Can You Use Pumpkin Pie Filling In Place Of Purée?

Pumpkin is the quintessential autumn food. You can use it in savory soups, stews, and, of course, in your favorite desserts — pumpkin pie included. Though picking up a fresh pumpkin at the farmer's market is ideal, sometimes you just don't have the time or the patience to break down a whole gourd yourself. Of course, this is exactly why stocking up on a few cans of pumpkin purée is fantastic. But what happens if you make the mistake of grabbing pumpkin pie filling instead?

Subtly sweet with an almost nutty flavor profile, pumpkin is not only tasty but also super nutritious. In fact, Healthline notes that a single cup of canned pumpkin contains twice the daily recommended dose of vitamin A and can help support healthy immune function, along with promoting eye, skin, and heart health. So while purée is undoubtedly healthier, will swapping it for pumpkin pie filling really make a difference in your recipes?

You probably shouldn't

Despite what you might think, you can't use the two components interchangeably due to one main difference: the ingredient list. According to Allrecipes, pumpkin purée usually consists solely of pumpkins, but sometimes even other summer squashes. In contrast, Fine Dining Lovers explains that pumpkin pie filling will often contain pumpkin, in addition to a host of other ingredients like added sugar and seasonings like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves.

That said, while you can always substitute purée for filling, you can't substitute a filling for purée. Also, since pumpkin pie filling is designed to be used in a specific dish (pumpkin pie), using it in other recipes can be challenging because it might throw off the flavors in a pumpkin loaf or pumpkin and curry stew. So, if you find yourself stuck with a can of pumpkin pie filling, it's probably best to just whip up a pie. Alternatively, you could also use it for desserts that are pumpkin pie-inspired.