Overflowing with the goodness of fruit, nuts, veggies, and whole grains and complete with pumpkin gravy, Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin is the perfect centerpiece to your holiday meal.
When I got out of college, I had two magazine subscriptions – Mother Earth News and American Songwriter. Which pretty much sums it all up, if you really know me. Anyway, in November sometime around 1986, Mother Earth News [←affiliate link] published a recipe for Stuffed Pumpkin as an alternative to the traditional meat-based holiday fare. I wasn’t a vegetarian back then (nor am I now) and I wasn’t feeding any either, but it sounded good, so I decided to give it try. Since then, I’ve made Stuffed Pumpkin nearly every year as part of our Thanksgiving menu. Over time, the recipe has evolved into something uniquely mine, but (like Mother Earth and American Songwriter today) the original flavor and feel is still there, deliciously down-to-earth as ever.
I usually fix this vegetarian, but it can be easily adapted for vegans. The stuffing itself is the best I’ve ever eaten – infused with savory, pumpkiny warmth and loaded with the goodness of fruit, nuts, veggies and whole grains.
- 1½ teaspoons oregano
- 1½ teaspoon sage
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ cup butter, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 small loaf whole grain bread, toasted and cubed*
- 1 large apple, chopped
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup chopped Brazil nuts
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 medium pumpkin, 8-10 inches, or 2 smaller pumpkins**
- About ¼ cup butter to fill slits in pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- Drippings from pumpkin
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 4 tablespoons cooked dressing from pumpkin
- In a small bowl, combine the dry herbs and spices (first seven ingredients) and set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat until bubbly. Sauté onion over until translucent. Add celery and cook 3-4 minutes more, and then toss in mushrooms and cook more 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, dry herb & spice mix, sautéed vegetables, chopped apples, nuts and raisins. Mix everything and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat remaining butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in wine. Add slightly beaten eggs after wine has cooled the mixture. Pour the wine, egg and garlic sauce over stuffing mix and stir. This stuffing may be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
- If the mixture seems too dry, mix a little more liquid in: wine, water or vegetable stock all work fine.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Clean out squash. (Cut top like a Jack-o-Lantern.) Slit sides and fill with pats of butter. I usually press it into the slits and smooth it over, and then give the pumpkin a light “butter rub-down” before I put it into the oven.
- Bake in rimmed baking dish or roasting pan for at least an hour – it can take up to 2 ½ hours depending on the size of your pumpkin. After an hour, check for doneness by piercing the flesh with a fork. If it is hard to poke, bake the pumpkin for another 15 minutes and try again. (For larger pumpkins, don’t even bother until an hour and a half has passed.)
- When your pumpkin is done, remove it from the oven and let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes or more before serving.
- To serve, cut into pumpkin onto wedges and spoon on stuffing over the top. Serve 8-10.
- If you wish, you can make simple easy pumpkin gravy from the drippings: Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium pan. Add drippings from pumpkin. Add 4 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly and cook 1 minute. Pour in 2 cups of vegetable stock and stir to thicken. Remove from heat and add ½ cup of stuffing, breaking up the stuffing with the back of a wooden spoon. Season to taste.
*I used 20 slices of Dave’s Killer Good Seed Bread. Made locally, Dave’s is one of my favorite things. I have used honey-wheatberry bread in the also, and it is awesome also.
**You can use any hollow, sweet squash, or use a couple of smaller pumpkins for a beautiful holiday presentation. (The one pictured here is a Sweetie Pie Pumpkin.) I have used a Kuri squash in the past and it is fantastic!
Replace butter with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
2 eggs = use ½ cup plain or vanilla soy yogurt or 2-egg equivalent of your favorite egg replacer)