Using canned pumpkin instead of the fresh variety in recipes provides a more convenient way to enjoy this healthful vegetable. According to the Kansas State University Research and Extension Service, pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene, or vitamin A, and canned pumpkin contains even more of the essential vitamin than fresh pumpkin. In addition, canned pumpkin also has a strong, concentrated flavor, and its thick texture creates a smooth, dependable consistency in most recipes. In most cases, canned pumpkin and fresh pumpkin can be used interchangeably.
Use the same amount of canned pumpkin as fresh pumpkin required in recipes. If your recipe calls for 2 cups of fresh pureed pumpkin, for example, use 2 cups of canned pumpkin instead, or the contents of a 16-oz. can.
Measure the canned pumpkin carefully to prevent inconsistencies in the recipe. Scoop the pumpkin out of the can, place into a measuring cup, and pack down firmly with the back of a spoon. Level off with a knife, if necessary.
Add the measured canned pumpkin to the recipe, following the instructions just as you would for fresh pureed pumpkin. Continue with the recipe as directed.