Cooking a pie pumpkin in the Instant Pot is the easiest way I have found to cook a pumpkin. You can cook them whole so you don't have to fight with cutting it open and taking the seeds out. Your knife will cut right through once it is cooked.
Have you ever wanted to use homemade pumpkin puree but it just sounded difficult to cook? I totally get it! I remember the first time I tried to cook a pumpkin it was a very lengthy process of trying to cut it open and cutting the stem. I also was trying to remove the seeds and oh it was so frustrating that I had given up on it for years. Seriously, I did. I knew there had to be a better way and there was! Learn how to easily cook a pumpkin in the Instant Pot.
Wait, did I say easily? Yes I did! Even me, the one who made it like a complicated surgery to cook it now loves making homemade pumpkin puree. In my defense, my pumpkin surgery days were before the Internet days. Yes, those days did really exist haha!
I read a post of somebody cooking it in the slow cooker and then removing the seeds - imagine that, I really didn't have to remove the seeds first! So then I thought there just had to be an easy way to do it in the Instant Pot and well, there is. It doesn't get any easier either!
Do you see that? I sliced through that just like if I was slicing through butter. I was so happy the first time I made it this way!
Cooking the Pumpkin in the Instant Pot
Here we go! First thing you want to do is pick out a pie pumpkin that will fit in the inner pot. This depends on the size of the Instant Pot you have. Most pie pumpkins should fit if you have a 6 quart or bigger. If you have to, you can place the pumpkin on it's side in the IP.
I wash the outside of the pumpkin with a little vinegar and rinse it off. I don't know where my pumpkin has been so I want to get the germs off. You don't have to, but I like to use the trivet provided with the Instant Pot if your pumpkin will fit on it. I have done them both ways as some pumpkins are too big to fit on it.
Sometimes I have to cut the stems a little bit to get it to fit in there better. But that is the only fuss, I promise!
Set the pumpkin on the trivet and pour in the water. Place the lid on and make sure the vent is set to seal. Hit the pressure cook/manual button and set the time to 12 minutes. Allow to do a natural release which also took about 12 minutes for us. Once the pin drops, remove lid and let it sit for just a couple minutes to allow the steam to dissipate. Carefully remove the pumpkin. This is where the trivet comes in handy since the pumpkin will be soft and easy to cut open. Allow it to cool slightly before cutting it open so you do not get burned.
Once the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, cut it in half and allow it to cool a little further so you can handle it. I scoop the seeds out carefully first and then peel the skin off. You don't have, but we like to put our pumpkin into a food processor to make it a smooth puree. I have also used our Ninja chopper, but it doesn't hold as much pumpkin as the big processor. If you choose to skip this step it will be stringy but still good.
Refrigerate anything you don't use right away and use it all within a week unless you are freezing it. For freezing, we like to measure it in 1 cup servings and put it in freezer bags.
Things we use the pumpkin puree in:
- Pumpkin whipped cream
- Layered pumpkin cheese cake
- No bake pumpkin cheesecake
- Pumpkin pasta sauce
- Instant Pot pumpkin cheesecake
Cooking a Pumpkin in Instant Pot
- 1 pie pumpkin
- 1¼ cups water
- Wash the outside of the pumpkin with a little vinegar then rinse with water to wash away any germs.
- Place trivet inside the Instant Pot if the pumpkin will fit with trivet in there.
- Place the pumpkin on the trivet (if the lid will fit on or you can place it right into the pot)
- Pour the water into the bottom of the inner pot.
- Hit the pressure cook/manual button and set the time to 12 minutes.
- Once it is done, allow it to naturally release the pressure.
- When the pin drops, remove the lid and let the steam dissipate so you don't get burned. Carefully remove the trivet with the pumpkin on it and place the pumpkin onto a dish.
- Give it a couple minutes so you do not get burned and cut the pumpkin in half.
- Scoop seeds out of it and peel the skin off. You now have your puree and if you want it to be mushier you can use the food processor to blend it completely smooth.