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Can You Use Pumpkin Pie Filling Instead of Puree?

Can You Use Pumpkin Pie Filling Instead of Puree?

Substituting is excellent when you can do it without altering or losing the flavor of a meal. Now you come across a time you need pumpkin puree, and you see that it has been forgotten. You know the pumpkin pie mix is in the cabinet, but can you use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree?

We’ve all been lucky so far with substitutes, but unfortunately, this time, you cannot use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie filling has too much sugar and spices to use in place of pumpkin puree. 

Sadly, this will make you another trip to the store, but we can explain further the how and whys for future reference.

We will also discuss each ingredient in detail, which may help you understand what can replace pumpkin puree. Perhaps it may be in your cabinet.

Can You Use Pumpkin Pie Filling Instead of Purée?

Why Can’t You Switch Out Pumpkin Puree with Pumpkin Pie Filling?

The pumpkin pie mix is too sweet to replace pumpkin puree. It may be possible if the dish is meant to have an intense sweetness, but it will take reducing the sugar content, which may do more harm than good to the end result. It will also be challenging to get the measurements right.

Both ingredients contain pumpkin as the primary source, but even if you can get the sugar content perfectly, the spices within the filling will throw everything off.

Likewise, it will not work if you wish to swap the ingredients the other way around. It will take a large amount of sugar to bring the puree up to par and fewer spices to perfect the dish. It is even more challenging to get the spices measured to perfection than it is for sugar.

Pumpkin Pie Filling Vs. Pumpkin Puree

We will now take a look at each ingredient closer to show the differences. Each is unique and should be used as required in the recipes.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkin Pie Filling

The pumpkin pie filling mix has the same basics as pumpkin puree, but the additives make it significantly different. The pie filling has a massive amount of sweetener and spices added to it, which means the flavor cannot be altered.

Its primary focus is to be the filling in the pumpkin pie.

The ingredients include the following:

  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • And more additives

These ingredients make the filling only valuable for pumpkin pies. You can also use the filling mix to make a pumpkin pie milkshake. If you make the filling mix from scratch, leave out the sugar and add evaporated milk to the milkshake to keep the sweetness intact without overpowering it.

We know and understand you may not always have the right ingredients on hand every time you cook in the kitchen. Since no substitutions are recommended, you should return to the store and get the right ingredients because you do not want to ruin the food. That would be a disaster.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is precisely what its name says it is. It is 100 percent pumpkin with no additives. The pulp is removed, and the pumpkin is cooked as is. Any additives must be added according to the recipe for pumpkin puree. It is the basic beginning of starting something fresh.

Most people do not know or realize other winter squashes are added to puree, not just pumpkin. It takes small pumpkins to make puree because the big ones do not have the best flavor for pumpkin puree.

Canned pumpkin is the same as pumpkin puree; some have pumpkin only, while other canned pumpkins have other winter squashes within the can. It is essential to read the ingredients to know what you are getting.

Some of the food items made from pumpkin puree include:

  • Pumpkin cookies
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Milkshakes
  • Smoothies
  • Soups
  • And many more meals.

Substitutes for Pumpkin Puree

It may be a damper on the situation of not having the option to use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree. There are other options to use in its place. Some of which you may have, which would be a good thing.

Depending on the recipe, sweet potatoes and butternut squash are excellent choices for substitutes.

In most cases, no one can tell the difference between the changes in the recipe because they are so close to the texture and taste of pumpkin puree.

The looks are the same as pumpkin puree if you mash the sweet potato or butternut squash, but they must be cooked first. It works out perfectly if you run short on pumpkin puree too. You can do half and half to make the ingredients go further.

You can always experiment by trying different winter squashes. Since the texture will be the same, the only thing to ensure is to get the right color, a bright orange color.

Using a yellow squash in place of a pumpkin would look pretty awkward. No one would believe it would be the same ingredient as the orange pumpkin when serving something yellow.

Nutritious Facts About Pumpkins

For some people, the taste of pumpkin can take a bit of adjustment. Not everyone likes pumpkins, but it is a taste to be acquired. Pumpkin is healthy for people who can handle vitamin A.

It also builds up a robust immune system and is good for the following:

  • Skin
  • Heart health
  • Eyes

Pumpkin Puree is healthier than the pie filling due to the original primary contents vs. all the sugar and other additives in the pie filling.

The holiday times are when people get their fill of pumpkins due to Halloween and Thanksgiving, so it is an excellent addition to the meal like pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie filling.

Beware the Can Labels

If you find yourself in a fast-paced situation at the grocery store looking for a can of pumpkin pie filling and grabbing the wrong can, it’s an easy fix if you follow the instructions on the can. As we mentioned, pumpkin pie filling cannot take the place of pumpkin puree.

However, the side of the can has a label with the recipe to make pumpkin pie filling if you see only “pumpkin” when grabbing the can. Follow the instructions to make it from the puree, but it takes practice and may taste awkward the first time.

Be sure to grab the right can because it may cost more gas to go back to the supermarket.


How do you make the best pumpkin pie filling?

How do you make the best pumpkin pie filling?

Everything except the salt is to taste to your own preference. Cook and mix all these ingredients together; there is your pumpkin pie filling.

  1. Choose your favorite pie crust.
  2. Put granulated sugar to taste.
  3. Add ground cinnamon to taste.
  4. Only a dash of salt.
  5. Add ground ginger to taste.

Is there a difference between canned pumpkin pie filling compared to homemade?

Is there a difference between canned pumpkin pie filling compared to homemade?

Yes, there is a significant difference between any item that is canned. Canned food has preservatives and other ingredients to keep the food inside fresh for an extended time.

Homemade food is any ingredient you want to add to suit your taste buds. Everything is made from scratch versus the canned filling, which is already made.