Can you freeze canned pumpkin puree? Around the holiday season, this is a common question perplexing pumpkin lovers.
The good news is: yes, you can freeze that canned stuff. So you can stop your endless scrolling for pumpkin recipes to make today.
But you cannot just toss it in the freezer as is. Like most things, there are some do’s and don’ts to freeze it correctly.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into how to freeze canned pumpkin puree.
Can You Freeze Canned Pumpkin Puree?
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin puree!
However, there is a catch. You cannot, I repeat, you cannot freeze canned pumpkin puree in the actual can.
Freezing canned goods is a food safety risk.
No matter what’s inside, all canned goods contain some liquid. When you freeze it, that liquid expands. As the can swells, it can crack or even explode.
So do yourself (and your freezer) a favor, and don’t freeze canned pumpkin puree.
Instead, remove the contents and store them the proper way.
How to Freeze Canned Pumpkin Puree
So, how should you freeze canned pumpkin puree if you can’t freeze it in the can? There are actually a bunch of different ways.
Some are better than others, though. So here are the top three methods for freezing canned pumpkin puree.
In a Freezer Bag
The easiest and most convenient method is using a freezer zip-top bag. The pumpkin stores well and will defrost more readily.
Add the pumpkin puree to the bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.
Quart-sized bags are ideal for the 15-ounce can.
For smaller portions, opt for a smaller size and freeze one cup of puree in each bag.
Whichever size you use, freeze the packed bags on a baking sheet first. This is a simple space-saving trick, so they freeze flat for better stacking.
Otherwise, they’re more likely to be all wonky if you shove them in. And this will not help you save precious freezer space.
In a Muffin Tin
Another nifty trick is to use a muffin tin. This method allows you to freeze the pumpkin puree in 1/2 cup portions.
Just measure, fill, smooth, and freeze.
Once the puree freezes, you can remove it from the muffin tin. Then, place the frozen puree in a freezer zip-top bag or airtight container.
In an Ice Cube Tray
Need a small portion for a smoothie or hot chocolate? Reach for an ice cube tray.
This is the best freezing option when you need only a tiny amount. About 1 tablespoon, to be exact.
Fill the tray like the muffin tin- measure, fill, smooth, and freeze the puree. Once the puree freezes, transfer it to a freezer zip-top bag or airtight container.
You can also leave them in the ice cube tray if it has a lid.
How Long Can You Freeze Pumpkin Puree?
For optimum quality, use pumpkin puree within 3 to 6 months. The longer it sits, the more susceptible it is to freezer burn.
Also, the quality will decline with time. And nobody wants a subpar Thanksgiving pumpkin pie!
However, you can freeze it for longer. With proper storage, it can last up to 1 year.
But like I said, the quality will not be at its peak.
How to Defrost Pumpkin Puree
Like all frozen food, there are proper ways to defrost pumpkin puree. The fridge, stove, or microwave are the best options.
In the Fridge
The best way to defrost pumpkin puree is in the refrigerator. Let it sit in the fridge overnight. Then, use it for whatever you like.
But what happens when you wake up and realize you forgot to take it out? Plop it in the fridge immediately.
The pumpkin puree can take anywhere from 2 to 10 hours to defrost. So you can still use it later on in the day.
Remember, larger quantities take longer to defrost. So, I recommend defrosting overnight.
On the Stove
Making pumpkin soup (or something with warm liquids)? Great! You can defrost your pumpkin puree on the stove.
For this method, you don’t have to thaw the pumpkin puree. Add it to the pot with the other ingredients and stir. The warm liquid will cause it to defrost.
The keyword here is warm. You want the pureed pumpkin to defrost before it cooks. So avoid adding it to a boiling pot.
In the Microwave
When you find yourself in a bind, the microwave will rescue you! It’s a quick and convenient method that doesn’t require a long thaw time.
Instead, you can place the frozen pumpkin puree into the microwave.
Set it in a microwave-safe container first, then hit the defrost button. Stir it periodically until the puree fully defrosts.
Can You Cook With Pureed Pumpkin From Frozen?
Unfortunately, no. You cannot cook pureed pumpkin that’s frozen.
It is always best to defrost it first. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that the puree will not cook properly.
That said, frozen beverages are one exception. Add frozen pumpkin puree to a smoothie, shake, or a frozen cocktail.
It acts like an ice cube and gives the beverage a lovely pumpkin taste.
How to Tell if Frozen Pumpkin Has Gone Bad
Are you wondering if your frozen pumpkin puree has spoiled? There are two ways to tell: the look and the smell.
First, examine the color. Any sign of discoloration or mold means it’s time to toss.
If it looks okay, do a smell test. Don’t eat it if the puree smells off, foul, or funny. Instead, throw it away and get a new can.
Using Thawed Pumpkin Puree
Looking for yummy ways to use canned pumpkin puree? You’re in luck!
Pumpkin puree freezes well. So you can use it however you would a fresh can.
You’ll find plenty of ways to use thawed pumpkin puree!
Here are some of my favorites:
- A delicious chocolate chip pumpkin bread.
- Stir it into a hearty chili for a warming fall meal.
- Use it for pumpkin fluff dip for a festive party appetizer.
Thawed pumpkin puree is also ideal for baking. Cakes, cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, you name it.
Of course, you cannot go wrong with pumpkin pie. It’s a holiday classic!
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