Canned Pumpkin Comparison – Which Brand is Best?

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Which canned pumpkin puree is best? We tried six different popular brands so you don’t have to.
Including notes on price, flavor, color, and more! 

Pumpkin puree is basically a fall pantry staple at this point. We love this versatile squash for it’s subtle nutty flavor and sweetness that works well in baked goods, pies, soups, curries, and more. You can make your own pumpkin puree at home, but most of us (in the US, at least) reach for store-bought canned pumpkin puree out of convenience. And if grandma used it it’s fine, right?

But not all canned pumpkin is created the same, friends. So we drove all around town and tried 6 different name- and store-brands of canned pumpkin puree, so you don’t have to. If you’re looking for the best canned pumpkin puree, simply keep on scrolling!

Overhead shot of open cans of pumpkin puree arranged with pie pumpkins on marble background

SURPRISE – CANNED PUMPKIN ISN’T EVEN PUMPKIN!

Or at least, it’s not the conventional “pie pumpkins” that you see at the grocery store.

The FDA has loose regulations regarding the definition of pumpkin, which means most brands combine a variety of squash to get the best color, texture, and flavor for their canned pumpkin. They aren’t required to release exact amounts (and it can vary by year), but it’s been rumored that some even contain butternut squash.

Long story short? Your canned pumpkin is still made from pumpkin-like squash, but the exact components vary from brand to brand. Which is how we get different flavors and textures in canned pumpkin puree!

Close-up photo of pumpkin puree from 6 different brands on individual spoons

THE RATING SCALE

All of the following pumpkin purees were tried plain and rated on a 5 point scale. Color, flavor, and consistency were taken into consideration for point values. Information was also recorded regarding availability, price (may vary by location), and whether or not the product is organic. These were not factored into the overall rating, since budget and produce preference is personal.

*Don’t see your favorite brand below? Leave a comment and we’d be happy to update the post! Many store-brand pumpkin purees were out of stock at the time of this review due to supply issues, but they still carried brand-name varieties.

1. LIBBY’S – 5/5

Can of Libby's pumpkin puree next to spoon with puree on it

  • Availability: most large-box grocery retailers and online
  • Price: $1.99-$2.69, depending on retailer
  • Organic? no
  • Color: true orange
  • Flavor: full-bodied flavor with a subtle sweetness that grows with aftertaste, accompanied by a slight tang
  • Consistency: thick and smooth
  • The Bottom Line:  Libby’s is the #1 retailer for pumpkin puree, and for good reason – it tastes great and is consistent. Libby’s had a sweeter overall flavor than all of the other brands, which may be because they grow their own exclusive variety of pumpkin for their purees. We would purchase again!

2. FARMER’S MARKET – 5/5

Can of Farmer's Market pumpkin puree next to spoon with puree on it

  • Availability: most large-box grocery retailers and online
  • Price: $1.99-$2.79, depending on retailer
  • Organic? yes
  • Color: yellow-orange
  • Flavor: full-bodied flavor with earthy squash notes and no tang. Has a subtle sweetness with an almost floral quality to it.
  • Consistency: smooth mouthfeel that’s on the thinner side, but still creamy
  • The Bottom Line: Farmer’s Market seems to be the most popular organic canned pumpkin on the market – most grocery stores we visited carried it. It tastes very different from Libby’s, but not in a bad way. The only con we can think of is that is has a looser consistency, so you may need to bake or cook your recipes for a little longer. We would purchase again!

3. TRADER JOE’S – 5/5

Can of Trader Joe's pumpkin puree next to spoon with puree on it

  • Availability: Trader Joe’s, in-store
  • Price: $1.99
  • Organic? yes
  • Color: yellow-orange
  • Flavor: full-bodied flavor with earthy squash notes and a slight tang. Has a subtle sweetness with an almost floral quality to it.
  • Consistency: smooth mouthfeel that’s on the thinner side, but still creamy
  • The Bottom Line: Trader Joe’s is known for ordering product from third-party manufacturers and slapping on their own labels, and due to the almost identical flavor and texture composition, we’d be willing to bet that this is Farmer’s Market. It tastes great and has a great price, so we would purchase again! If you live near a Trader Joe’s this is a great option – plus they have a lot of other fun pumpkin products, too.

4. THRIVE MARKET – 3/5

Can of Thrive Market pumpkin puree next to spoon with puree on it

  • Availability: online at Thrive Market only
  • Price: $1.99-$2.99, depending on sales
  • Organic? yes
  • Color: true orange
  • Flavor: slight flat flavor with a sour aftertaste; not sweet.
  • Consistency: thick, slightly gritty
  • The Bottom Line:  Thrive Market is a popular online retailer that sells popular organic brands, as well as their own “store-brand” line. Overall we were underwhelmed with the flavor of this pumpkin compared to other brands – it just didn’t taste as complex, and had an odd (but subtle) grit to it. It still tastes like pumpkin though, and both of these qualities would probably go undetected in baked goods or well-spiced recipes. We’d most likely buy this again if we needed to, but would prefer to get other brands.

5. WALMART’S GREAT VALUE – 4/5

Can of Walmart's Great Value pumpkin puree next to spoon with puree on it

  • Availability: Walmart, in-store
  • Price: $0.97
  • Organic? no
  • Color: true orange
  • Flavor: sweet with no tang, but a little flat
  • Consistency: thick and not completely smooth/blended
  • The Bottom Line:  If you’re looking for a Libby’s “dupe” for 1/3 to 1/2 of the price, the Walmart brand is surprisingly comparable! The flavor is slightly less complex, but still enjoyable – and probably not too noticeable in an actual recipe. We would buy this one again, and it’s a great budget-friendly option.

6. TARGET’S GOOD & GATHER – 2/5

Can of Target's Good & Gather pumpkin puree next to spoon with puree on it

  • Availability: Target, in-store
  • Price: $0.95
  • Organic? no
  • Color: red-orange
  • Flavor: Dull flavor that’s earthy with only a hint of tang; no sweetness
  • Consistency: extremely thick, fibrous, and dry
  • The Bottom Line: This pumpkin puree was not inedible, but it wasn’t enjoyable, either. From the odd reddish color to the chunky texture and almost non-existent flavor, we won’t be purchasing this Target find ever again. They do also carry Libby’s – we’d highly recommend sticking to that.

SO WHEN DOES FLAVOR REALLY MATTER?

Before writing this review, I was never really “brand loyal” when it came to canned pumpkin – I just grabbed whatever was on sale or on the shelf, with no real preference. So, when it comes down to it, do the “minor” differences between brands really matter? Yes *and* no. 

If you’re making a recipe that’s using only a small amount of pumpkin and goes heavy on other spices, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between most of these brands. However, I’d recommend sticking to your favorite(s) for recipes that are more pumpkin dominant — think pumpkin pies, soups, curries, etc.

side-by-side photos of open cans of pumpkin puree next to line up of pumpkin puree on spoons

In all, you can’t go wrong with canned pumpkin puree from Libby’s, Farmer’s Market, or Trader Joe’s – and with a similar price point and a few flavor differences, it all comes down to personal preference. We’ll be staying far away from Target’s squash blend, but would use Thrive Market or Walmart if our other favorites weren’t available.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin puree? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for ways to actually use your pumpkin puree, check out our long list of recipes on the blog. Or, learn how you can make your own pumpkin puree at home!

Cans of pumpkin puree arranged with pie pumpkins on marble kitchen countertop

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. Trader Joe’s pumpkin puree RUINED my Thanksgiving pie today. Waaaaaaaay too watery! I noticed before i poured into the shell and even added an extra egg and cooked longer and it never set up. I’ve been making this exact recipe for 30 years, and my mother made it for 20 years before that, and I’ve NEVER had any issues. Also, it weirdly has a banana odor! Never again!

  2. My mother “always” used Lake shore pumpkin. It was her favorite
    but did not make your list. It is hard to fine

    1. There is no equal to a pie made from Lakeshore solid pack pumpkin.
      My wife learned to make pie from Libbys from her family until she tried my Moms pie made from Lakeshore. My wife swears by it for the past 35 years.

  3. I’ve been buying the target pumpkin purée because it was cheaper & I thought it was all the same. But my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip bars just didn’t taste the same. Thank you for this! I’m going to try the other ones.

  4. My family has always used Libby’s pumpkin filling, and use the recipe on the back of the can. It is consistently great, but not vegan.

  5. I have always preferred Libby’s and that’s usually what I buy unless it isn’t available. Now I know why. Will check out Trader Joe’s also. Thanks for doing this comparison.

  6. Us New Englanders use One Pie canned pumpkin! I’ve tried many a pumpkin pie in my day and have only ever had this brand. Would love to see how it compares to the others if you reviewed!

  7. I’m from the south, and Libby is our go to around here. I don’t live very close to Target, and I believe the nearest Trader Joe’s in states away. I do know that Walmart also purchases products from third parties and relabels. I wonder if this could be the case between Libby and Walmart. They look very similar!

  8. I’m a Trader Joe’s girl all the way!
    I especially like using their canned pumpkin puree to make my famous pumpkin spice granola. 😋

  9. I really appreciate your contribution with this post! I would love to see something similar for different brands of tofu, canned jackfruit, thinks like that. 🙂

    My add-ons to the post would be:

    *Sprouts own brand: For people having Sprouts stores nearby, they have in their own product line a good quality pumpkin puree ($1.99 organic, $1.59 regular). It’s more like a 4/5 star for me in flavor and consistency, but it’s a good quality for the price.

    *Farmer’s Market: From my point of view you can’t find anything better than this taste and consistency wise, but it’s one of the most expensive. For me the floral notes are the ones that make it a winner.

    *Libby’s: Taste and preferences are definitely subjective, I always considered it more like a 3/5 star pumpkin puree. It’s just mediocre taste, although the texture is right. But price and availability wise it will always be a winner.

    *Happy Belly: This is one of the Amazon brands, and I sometimes add a can with my Amazon Fresh orders. Flavor is more like a 3/5, not complex,.but not dull either. The texture is creamy, but lack a little bit of thickness. It’s organic and it usually costs $1-1.3, so it’s a good deal for the price. I wouldn’t use it for pumpkin pie, but for mixing in oatmeal, soups, chilis, fake Mac&Cheese and pancakes it works great.

      1. I agree with Ann, I would love to see more posts like this comparing brands. I would also add coconut milk. Really enjoyed this post and appreciate your time and thorough description. I grew up on Libby’s, but prefer Organic nowadays so I buy the farmers market. I do think the brand affects the taste and outcome of a recipe. I find the Organic Farmers Market is wetter than Libby’s and requires more dry ingredients (flour) or a longer bake time for pumpkin pie. Fantastic post!

      2. We’re happy you appreciate posts like this. We’ll work on bringing more content like this in the future. Thank you, Amber!