Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Cheesy Stuffed Pumpkin

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Cheesy Stuffed Pumpkin, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

I don’t know what my deal is with pumpkin. Growing up, I hated it. Then, few years back I had some pumpkin pie and actually enjoyed it. Since then, I’ve been kind of obsessed. (Something similar happened to me with olives. Maybe it’s true that your taste buds change every 7 years?)

Anyway, not only are pumpkins delicious, they’re really quite gorgeous. And cooking them whole can make a stunning centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.

Last year I filled this guy with stuffing and baked him. So handsome!

thanksgiving082
I recently tried stuffing a pumpkin again—this time with a less traditional filling made of herbs, cheese, pumpkin and pieces of a stale French baguette. It was SO incredible. I also used a smaller baking pumpkin and the meat was MUCH sweeter.

pumpkinprocess2

This is fairly easy to do, but there is a little bit of prep work involved.

You have to scoop out the stringy parts of the pumpkin to get the inside pretty smooth. After separating the meat from the seeds, you’ll sauté it in olive oil with the bread squares, seasonings/herbs and a good splash of water to moisten and avoid and sticking to the pan. Herb wise I used rosemary, oregano and a lot of sage.

pumpkinprocess

Seasoning the inside of the pumpkin and baking it for about 10 minutes before you stuff it is key. I brushed the inside with a seasoning blend of nutmeg, paprika, clove, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, agave and olive oil.

stuffedpumpkin

I stuffed my pumpkin in 4 layers of the breading mixture separated by fontina and provolone cheese. You can do as many layers as you like depending on your pumpkin size.

I honestly don’t know what was tastier, the filling or the pumpkin itself. The combination is incredible—tender pumpkin meat with the dense texture of a cheesy and savory filling.

pumpprocess3

Look at that beautiful cross section!

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Recipe

Measurements/cook times are based on a 3lb baking pumpkin.
Cook/prep time: about 1 hour.

You need:

  • Olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon agave maple syrup
  • 1 baking pumpkin
  • Fontina cheese (slices or shredded)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped sage
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 1½ cup cubed stale baguette

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cut an opening at the top of pumpkin at a 45° angle. Scoop out seeds & stringy guts and scrape inside of the pumpkin clean. Do your best to untangle and separate meat from the seeds. Set meat aside for use.
  3. Pumpkin seasoning: Must be pretty potent to flavor pumpkin meat enough. Combine cinnamon, paprika, clove, nutmeg, salt, cayenne pepper, sweetener and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water. Mix well. Puncture inside of pumpkin in several places with a fork and then slather inside of pumpkin with the seasoning. Put top on pumpkin and place in oven on baking sheet for about 15 minutes.
  4. The filling: Cut up about ½ a stale baguette into roughly ½ inch squares. Dice herbs and garlic. Chop pumpkin meat to untangle. Sauté pumpkin and garlic on medium heat in olive oil heat for a minute. Add bread and herbs. Toss all together and immediately add ¼ cup water to pan. Sprinkle salt and little black pepper to taste. Remove from heat when everything is evenly on bread and seasoned to your liking.
  5. Stuffing it: Remove partially cooked pumpkin from oven. Fill pumpkin with about 4 layers of bread filling separated by cheese. Compact the bread down so everything fits nice and snug.
  6. Place top back on pumpkin and put back in oven (you may have to remove the top rack or trim off a portion of the stem to make room). Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until pumpkin meat is soft (just remove top to test doneness of pumpkin meat). Bake last 5 minutes with top off to brown the cheese!

HonestFare.com

17 Comments

  1. Anita N.
    Posted August 22, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    HOW can there not be any comments for this recipe?! This is one of the BEST looking dishes I’ve ever seen on Tastespotting, and I cannot wait to make it for Thanksgiving! Thank you for posting this!!

  2. gabi
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    Haha. I actually just opened comments on the site a couple months ago so most of my older posts don’t have any ;)
    This has been a hit on my thanksgiving table and I’m sure it will be on yours too!

  3. Posted October 20, 2010 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    OH. WOW. This is increadibly beautiful and I bet it’s delicious.

    http://www.prettyhungrygirl.wordpress.com

  4. Posted October 25, 2010 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    I’m going to a Thanksgiving potluck next month. I may make this. It looks amazing and such a crowd pleaser!

  5. Posted October 27, 2010 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    I made this on Monday and it was hands down one of the best fall meals I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. I used a bigger pumpkin since I was having some friends over and even had enough left over for lunch the next day. I took the left over slice and put it in the toaster oven for 20 min and it got all warm and the stuffing that was exposed got all crispy… it’s one recipe that produces AMAZING leftovers. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  6. gabi
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    Wow, Erin! So happy to hear that it worked out so well for you. I know, it’s one of my favs too. So good…and we’ve got to eat it up while we can (pumpkin season isn’t long enough)!

  7. jess
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    im confused…this looks delicious and i want to make it correctly so…when you talk about the meat of the pumpkin, are you talking about the guts? or do you scoop the guts and throw them out and then scrape some meat form the pumpkin? thanks for the extra help! cant wait to try it out. i think my 14 mo. old will go nuts for it!

  8. Elizabeth Weinstein
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    This recipe looks great, but the real reason I wanted to comment is that you’ve given me hope that my long-time boyfriend will one day like olives. I’ve known him for six years, so I’m hoping that in either one or eight, he’ll finally discover the magic of one of my favorite foods!

  9. gabi
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    Jess – happy to clarify. You actually just want to scoop out the seeds and stringy meat (not any of the thick pumpkin meat) to make the inside of the pumpkin a nice and smooth container. Then, after picking out the seeds, you will use the stringy meat to flavor the bread and cheese stuffing. Yea, you definitely don’t want to start carving away at the pumpkin meat, else it could collapse on you ;)
    Once you get in there you’ll see.

  10. Jill
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    This recipe sounds great. It definitely seems to be a lower calorie version than others I’ve seen using heavy cream and lots of cheese.

    Speaking of cheese, can you tell me how you used? 1/4 lb. perhaps.

    I look forward to trying this recipe. Thanks!

  11. gabi
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Hi Jill – It’s hard for me to put an exact measurement on the cheese, mainly because I’ve made it several times and every time it’s a slightly different sized pumpkin. 1/4 lb (equal to about 1 cup grated cheese) sounds like a safe amount for a 3 lb pumpkin though. And of course, it all depends on how cheesy you like things! I find four modest layers of cheese to be the perfect amount :)

  12. Shawna
    Posted November 13, 2010 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    I’m so bummed!!! I couldn’t wait to try out this recipe; I’ve had it saved to my favorites for awhile. I wanted to make it around Thanksgiving time, but I didn’t get the memo on Pumpkin season being over. :P For some reason I thought I’d be able to get one after October, but I guess not????

  13. gabi
    Posted November 13, 2010 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    Hi Shawana, Don’t worry – you should definitely be able to find a baking pumpkin. I usually make this right around Thanksgiving. Just look somewhere else I guess!

  14. Shawna
    Posted November 20, 2010 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    Thanks! My pumpkin is baking in the oven right now! :) I can’t wait!

  15. gabi
    Posted November 20, 2010 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    That is hilarious – I happen to be baking one right now too!

  16. Karen
    Posted October 3, 2014 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    I just made this recipe – I have a question – after I did the first back with the pumpkin seasoning there was a lot of liquid in the bottom of the pumpkin – do you pour that out?? To begin with my pumpkin seasoning was very liquid.
    Please let me know if I need to drain off the excess liquid.
    I poured out into a dish and added a little to each layer so the bottom layer wasn’t soaked with it. My husband loved it.

  17. gabi
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    Hi Karen – The seasoning does tend to run down to the bottom, and it’ll vary depending on the pumpkin. A lot of that evaporates during cooking too. It sounds like you came up with a pretty good solution (adding juice to the layers sounds great). I’m going to make this soon now that it’s pumpkin season so I’ll let you know if I have any updates to the recipe!

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