

Either way you decide to do it, after your done, soak the crock filled with a soapy water overnight and it will look like new. I’ve done some serious burned-on food in my experiments and worse-case Cheryl used bar keeper’s friend to clean it up. (She’s the genius in the cleaning department.)Make sure to let the pumpkin cool before you cut into it. If not, you will get scalded from the steam that comes out. If you cook it while you are at work, just let it cool until after dinner.

Cut it in half and gently scoop out the seeds and guts. Some of the flesh will stick to the guts, so make sure to snag it where necessary.

Save the seeds because you can toast them even though they have been cooked and you’ll have a perfect snack or soup garnish. 

After all that effort you’ll have a bowl of pumpkin flesh that only needs to be smashed with a spoon to puree completely.

I don’t drain it, and it is a little thinner than canned pumpkin. But don’t fret, it works just fine for all your pumpkin puree needs. Oh – and it’s much tastier than canned pumpkin too!

Happy pumpkin cooking! Make sure to pin the photo below to share with your friends on Pinterest or Facebook!


  1. Yay! I just got a slow-cooker, but I had never thought to cook pumpkin in there! Great tutorial! Happy MoFo! :-)

  2. Okay, me too. Never would have thought to put a pumpkin in the slow cooker – but I like it! Now what to do with all of that yummy cooked pumpkin… :-)

  3. Never knew that you could do this but it doesn’t surprise me that the wickedly genius brain of Kathy knew to do so! I cannot wait to try this out!! xo

  4. I must get a slow cooker now, wow that pumpkin is so vibrant, and looks so alive. Happy MoFo.

  5. Love this method! It’s funny we did it on the same day! I am not afraid of cooking pumpkins now. Thanks for showing a quick easy way to cook them! :)

  6. That is really fascinating! I would never have thought of just sticking a whole pumpkin in the crockpot. My crockpot is wider and shallower. I’m assuming it would still work if one cut the pumpkin in half? (Maybe messier, but I’m not a neat and tidy cook anyway.)

    • Kathy Hester says:

      You can cut the pumpkin in half first. I like to leave it whole because they can be so hard to cut through uncooked. But you should use the way that makes you happy!

  7. Thanks for sharing, what a great idea. I’m wondering about how much puree in a pie pumpkin? Could always do several and freeze for future use.

  8. How much puree would this make roughly? I am super stoked to try this!! i’m getting married in the end of november and making mini pumpkin pies for dessert, i would love to do this instead of buying cans upon cans of it in the store!

    • Kathy Hester says:

      It really depends on the size of your pie pumpkin, but each one could be 3 to 6 cups approx. Congrats on your upcoming weeding!

  9. Hi Kathy, if only I had known about toasting the seeds after slow-cooking the pumpkin–I would not have binned them. There’s always the next time!

  10. Robin Rhyand says:

    Gosh I am suddenly in love with Kathy Hester! Pray tell me the meaning of “MoFo?” My goodness I love pumpkins but always thought the small ones were for decoration only.
    Thank you for expanding my horizons! Happy Fall!

    • Kathy Hester says:

      You are too sweet! Mofo as in Vegan Mofo is short for Vegan Month of Food. 100s of bloggers all over the world post tasty recipes. Happy fall to you too!!

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