The holiday season will be upon us before you know it, and do we have a culinary masterpiece to share with you! These roasted, stuffed, personal sized pumpkins, will certainly steal the spotlight as the star of your festive spread. Prepare for jaw-drops and gasps of amazement from your loved ones as they lay their eyes on this pumpkin extravaganza. You have options, go big with a grand centerpiece pumpkin that will leave everyone in awe, or go small and serve up some adorable individual pumpkins for each guest. The choice is yours, and guaranteed to impress!
We hope this recipe becomes a new tradition in your house as well!
I first discovered this roasted stuffed pumpkin recipe many years ago on Epicurious. This is a traditional French recipe, and as you might guess, although delicious, it is not vegan as it is drenched in globs of heavy cream, butter and cheese. We obviously like our version better, not only because it does not contain any animal products, but also because the nutty and sweet flavor of the pumpkin really gets to shine through.
What type of pumpkin should I use?
The classic choice of pumpkin for this recipe is a Red Kuri pumpkin, called a potimarron, which means chestnut pumpkin in French. The flesh of the Red Kuri is creamy and buttery, tastes slightly sweet and nutty and is reminiscent of roasted chestnuts. The skin is a deep burnt orange and is fairly thin and edible.
Do not feel like you have to go out and find Red Kuri pumpkins for this dish. Any pumpkin that you have available will work just fine. We like very creamy squash, so in addition to the Red Kuri, some of our other favorites are the Autumn Frost (in the photos), or Kabocha squash.
Stuffing your roasted pumpkin
For Thanksgiving we often like to stuff our pumpkin with vegan sausage and herb stuffing. But this year we are making a hearty vegetable and farro filling. I use farro in this recipe because it stays chewy, but you can use any grain you like. Whatever you decide to use as your filling, be sure that it’s cooked to al dente since it will cook further in the oven.
For this filling, I make a quick sauce by thickening up some soy milk with a bit of flour and vegan butter, and mixing it into the grains and vegetables. The sauce should be about the consistency of cream, and it will give the filling a rich and luxurious feel without actually having any cream in it.
Don’t forget to season the inside of your pumpkins. Although your filling will be seasoned well, you still want the flesh of your pumpkin to be tasty in it’s own right.
This recipe is super versatile! You can fill your roasted pumpkin with whatever you want – your favorite stuffing recipe, grains and vegetables, vegan mac & cheese… There are endless possibilities, so get creative! The only limit is your imagination!
don’t forget to save the seeds
If you like, you can rinse off all those pumpkin seeds…maybe save a handful to plant in the garden next year, and roast the rest for a healthy, crunchy snack or a topping for pumpkin soup. Our favorite way to roast pumpkin seeds is to give them a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a bit of salt, cayenne and lime zest.
Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin
- 4 small pumpkins – about 12-16 oz each – we used Autumn Frost, or one larger, about 3 lb pumpkin
- 2 cups farro, cooked to al dente
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cups spinach, kale or chard
- 1/4 cup white wine, you may substitute with vegetable broth if you prefer
- 1 ½ tbsp vegan butter
- 1½ tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, or any plant milk you like – just make sure that it is unsweetened and unflavored.
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tsp thyme, sage or rosemary – or a combination
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a skillet heat olive oil over moderately high heat and saute onions and mushrooms until golden.
- Add garlic and cook another couple of minutes. Fold in the spinach.
- Remove vegetables from the pan and transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the cooked farro, and set aside.
- Add wine, or broth, to the pan and simmer, stirring to get all the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, until liquid is evaporated.
- Melt the butter in the pan, and add the flour. Cook for a minute while stirring. Drizzle in the soy milk while whisking the sauce, and cook for another couple of minutes until the milk has thickened slightly (about the consistency of heavy cream). Add the thyme, nutmeg, salt & pepper.
- Return the vegetable and farro mixture to the pan and mix into the sauce.
- Carefully slice the tops off the pumpkins and scoop out all the seeds and pulp.
- Place on a baking sheet and season the inside of the pumpkins with some salt and pepper.
- Fill the pumpkins up to the top. I used about ½ cup of the filling in each of the small pumpkins. Place the tops back on the pumpkins.
- Bake the pumpkins at 375°F about 45 minutes to an hour for individual servings, about 1½ hours for a larger pumpkin. I like to remove their little hats for the last twenty minutes or so of roasting so that the tops get slightly crispy and golden.How long the pumpkins need to roast will depend on their size. The pumpkin is ready when you can pierce through it easily with the tip of a knife.
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