Thanksgiving dinner – and Christmas, Easter, Passover, and basically every other holiday, while we’re at it! – is the type of family meal where you want the table to be filled with things as beautiful as they are tempting. One of the best ways to do BOTH that we’ve ever found? Making dishes that are a treat for all the senses— like this Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin! That’s right, we’re making stuffing, of all things, beautiful, by making it inside everybody’s favorite autumnal decoration. Let us show you how it’s done, then read on for the full recipe so you can try it yourself!
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Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- 1 – 4 to 5 pound sugar pumpkin
- 8 cups dried bread cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons chopped sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Place a rack in the center of the oven, and line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Use a sturdy chef’s knife and cut the cap off the pumpkin. Work at a 45-degree angle, and work the knife around the top of the pumpkin. Cut the hole large enough to work inside the pumpkin, similar to the method used when carving a jack-o-lantern. Cut the cut-side of the top so it will lay flat. Use a large metal spoon and scoop the seeds and stringy insides of the pumpkin out. Make sure it is nice and clean inside.
- Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper. Place the prepped pumpkin on the prepared baking sheet, and set aside.
- Place the bread cubes in a large bowl, and set aside.
- In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then sauté the onions and celery until just tender.
- Add the ground Italian sausage to the pan and sauté until browned.
- Add the diced apples and cook until soft.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the mix of sauteed meat and vegetables to the large bowl with the bread cubes. Toss to mix.
- In a large measuring cup, combine the chicken stock, eggs, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Pour the stock-and-egg mixture over the bread cubes, and stir to combine.
- Add the dried cranberries to the mixture, and stir until evenly mixed.
- Fill the prepared pumpkin with the stuffing mixture. Press down as needed. Place the cap on top of the filled pumpkin.
- Bake the filled and capped pumpkin for 1-½ hours. Then, remove the cap and continue to bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and can be easily pierced with a knife, and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius).
- Let the roasted pumpkin rest for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a serving dish.
How beautiful and tempting is this Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin? It’s not often that the “dish” in which you cook and serve stuffing is as lovely and tasty as the stuffing itself!
Now what do YOU think? Have you ever made stuffing – or any other dish! – inside a pumpkin before? Do you think you’ll give this one a try? Let us know if you do try it and be sure to tell us how it turns out for you!
Recipe adapted from Eating Well