Simple and Delicious Savory Stuffed Pumpkin

My dear friend posted a picture of the most amazing-looking stuffed pumpkin on his Facebook a couple weeks ago and I begged him to send me the recipe ASAP. I was planning a small socially distanced birthday party for my son outside on our deck and knew it would amaze and delight my adult guests under the heat lamp with copious amounts of wine. Also, this friend knows how to cook and loves good food so it had to be delicious.

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin

He sent me a link to this recipe on Epicurious and then texted me his notes. Then of course I had to make some of my own changes because that’s how I roll. Essentially it’s a hollowed-out pumpkin stuffed with bread, bacon, cheese, garlic and cream. How could it be bad, right?  The best part about it is that it’s basically fool-proof since pumpkins come in all sizes and cheeses and breads differ – so you have to be flexible because the baking time depends on how long it takes for the pumpkin to get soft enough to pierce with a knife. There is no precision here.

So figure to do what I did and make it your own. Or evolve it as you get more confident or your dinner guests’ diet preferences change. When I was making this one I was already thinking about what I would add to and change with the next one, and there WILL be a next one. My guests were raving about it.

Not only is this stuffed pumpkin the perfect main dish, it would be a brilliant Thanksgiving side dish or appetizer. If you want a vegetarian option, omit the bacon and replace it with heartier vegetables like mushrooms. My friend told me he sometimes makes it with rice instead of bread, so it’s more like risotto.

So take the ingredients and swap them out as you please. Like I did. Here was my version.

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe

savory stuffed pumpkin recipe hollowed out pumpkin fountainof30

Ingredients

1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds (but mine was closer to 5)

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 pound stale bread (I used a baguette) thickly sliced and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1/4 pound cheese like Gruyère, Emmenthal, Swiss, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (I used Gruyère and cheddar and added another 1/4 cup).

2-4 garlic cloves (to taste), coarsely chopped

4 slices bacon cooked until crisp, drained and broken to pieces

2 turkey sausage links removed from casings, cooked and crumbled

1/4 sliced scallions

1 healthy tablespoon fresh thyme minced

1/3 cup heavy cream (may need to add more)

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Make sure oven racks are placed so the entire pumpkin can fit (I had to remove all but one). Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, tin foil or parchment. You could place the pumpkin in the center of a large baking dish or Dutch oven. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding. But proceed with caution. Maneuvering a hot, heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn’t easy. However, I went for it because I am about the presentation.
  3. Using a sturdy knife cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (like you would carving a pumpkin). Cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pan.
  4. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, sausage and herbs together in a bowl. Season with salt & pepper (taste to be sure you have enough) and pack the mixture into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled (you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it).
  5. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little, but you don’t want the ingredients to swim in cream. Think, nicely moistened. (Don’t fret, remember it’s hard to mess up.)
  6. Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Remove the cap during the last 20 minutes so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing browns a little.
  7. When the pumpkin is ready (very) carefully transfer it to a platter that you’ll bring to the table.
stuffed pumpkin recipe mix ingredients
Bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, sausage and herbs.
Savory Stuffed Pumpkin ingredients mixed
Mixing the stuffing.
Stuffed Pumpkin before cooking fountainof30
Pack the mixture into the pumpkin.
Savory Stuffed Pumpkin with stem fountainof30
Put the cap in place and bake.
Pumpkin in oven fountainof30
Bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours.
cooked Savory Stuffed Pumpkin in oven fountainof30
Remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so of baking.

How To Serve Savory Stuffed Pumpkin

You have two choices. Either spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin from the sides into the spoonful (so half the spoon will be pumpkin and the other half stuffing) OR dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon and then mix everything up to serve. I prefer the former. Serve a healthy portion with a salad for a perfect fall main course or a small spoonful alongside a Thanksgiving turkey. It’s wonderful alternative to sweet potatoes.

Next time I plan to my stuffed pumpkin with rice instead of bread. Or I may do it with turkey sausage and chopped fresh tart apples of the season. I have also heard it’s delicious with Swiss chard and kale. Or maybe I will use cubed ham instead of the bacon. And/or add nuts. See what’s happening here?

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin derved on a platter fountainof30
Serving suggestion.
If you make it and come up with your own variation of ingredients, will you do me a favor and share what worked for you?
Yield: 6 main course dinners or 12-14 side dishes

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin

This hollowed-out pumpkin is stuffed with bread, bacon, cheese, garlic and cream is baked in the oven.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds (but mine was closer to 5)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound stale bread (I used a baguette) thickly sliced and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/4 pound cheese like Gruyère, Emmenthal, Swiss, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (I used Gruyère and cheddar and added another 1/4 cup).
  • 2-4 garlic cloves (to taste), coarsely chopped
  • 4 slices bacon cooked until crisp, drained and broken to pieces
  • 2 turkey sausage links removed from casings, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 sliced scallions
  • 1 healthy tablespoon fresh thyme minced
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (may need to add more)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Instructions

      1. Make sure oven racks are placed so the entire pumpkin can fit (I had to remove all but one). Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
      2. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, tin foil or parchment. You could place the pumpkin in the center of a large baking dish or Dutch oven. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but be warned. Maneuvering a hot, heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn't easy. However, I went for it because I am about the presentation.
      3. Using a sturdy knife cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (like you would carving a pumpkin). Cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.
      4. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, sausage and herbs together in a bowl. Season with salt & pepper (taste to be sure) and pack the mixture into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled (you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it).
      5. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little, but you don't want the ingredients to swim in cream. Think, nicely moistened. (Don't fret, remember it's hard to go wrong here.)
      6. Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing browns a little.
      7. When the pumpkin is ready (very) carefully transfer it to a platter that you'll bring to the table.

Notes

There are 2 ways to serve. Either spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin from the ides into the spoonful OR dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon, pull the pumpkin meat into the filling, and then mix everything up to serve. I prefer the pull and mix yourself option. Serve a healthy portion with a salad for a perfect fall main course or spoonfuls alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 690mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 25g
 
Lauren Dimet Waters Signature

Try more of Lauren’s delicious recipes like Easy and Delicious Apple Cider Cake and How To Make The Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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