home made pumpkin puree and brown rice pumpkin risotto

September 21, 2012  |  Main Course
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How to home made make pumpkin puree from scratch and a recipe for brown rice pumpkin risotto.pumpkin-risotto

This week I pulled a favorite healthy seasonal recipe out of the archives to talk a little bit about how to cook a pumpkin. The original post/recipe for brown rice pumpkin risotto calls for pureed pumpkin, which you can either make from scratch or use canned. I never mentioned how one goes about making it from scratch.

how to cook a pumpkin and make pumpkin puree

So here is what you do: First of all, make sure you start with a cooking pumpkin. I bought mine at a grocery store, but you will also be able to find them at Farmers’ Markets. These will typically be smaller than the carving type and will be labeled something like “pie pumpkin.” Mine were a variety called “sugar baby.” These cooking pumpkins are less fibrous and make smoother sweeter puree.

Then you just roast them (or even microwave them,) scoop out the cooked flesh and puree it. I made a large batch, and divided it up into smaller portions to freeze.


home made pumpkin puree

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 3 cups (about 1 pound 10 ounces)

How to make home-made pumpkin puree. Pie pumpkins or sugar baby pumpkins make smoother sweeter puree than carving pumpkins.


  • 2 small cooking pumpkins, such as sugar baby, about 4 pounds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Cut pumpkins in half along the equator. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp in the center. Place pumpkin halves (cut side down) on the prepared pan and roast until they are soft, about an hour. You can tell they are done if you poke the skin and the meat gives way underneath. Alternatively, place two halves cut side down in a 9 by 13-inch microwave safe baking dish with a half inch of water. Microwave on high power, until soft, 15 to 17 minutes. Repeat with the remaining pumpkin halves.
  3. Allow the pumpkins to cool. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and puree in a food processor or with a food mill.
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Here is that Risotto Recipe I mentioned. Enjoy!

brown rice pumpkin risotto

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 3/4 cup each

brown rice pumpkin risotto

Healthy Brown Rice Risotto Recipe with pureed pumpkin.


  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium broth, such as chicken or vegetable
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 1 3/4 cups pureed cooked pumpkin, or
  • 1 15-ounce can canned pumpkin

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese, divided


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring often until softened and just beginning to brown, 1 to 3 minutes.  Stir in rice and cook, stirring until the rice grains start to get translucent in spots, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in wine and cook, stirring often until the wine has mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper, increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer undisturbed until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Stir in pumpkin, sage and cinnamon, return to a simmer, and cook, stirring often until the mixture is thickened and the rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in 3/4 cup Romano cheese, cover and let sit 5 minutes off the heat to thicken further.  Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, more freshly ground pepper and sage leaves for garnish.
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  1. Mmmmm, pumpkin risotto is so good! I haven’t tried making risotto with brown rice before (but have subbed barley in for arborio rice). I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for short grain brown rice and give this recipe a try!

  2. Yum! I have always wanted to try and tackle risotto, but have never gotten the chance. As I do adore all things pumpkin, I think that this may be the perfect recipe to start with. The use of fresh pumpkin is a little daunting to me though- can you use canned? Or do you have any fool proof tips on how to use the real thing? Can’t wait to give this a try!

  3. I was thinking of making this tonight with leftover (cooked) short grain brown rice. Was wondering if you or anyone else has tried that already – using already cooked leftover rice and cut down on the liquids a bit. How’d it go and what changes did you make? I’ll probably give it a go, but will probably not remember to post about it. 🙂

    • I’d love to know if that worked. Yes I would say, go down on liquids by at least a half. Then you’re really just looking for cooking the starch out of the rice. keep in mind, the cheese at the end will make it creamy too.
      katie recently posted…pumpkin pie browniesMy Profile

  4. This recipe is terrible. This has been cooking for 2 hours and has yet to reach the softness of risotto.


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