Is pumpkin puree keto friendly?

Quick answer

Yes, pumpkin puree can be part of a keto diet. One cup of canned pumpkin puree has around 12g net carbs, so it can fit into daily carb intake limits on keto. Pumpkin is low glycemic and rich in fiber and nutrients like vitamin A. Enjoy pumpkin puree in moderate portions as part of keto-friendly meals and treats.

What is pumpkin puree?

Pumpkin puree is made from pumpkin flesh that has been cooked and mashed into a smooth, thick paste. It is often canned for longer shelf life. Plain canned pumpkin puree contains the following macros per 1 cup serving:

Calories Total Carbs Fiber Net Carbs
49 12g 0.5g 11.5g

As you can see, a cup of canned pumpkin puree contains 12g total carbs and 0.5g fiber. Subtracting the fiber gives a net carb count of 11.5g per cup.

The other main nutrients in pumpkin puree are vitamin A and potassium. One cup provides 245% of the RDI for vitamin A and 16% for potassium.

Why is pumpkin puree used in keto recipes?

Pumpkin puree is a useful ingredient in keto recipes for a few reasons:

1. Low net carb content

At 11.5g net carbs per cup, pumpkin puree can fit into a keto diet that limits net carbs to 20-50g per day. Compared to high-carb foods like grains and starchy veggies, pumpkin is relatively low in net carbs. This makes it a good way to add volume and nutrients without going over carb limits.

2. Rich in fiber

Pumpkin puree provides 5g of fiber per cup. Getting enough fiber is important on keto for digestive health and low net carbs. The fiber in pumpkin puree also helps you feel full and satisfied after meals.

3. Natural sweetness

Pumpkin puree has a mild sweetness that makes it useful for sweetening keto desserts, smoothies, and baked goods without added sugar. The sweet flavor comes from complex carbs naturally found in pumpkin.

4. Nutrient density

In addition to being packed with vitamin A, pumpkin puree also provides antioxidants, potassium, and some B vitamins. This makes it more nutritious than ultra-processed keto substitutes.

5. Versatility

Pumpkin puree works well in sweet and savory dishes. You can use it to make pancakes, cookies, breads, oatmeal, yogurt bowls, soups, curries, and more on keto.

6. Easy to find

Canned pumpkin puree can be found year-round in the baking aisle of any grocery store. This makes it an accessible keto-friendly ingredient.

Is pumpkin puree low glycemic?

Yes, pumpkin puree has a low glycemic index of 44-75, depending on the variety.

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels on a scale of 0-100. Low GI foods (55 or less) are digested more slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar. High GI foods (70 or more) lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar.

Pumpkin puree is considered low glycemic, with a GI of 44-75. In comparison, table sugar has a GI of 65 and white bread has a GI of around 70.

Eating more low glycemic foods can be beneficial on a keto diet to help maintain steady blood sugar and energy levels. The fiber in pumpkin slows down the digestion of carbs, resulting in a more gradual absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.

The low glycemic nature of pumpkin puree makes it less likely to disrupt ketosis or cause energy crashes compared to high GI ingredients like refined flour or sugar.

Nutritional benefits of pumpkin puree on keto

Pumpkin puree provides a variety of important nutrients on a keto diet:

Vitamin A

One cup of pumpkin puree contains a whopping 245% of the RDI for vitamin A. Vitamin A supports eye health, immune function, skin health, growth and development. Since dairy is limited on keto, pumpkin is a useful way to obtain adequate vitamin A.


Pumpkin is a good source of potassium, providing 16% of the RDI per cup. Many people do not get enough potassium on keto due to low intake of fruits and starchy vegetables. Pumpkin can help fill this nutrient gap. Potassium supports blood pressure, fluid balance and nerve signaling.


Pumpkin puree contains 5g of fiber per cup, helping meet the 25-30g of daily fiber recommended on keto. Fiber keeps you regular, supports gut health and slows digestion of carbs.


Orange vegetables like pumpkin are rich in antioxidants called carotenoids. These compounds reduce inflammation and oxidative damage. Pumpkin contains the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.

Other vitamins and minerals

Pumpkin provides smaller amounts of vitamin C, riboflavin, copper, manganese and other trace minerals. Every little bit counts on keto.

Is pumpkin puree filling on keto?

Yes, pumpkin puree can be quite filling and help satisfy hunger on a keto diet. There are a few reasons why:

High fiber content

Fiber slows digestion and promotes feelings of fullness. With 5g per cup, pumpkin puree provides a significant amount of fiber that can help curb appetite between meals.

High water content

Pumpkin puree is made up of around 90% water, giving it a smooth, moist texture with low calorie density. Foods with high water content take up more room in your stomach, promoting fullness.

Low energy density

With only 49 calories per cup, pumpkin puree has a low energy or calorie density. Low energy density foods allow you to consume satisfying portions and feel full while consuming fewer calories overall.

Slow digestion

The low glycemic nature of pumpkin means it takes longer to digest compared to high GI foods. This results in a prolonged feeling of fullness rather than quick hunger pangs.


You can add pumpkin to keto oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, pancakes and baked goods to make them more filling and satisfying. Using pumpkin puree allows you to eat larger portions of these foods to help manage hunger.

Tasty ways to use pumpkin puree on keto

Here are some delicious ways to enjoy pumpkin puree on a ketogenic diet:

Pumpkin oatmeal

Add pumpkin puree to keto oatmeal along with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla for a comforting breakfast.

Pumpkin protein pancakes

Make fluffy pumpkin protein pancakes using almond flour, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla and baking powder. Top with butter or sugar-free maple syrup.

Pumpkin smoothies

Blend pumpkin puree into smoothies with almond milk, collagen, cinnamon and ice for a filling, nutritious drink.

Pumpkin yogurt bowls

Mix pumpkin puree into full-fat Greek yogurt with chia seeds, nuts and sugar-free maple syrup for a parfait.

Pumpkin soup

Make a creamy keto-friendly soup with pumpkin puree, chicken or vegetable broth and your choice of herbs and spices.

Pumpkin curry

Add pumpkin puree to curries along with coconut milk and spices for a rich, flavorful sauce.

Pumpkin brownies

Enjoy fudgy keto pumpkin brownies made with almond flour and sweetener.

Pumpkin chili

Use pumpkin puree to thicken up a keto-friendly turkey or beef chili.

Pumpkin bake

Make a simple savory bake with pumpkin puree, cheese, spinach, and seasonings.

Potential downsides of pumpkin puree on keto

While pumpkin can fit into a keto diet, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

Carb content

If you are following a very low carb keto diet, the 11.5g net carbs in a cup of pumpkin puree may be too high to allow frequently. It’s best to stick to smaller servings of pumpkin puree if limiting total carbs to 20g or less per day.

Easy to overeat

The creamy sweetness of pumpkin puree means it’s easy to overindulge, even when mixed into other foods like muffins or oatmeal. Be mindful of portion sizes when using pumpkin puree in recipes.

GI varies by type

While pumpkin is considered low glycemic, certain varieties have a higher GI around 70. Opt for kabocha or butternut squash for a lower GI alternative.

Laxative effect

Excess intake of pumpkin puree could result in loose stools or diarrhea due to its fiber content. Reduce portion sizes if this becomes an issue.

High oxalate content

People prone to kidney stones may want to limit high-oxalate foods like pumpkin. Oxalates can contribute to kidney stone formation in susceptible individuals.

How much pumpkin puree can you eat on keto?

Portion control is key when incorporating higher carb ingredients like pumpkin puree into a keto diet. Here are some serving size guidelines:

Strict keto (under 20g daily carbs)

– 1/4 cup pumpkin puree = 3g net carbs
– 1/2 cup maximum per day

Moderate keto (20-50g daily carbs)

– 1/2 cup pumpkin puree = 6g net carbs
– 3/4-1 cup maximum per day

Higher carb keto (50-100g daily carbs)

– 1 cup pumpkin puree = 12g net carbs
– 1-1.5 cups maximum per day

To stay in ketosis, aim to stick within your daily total carb limits after accounting for other carbs from foods like dairy, nuts, and low carb vegetables.

You can also reduce carb count by bulking out pumpkin puree with lower carb ingredients like cauliflower, zucchini or almond flour in recipes.

Tips for adding pumpkin puree to keto diet

Here are some tips for successfully incorporating pumpkin puree into a keto eating plan:

– Gradually add pumpkin to assess your tolerance.
– Stick to 1/4-1 cup serving sizes.
– Count net carbs and fit into your daily totals.
– Balance with lower carb foods the rest of the day.
– Substitute half the pumpkin for cauliflower or zucchini.
– Buy canned pumpkin without added sugars.
– Make ahead and freeze portions for convenience.
– Avoid drinking excess calories alongside.
– Pair pumpkin with healthy fats like olive oil or avocado.
– Enjoy pumpkin earlier in day for fuel if training.
– Add protein sources like chicken, eggs or collagen.

Keto-friendly pumpkin puree recipes

Here are 10 delicious low carb recipes featuring pumpkin puree:

1. Easy Keto Pumpkin Pancakes

2. Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

3. Keto Pumpkin Muffins

4. Pumpkin Maple Chia Pudding

5. Keto Pumpkin Soup

6. Low Carb Pumpkin Lasagna

7. Pumpkin Chili

8. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

9. Pumpkin Spice Latte

10. Keto Pumpkin Bread

There are endless possibilities for preparing pumpkin on keto! Get creative with savory and sweet recipes within your carb limits.

Common keto pumpkin puree FAQs

Is pumpkin keto-approved?

Plain pumpkin puree can fit into a keto diet in moderate portions thanks to its low net carb, high fiber and nutrient content. Avoid pumpkin pie mix with added sugar.

Is pumpkin high in carbs?

Pumpkin does contain around 12g total carbs per cup. But with 5g of fiber, the net carb count is a moderate 11.5g allowing it to work for keto diets.

Is pumpkin OK on keto?

Yes, pumpkin puree is generally considered keto-friendly. Its creamy texture and natural sweetness make it useful for keto recipes. Stick to 1/2-1 cup portions.

Can you eat pumpkin on keto?

It’s fine to eat pumpkin puree in moderate amounts as part of a well-planned low carb ketogenic diet. Enjoy it blended into smoothies or baked into muffins.

Is pumpkin keto friendly?

Pumpkin puree can be included as part of a ketogenic diet. Its relatively low net carb content allows it to fit into daily carb limits on keto. Enjoy pumpkin puree in savory and sweet recipes.

The bottom line

Pumpkin puree can be incorporated into a keto diet in moderate servings. With only 11.5g net carbs per cup along with ample fiber and nutrients, pumpkin works well in the context of low carb keto meals and treats.

Stick to reasonable portions of 1/4-1 cup per day, depending on your carb tolerance and keto macros. Make sure to account for net carbs from pumpkin and other ingredients when planning meals.

With its creamy texture, sweetness and versatility, pumpkin puree makes a nutritious and delicious addition to the keto diet.

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