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Pumpkin For Dinner

Posted by terrepruitt on November 12, 2013

I received a pumpkin in my organic produce box.  I didn’t know what to do with it.  I was looking at one of the blogs that I read on occasion and I saw a recipe for a stuffed pumpkin.  I saved the recipe so that I could make it.  I looked at the post a couple of times while I was thinking about it.  There was a woman who commented with a link to her version of the stuffed pumpkin.  When I posted the original (to me) posting on FB one of my friends commented, “I just made those.”  Which, when she posted the picture to my wall, I vaguely remembered having seen it when she originally posted it.  But it was before I had received a pumpkin so it didn’t really register.  When I went to make my grocery list off of JJ Begonia’s recipe, I realized it was literally like a stuffed pumpkin as in BREAD stuffing.  Like a turkey.  I didn’t want to just use bread.  Then I remembered my friend said she stuffed hers with sausage.  The first two recipes have bacon in them, but I don’t like to buy a pound of bacon for only a couple of pieces.  So I decided on sausage.  I took ideas from all three people and came up with the below stuffed pumpkin recipe.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaStuffed Sugar Pie Pumpkin

1 2 to 3 pound Sugar Pie Pumpkin
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt
Six mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 pound sausage
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup cheese (small chunks)
2 tbsp ricotta
1 tbsp sherry
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
handful of spinach
four slices bread – toasted and cubed

Cut the top off of the pumpkin making a little lid.  Scoop out the pumpkin guts.  Then put a little oil and salt in the pumpkin and place it on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes (check it after 20 minutes to see that it is not getting too cooked – after the 45 minutes you want it to be almost cooked, but not cooked so much it can’t stand another HOUR in the oven).

Heat the olive oil in the pan with the 1/2 of the onions.  Once the onions are translucent put the mushrooms in the pan and cook them.  Sprinkle with salt.  As they are cooking mix in one clove of garlic.  Cook the sausage, either after the mushrooms are cooked or use a different pan.  If the sausage has a lot of grease drain it off once the sausage is cooked before you add the sausage to the rest of the ingredients.

Mix the mushrooms and the sausage in a bowl.  Add the rosemary and thyme.  Mix in the remaining two cloves of garlic and the onions.  Mix in the cheese.  Mix in the sherry and most of the cream (save a splash for the inside bottom of pumpkin).  Add the spinach and bread cubes last.  Mix it all carefully.

Pour the remaining splash of cream in the pumpkin.  Spoon the mixture into the pumpkin.  I used the spoon to press it down into the pumpkin.

Put the pumpkin in the oven for 60 minutes.  After about 20 minutes I put the “lid” on.  The pumpkin is done when you can gently pierce its side with a sharp object.  Check to verify the inside it cooked to your liking.  Since the mushrooms and the sausage are already cooked it is just a matter of it heating up and melting the cheese.

Slice and serve.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThis was good, BUT . . . . . I have some adjustments I would make for next time.  I was thinking it would be full of flavor so I hardly used any salt which left it almost flavorless except for the thyme.  Next time I will use LESS thyme and more salt and some pepper.  You will notice I didn’t put any pepper in this.  I don’t use pepper.  But I can when I think that a recipe needs it.  I will salt the inside of the pumpkin more prior to baking and prior to filling.

This was ALL that we had for dinner with a small salad and it was PLENTY!  We were full.  We each had a half.  We did not have a pumpkin each.  🙂

As you can see from just this post there are at least four recipes to make stuffed pumpkin.  I purposefully didn’t say what type of sausage, cheese, or bread I used because I want you to find your own flavor and texture.  So follow one of the recipes or do it your own way.  You have the basics . . . go play!  If you do not follow my recipe . . . . please, please, please, tell us what you did.  I would love to hear of more ways to make a pumpkin dinner!

Happy Fall!

I had not stuffed a pumpkin before.  Have you ever stuffed a pumpkin and baked it? 

9 Responses to “Pumpkin For Dinner”

  1. My French Heaven said

    What a great idea! Perfect for the season…

    Like

    • Hello!

      I never would have thought of it if it weren’t for JJ Begonia’s blog. She had it on there and I just happened to be looking at her blog. Her’s sounded very good, then I realized I don’t even really like stuffing – which is odd because I LOVE bread. Any my friend on Facebook used meat and cheese! I think it is great because you can put whatever you want in it.

      What are you going to stuff your pumpkins with, Stéphane? I am sure you would make them delicious as well as beautiful for you B&B!

      Like

  2. jjbegonia said

    Your version looks great – I am glad you enjoyed it!!!

    Like

  3. BettyG said

    Your recipe looks fantastic!I have made stuffed pumpkin in the Fall for many years and usually use a combination of veggies and hamburger (usually turkey burger in our household) and rice much like one would do for stuffed peppers. It really is up to our own imagination in terms of WHAT to stuff it with and I think almost any combination will work. For those who like seafood (I don’t) I can imagine that would be a good option as well. I have found that to lessen cooking time you can par boil the pumpkin first and then stuff and bake. I love pumpkin so this is a great Autumn treat for us every year!

    Like

    • FABULOUS! I don’t think that I knew that I liked pumpkin. One of the MAIN reasons I am getting a produce box delivered; it “makes” me try things I wouldn’t buy myself in the store!

      I just commented back to JJ Begonia that I will probably use less bread and more veggies next time. I think one of the reasons my husband loved it so much is that I put pork sausage in it. We primarily eat ground turkey. But with the acquisition of a portion of a cow we have been eating more beef. But that meat is so tasty I don’t like to disguise it too much.

      I love it because — YES — exactly what you said, it is up to your imagination! FUN!!!! Would pumpkin and seafood go together? I don’t eat seafood either so I don’t know.

      The first night I went to make this, I started really late, and when I saw that the recipe said I needed to cook it for two hours, I said, “Well, that ain’t happening tonight.” Then I thought about it later that night and I realized that I could bake the pumpkin as I am cooking the mushrooms and the sausage . . . so that worked for me (but it still happened the following night). Parboiling is another method to get that pumpkin on its way to being done! Getting it cooked a bit before stuffing it helps cut down on the overall cooking time. Had I thought of that we would have eaten stuffed pumpkin a night earlier! 🙂

      Thanks for being here, Betty!

      Like

  4. Catherine said

    Hi Terre: A very long time ago when I ate meat, I stuffed a pumpkin (it was very small). Found the recipe and I may try it again only without the sausage. I used unseasoned stuffing mix, chicken broth, onion (which I can no longer eat), pork sausage cut up, mushrooms, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.
    Now that you bring it up, I might try it again, but this time I will salt and pepper the inside of the pumpkin first and then rub the inside with sage and thyme,as well. I’ll use the stuffing mix or make a basmati rice/wild rice mix. I adore mushrooms and may change to shitake and buttons instead of just the buttons. May include spinach and corn, since they all go well with squash, and some carrot. Since I can’t eat dairy at all, I’ll use coconut oil to help bind it all. May make the stuffing the night before so the flavors all blend.

    Like

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