Baked Stuffed Pumpkin, the sound of it gets your heart beating a little faster doesn’t it!!
Remember the other day, when we had our massive conversation about Baked Stuffed Mushrooms and we drooled over those pictures a little bit. Well, I’m back to do it again. But this time I have Stuffed Pumpkin instead of the ole mushies and let me tell you………….this is going to want to make you eat A LOT more pumpkin.
So let’s talk about where I was coming from in developing the recipe:
- Eating food that tastes good
- Eating food that looks good
- Eating food that satisfies you
- Eating food that makes you FEEL good
Interestingly the FEEL good factor has been a major focus for me lately. I am literally sitting around thinking about what veggies can be stuffed with what fillings to bring a delicious meal together without food overload or regret.
Stuffed Pumpkin is more of a labour of love than the stuffed mushies, but love you will the dish, when your fork is pulling the flesh from the sides of the dish and directing said fork to your mouth.
Sometimes not as healthy foods, are just easily done, I think. That is their draw card. You can have the best of intentions to whip up a plate of veggies, left, right and centre, but work, kids, husbands, pets, washing, all that stuff takes time and energy and if you can do something faster it becomes the choice you make.
I will preface this recipe by saying, loudly and clearly, DON’T TRY AND MAKE IT ON A WEEK NIGHT, it just isn’t really achievable. Yes, roast normal pumpkin and yes, roast veggies and yes, have your greens, but THIS ONE TAKES A LONNNNNNNG TIME TO COOK, but it is worth it, so stick with me.
I had recently wanted some veggies on the side of a dish I was having, but didn’t want to prep for ages, so I bought ½ a butternut (my fav) pumpkin, but I think for my American buddies, you call it squash? (feel free to correct me if I am wrong). So anyways, with ½ that pumpkin, I seasoned it with salt, pepper and what I thought was cumin, but after eating and another day of thinking about it and a visit to my spice rack, I realised it was actually cinnamon not cumin I used, BUT it was sweet and caramelised and so very tasty. It was a pretty big piece of pumpkin, so I was able to take it to work for a few days of lunch and the richness and depth of flavour in the meal was beautiful. Even cooking that piece of pumpkin took a while (to the point that it surprised me) and I know that can be a massive factor in weeknight meal prep. So save yourself the trouble and book yourself a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday (my fav days to cook), relax and really enjoy the preparation of this dish as the tasting of it will make you shed a little tear, that food can taste so good and that you can cook said food that tastes so good.
So these things were also considered in developing the recipe:
-I wanted to stuff veggies into the mix
-I didn’t mind if the recipe was vego or not as I have been doing heaps of vego lately (omit the chorizo and this can be vego)
-I didn’t want to use the exact same sprinkle mix as baked mushies, live it up and all
-I wanted an alternative to rice.
So, those things came together to make the stuffing a combination of cooked quinoa, roasted red capsicums (bell peppers depending on where you live), chopped chorizo and crumbled feta.
Our Stuffed Pumpkin is sounding pretty good right about now, isn’t it.
Imagine taking a delicious vegetable and putting some more delicious foods into it and then having an awesome crunchy texture on top to set it off, yes please!
After you cook the pumpkin, I recommend using an ice-cream scoop to remove the flesh. You can keep this if you want to be creative and add it to another dish.
Then you take your stuffing mix and load up the pumpkin with the good stuff. Then you bake it for a bit.
After that is done, you get your lovely walnut, feta and parsley crumble, to sprinkle over the top, bake it a little bit more, get your knives and forks ready, wait for the feta to melt and your nuts to toast and when your home is filled with all of the wonderful aromas of this dish, take it out of the oven, sit down at the table with your companions and DIG IN!!
This my friends, is what you will have come up with, one damn good looking Baked Stuffed Pumpkin.
Doesn’t it look, just SO tasty!!!
If you make this recipe and want to upload a photo (I would love to see) you can do that via the pin on my recipes board >> Sweet Caramel Sunday Recipes board >> Pinterest
Baked Stuffed Pumpkin
Baked Stuffed Pumpkin
- 800 grams butternut pumpkin squash in USA
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp salt himalayan rock salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup cooked quinoa 1/2 cup dry makes 1 cup cooked
- 280 grams grilled peppers
- 1/2 block greek style feta cheese 90 grams
- 1 chorizo thinly sliced
Walnut and feta crumble
- 1/3 cup walnuts crushed
- 1/2 bunch parsley curly variety, finely chopped
- 1/2 block greek syle feta cheese 90 grams
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- Cut pumpkin in 1/2 long ways. Combine olive oil, cumin, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small dish, stir to combine and coat pumpkin all over using a pastry brush.
- Poke some small holes in pumpkin with fork, wrap with foil and bake for 1 hr.
- Cook quinoa in 1 cup of water on the stove top
- Add cooked quinoa, sliced chorizo, drained grilled peppers and feta to a mixing bowl and stir to combine
- Once pumpkin is cooked, remove from oven, open foil packet and scoop out inner flesh, leaving an edge of the flesh around the outsides
- Stuff pumpkins full of quinoa mix, return to oven for 20 minutes
- Make crumble mix, by combining feta, parsley and walnuts in a small bowl and stir to combine
- Remove pumpkin from the oven, top each 1/2 with parsley mix and return to the oven for another 25 minutes, until the feta is melted and the walnuts are nicely toasted.
- It really does take a while to cook. I am not just saying that. Perhaps, I am too used to the cook time to melt a bit of cheese on homemade pizzas as several times, I checked the pumpkin and it still wasn’t ready. You need the flesh to be fully cooked as it makes it possible to scoop out. Prior to that point, it won’t work.
- VEGO OPTION: omit the chorizo
- VEGAN OPTION: omit the chorizo and substitute panko breadcrumbs for the feta on top, but leave out of the stuffing (you want the crisp toasty texture, not so much just an added extra in the stuffing.
- In the video for the 2nd baking part, I say to put the stuffing in, the topping on and bake. But you can stuff it, cook it for a bit, then top with the crumble and finish the baking as this way the chorizo will have fully cooked and I like the taste of it like that. Either way will work, just depends on the taste and texture you like.
As we have been talking all about the Pumpkin today, I will throw out there some more veggie based meal ideas that you might like. A couple that I think you will enjoy are:
- Dukkah Tofu Salad (also has quinoa but is a vegan option)
- Vegan Yellow Curry Noodle Bowl (lots of flavour and veggies)
- Bacon and Egg Quinoa Salad (also has quinoa and bacon and is a great work lunch option)
But, as we know you have got to have a wee little bit of chocolate in your life to make things alright, I also think you will LOVE these 3 recipes:
Tonka has been up to his usual fun and games, making me laugh. He has these quirky little ways about him that make him unique and oh so loveable. I took a quick pic of him, sitting on the window ledge, whilst I was working the other night.
He says hi!