How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Puree

Is it okay to store the whole can in the fridge? (Because we’ve all done it.)

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October 11, 2021
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Frozen pumpkin puree. Frozen carrot and pumpkin. Vegetables containing carotene. Concept: Food products for long-term storage.

Photo by: Qwart/Getty Images

Qwart/Getty Images

By Heath Goldman for Food Network Kitchen

Heath is a culinary editor at Food Network.

When you’ve used up a whopping ½ cup pumpkin puree for a batch of pumpkin muffins (or pumpkin bread or whichever sweet pumpkin treat called your name this time), how should you store the leftover 1 1/2 cups? Is it okay to simply cover up that still-full can with a sheet of plastic wrap and stash it in the fridge? Is it possible to freeze the leftovers? You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers.

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742261301

Photo by: Michelle Arnold / EyeEm/Getty Images

Michelle Arnold / EyeEm/Getty Images

How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Puree In the Fridge

We’ve certainly been guilty of stashing a half-empty can of pumpkin puree in the back of the fridge, forgetting about it, finding it one month later and wondering if it’s still okay to use. That’s why we checked in with the USDA for a definitive answer.

According to the USDA website, opened low-acid canned goods (such as pumpkin puree) last for up to four days in the fridge. That’s truly not much time to use the rest up, so at this point you might want to check out our handy guide, Delicious Recipes That'll Make You Thankful for Leftover Pumpkin Puree. Or, if you don’t feel like baking again, it’s easy to use up pumpkin puree at breakfast time: simply swirl it into yogurt or add it to a smoothie.

In addition, the USDA says that while it’s safe to store opened canned foods in the container they came in, said canned food will maintain their flavor – i.e. taste better – if you transfer them to a glass or plastic airtight storage container.

How to Freeze Leftover Pumpkin Puree

If you’d really like to extend the life of your leftover pumpkin puree so it lasts all decorative gourd season long, you should freeze it. Pumpkin puree freezes beautifully without any change in texture or flavor after thawing.

Stash the leftovers in an airtight freezer bag, or, if you’d like to pre-portion it, ladle ½ cup scoops into a muffin tin or 1 tablespoon mounds into an ice cube tray. Smooth out the portions, freeze them, pop them out when they’re solid and transfer them to an airtight freezer bag.

And just like that, those lurking pumpkin puree leftovers will be ready for your next spurious fall baking project – not the trash.

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