Stuffed Pumpkin is Edible Centerpiece

The recipe for Stuffed Pumpkin appears in The Vegetarian Epicure cookbook, but my adapted version requires fewer ingredients and skips several steps.

Stuffed Pumpkin blogThere’s a lot to like about serving a stuffed pumpkin for dinner. Not only is it a simple vegetarian entree, but it’s fun to prepare and there’s no messy casserole dish to wash at the end of the meal.

It also smells heavenly while baking up into something beautifully delicious.

I discovered this recipe in an ancient copy of The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas and prepared it for a Halloween open house several years ago.

The pumpkin came out of the oven piping hot and I used it as an edible centerpiece for the buffet table.

Not exactly a Martha Stewart moment, but pretty darn close for me.

When I prepared the recipe for the party, I used all of the right ingredients in their precise amounts and followed all of the steps–and there were plenty of them.

The original version is the kind of recipe that starts simply enough, by cleaning the pumpkin of seeds and pulp and then marinating inside the shell with Worcestershire or soy sauce.

Then it takes the cook on a treasure hunt through the cookbook: turn to page 228 and prepare the Risotto Doug Edwards. But before that can be made, turn to the recipe on page 223 and prepare a half recipe of the Risotto alla Milanese.

To make the Risotto alla Milanese, the recipe calls for garlic broth recipe  on page 51. But the garlic broth is made from a base of potato peel broth found on page 50.

Who has time for all that page turning?

Even though the process turns out a fabulous dish, there are way too many steps, especially if I want to whip up a stuffed pumpkin for a mid-week supper.

I’ve substituted some of the ingredients for others, eliminated other ingredients and streamlined the process so prep time is considerably reduced. This means the pumpkin hits the oven sooner and the end result is still delicious.

Here’s my take on a stuffed pumpkin…feel free to be creative and substitute ingredients to suit your tastes, too.

Stuffed Pumpkin Ingredients

1 small-to-medium pumpkin
Worcestershire or soy sauce
Salt and pepper
2 3/4 cups quick cooking wild rice mix*
3-5 sliced scallions
3-4 sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pine nuts (or shelled, roasted pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup shelled sunflower seeds

  1. Prepare wild rice according to package instructions. While it’s simmering prepare the pumpkin.
  2. Cut a medium-sized circle in the top of the pumpkin.
  3. Remove the seeds and pulp; clean thoroughly. Save seeds to roast.
  4. Season inside of pumpkin with Worcestershire or soy sauce.
  5. Let rice cool slightly and then mix together with the remaining ingredients.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Stuff pumpkin with the rice mixture; cover tightly with the pumpkin lid.
  8. Set pumpkin on a baking sheet in a preheated 425-degree oven.
  9. Bake for about 1 hour or until the pumpkin is soft and lightly charred.
  10. Serve hot; remove lid and scoop out large spoonfuls of stuffing and soft pumpkin for each serving.

Serves 6 to 8, depending on the size of the pumpkin.

*I used the quick-cooking Rice Select Brand, “Royal Blend” of Texmati white, brown, wild and red rice.

A stuffed pumpkin also makes a healthy and tasty side dish for Thanksgiving. It could take the place of several other vegetable recipes and may provide you with your own Martha Stewart moment.


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This looks yummy Jodi, I’m ging to try it. Looking around for the types of pumpkins that taste good has lead me to reading about Winter Luxury, an heirloom that has the rep of being the Best Tasting Pumpkin, ever. Have you tried it? Do you or your readers know where I might find one?

Winter Luxury is a wonderful name for a pumpkin–I hadn’t seen it before, but will keep an eye out for seeds in the spring.

Thanks for this recipe! And thanks for the time-saving conversion from the original instruction marathon!

My vegetarian husband loved this and I found it very easy to make. I used the bottom of two butternuts for the shells and used the rest of the flesh to make a pumpkin pie (thanks Mum for all the pumpkins!) 🙂 I had PLENTY of stuffing left over though. Definitely needed one big pumpkin or lots more small ones!

My only trouble was finding a quick-cooking wild rice mix – but i did find a little bag of black wild rice so I mixed that with some white basmati. I recommend cooking the different types of rice separately though (I did mine together and the white rice cooked much quicker the black! The oven time did help to finish cooking most of the wild rice though.

Overall this recipe has amazing colours and delicious, subtle flavours. It looks great on the plate, too! Will definitely make this again. Thanks!!

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