Best Canned Pumpkin: 6 to Buy for Your Next Pumpkin Pie

The best canned pumpkin is smooth without being watery and convenient without tasting like a can. We tried nine varieties just in time for fall and found the six best you can buy.

I’ve never had occasion to purchase canned pumpkin, so here’s the extent of what I knew about it prior to this taste test: It’s orange, it’s used to make pumpkin pie, and you can feed it to dogs when they’re constipated. Turns out it’s good for a lot more than just rehydrating pets who can’t poop. I’m talking sweet applications, like muffins and bread, but also savory ones, like ravioli, lasagna, and hummus. 

Yes, canned pumpkin is typically an ingredient rather than something you consume on its own, but for this taste test, we decided the most obvious way to find the best canned pumpkin was to taste each one out of the can, on a spoon. Given that all of these purees have literally one ingredient, you might think they’d all taste the same, but nope! We detected distinct differences in color, quality, and flavor. These are the six best canned pumpkin brands we tasted (for humans and dogs alike).

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best canned pumpkin

Best of the Best

O Organics Pumpkin

When I was a kid, I used to absolutely beg my mom to buy me jars of baby food to eat as snacks until she relented, and I still have a soft spot for mushy, unseasoned purees of vegetables and fruits. This pumpkin puree from O Organics gave me baby food vibes in a good way. It had a particularly sweet smell, but wasn’t overly sweet to the taste. Still, I think it might be the best canned pumpkin for sweet applications like pies and cakes. What I liked best about this one is that the pumpkin flavor really comes through. Big gourd energy here.

Credit: Paula Kunatee / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best pumpkin puree 365 whole foods

Best Pumpkiny Color

365 Pumpkin Puree

So this was weird: We really loved Whole Food house brand 365’s non-organic pumpkin puree, but really, really disliked the organic one. Their organic canned pumpkin is pale, mushy, and, worst of all, retains a tinny flavor that lingers in your mouth after you take a bite. 365’s non-organic pumpkin, on the other hand, is pleasantly thick, deeper in color, and has a richer, slightly sweeter flavor we really enjoyed. I guarantee you that the organic version is at least a few cents more expensive—you can thank me later for saving you money!

Credit: Paula Kunatee / Amazon

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best canned pumpkin target

Best for Baking

Good & Gather 100% Pure Pumpkin

There’s a recipe for pumpkin bread on this can of pumpkin puree from Target, and that makes sense to me. This canned pumpkin was looser than some of the other brands we tried (more like an applesauce, but nowhere near that watery), which I think would make it the best canned pumpkin for breads or cupcakes or any baked good that would benefit from a little extra moisture and a little bit of sweet, gourdy flavor.

Credit: Paula Kunatee / Target

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best organic canned pumpkin

Best Organic

Sprouts Organic Pumpkin

Okay, so you know how I said 365’s organic pumpkin was bad and its non-organic pumpkin was good? The opposite was true of the canned pumpkin we tried from Sprouts—what a world! Sprouts’ non-organic pumpkin was flavorless and a little bit grainy, while the organic version much smoother and more flavorful. This could be the best canned  pumpkin to use in a savory dish, like pumpkin ravioli. It has an overarching flavor that I described as “duller” than the O Organics, but it’s still a very good pumpkin puree.

Credit: Paula Kunatee / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best canned pumpkin libby's

Best Blank Slate

Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

There’s something to be said for canned pumpkin with a pleasant, sort of blank flavor that allows it to be used for pretty much anything, right? This pumpkin puree from canned food giant Libby’s does this nicely. It has a deep orange color and a clean, delicious flavor that lands somewhere between savory and sweet. I was surprised by how much I liked this one.

Credit: Paula Kunatee / Target

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best cheap canned pumpkin

Best Budget

Great Value 100% Pure Pumpkin

We’re consistently impressed with the quality of Great Value products (especially considering they’re typically cheap as hell) and they kept up their streak with this puree. It definitely wasn’t the best canned pumpkin we tried, but it is cheap and it has a rich color, a nice smooth texture, and a sweet, pleasant smell. Be forewarned that this one tasted a little saltier than some of the others we tried, but sometimes sweet tastes better with a little salinity.

Credit: Paula Kunatee / Walmart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Other canned pumpkin purees we tried: Sprouts Pumpkin (non-organic), 365 Organic Pumpkin Puree, Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Puree, Signature Select 100% Pure Pumpkin

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Find the best canned pumpkin at home and share with us using #SporkedTasteTest for a chance to be featured on our social pages!


About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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