Preserving · Recipes

Slow Cooked Pumpkin Pecan Butter

There is a lot to be said about pumpkin butter and canning it. That part I will leave up to the reader, if they feel safe with canning it. The USDA and the many college extensions will say to not do it.

Why? Because pumpkin is a low acid food. This makes water bath canning dangerous due to the risk of botulism. Now then, this recipe does contain both sugar and acid (and plenty of that) bringing the ph levels up. Canning plain pumpkin is a no-go unless you do pressure canning – and it should be cubes, not mashed. Now then, I myself did feel OK with water-bath canning this pumpkin butter. But to be on the safe side, I then chilled it, and then froze it. While I feel it is safe enough to consume as is, I would not recommend you can it. (But I’ll leave it at this: small jars and 10 minutes, then 5 minutes in the canner to rest.)

But you can happily make this spread and keep it on hand by freezing it (no need to can even). Use it liberally on bread, pancakes and such. Or serve with chicken instead of apple butter! It’s so very delicious.

Does it need the pecans? Honestly you could leave them out, but it does add a real depth to the flavor. A little crunch. so very fall the flavor.

Slow Cooked Pumpkin Pecan Butter


  • 29-ounce can pumpkin puree (or 2 15-ounce cans)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped


Add all ingredients into a slow cooker (or use the slow cooker setting on medium on your InstaPot, with the slow cooker lid on), and let cook for 8 hours. Stir every hour or so, scraping the sides.

Let cool down and pack up, then chill or freeze, for longer term storage. See notes on water bath canning above.

Makes about 5 6-ounce jars plus a smidge more.