Every month we join fellow food and nutrition bloggers for the Recipe Redux challenge. Our assignment this month: Cook with fresh pumpkin. If you read our blog or listen to our weekly radio show, you probably know that we’re big fans of canned pumpkin. It’s nutritious, convenient, and versatile, and we use it all the time in some of our families’ favorite recipes: Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes, and Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake. But fresh pumpkin?
Talk about motivation: Janice’s friends own a farm in Western Massachusetts, and they brought back some sugar pumpkins for us to cook with. We are so jealous of their pumpkin patch!
For the challenge, we drew inspiration from a recipe for Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good from cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan. We tweaked it quite a bit and came up with this Ghoulishly-Good Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin. It’s downright cute, and with a mixture of savory and sweet ingredients — things like apple chicken sausage, whole grain bread, walnuts, and dried cranberries, it says “try me” the second you look at it.
Add whimsy and good nutrition to your pre-Halloween dinner with our stuffed pumpkin. If you don’t have dried cranberries on hand (or they’re not a family favorite) use 1/2 cup of peeled, diced apple.
Ghoulishly-Good Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin
Makes 4 Servings
Serve as a main meal and you’ll get about four portions. As a playful side dish, you’ll probably get up to six.
- 1 medium-size sugar pumpkin, about 3½ pounds
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Ground cinnamon
- 2 cups whole grain ciabatta bread (or any whole grain bread), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 or 2 fully cooked apple chicken sausages, casings removed and meat cut into 1/4-inch pieces (1/2 to 1 cup)
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
- 3 to 4 tablespoons dried cranberries (or ½ cup peeled, chopped apple)
- 3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
- Ground nutmeg
- Pure maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment and set aside.
2. Use a sharp, sturdy knife to cut the cap out of the top of the pumpkin. Cut off enough of the top so you can get your hand into the pumpkin and clear away the seeds and strings. Cut the seeds and strings away from the cap as well. (Save the seeds and roast them after the pumpkin comes out of the oven!) Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Place on the baking sheet.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the bread, sausage, cheese, walnuts, cranberries (or apples, if you choose to use them instead), and milk. Season with a few pinches of salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Pack the mixture into the pumpkin. Put the cap in place and bake until the flesh of the pumpkin is tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 90 minutes. Remove the cap and bake until the top of the stuffing is golden, an additional 20 minutes.
5. Carefully transfer the pumpkin to a plate or platter and serve. Dorie Greenspan suggests the following technique for serving (and we agree): Spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful.
6. Serve with maple syrup for drizzling.
Nutrition Information per Main Dish Serving: 310 calories, 13g fat (4.5g saturated), 480mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 19g protein, 340% vitamin A, 35% vitamin C, 30% calcium, 15% iron
Don’t waste those pumpkin seeds. We’ll be sharing a recipe for nutrient-rich roasted pumpkin seeds this weekend, so stay tuned!
Drizzling with pure maple syrup at the table adds a delicious blast of autumn flavor!
The best part about participating in the Recipe Redux monthly challenge is getting to see what our fellow Reduxers come up with. Here’s a list of all the other healthy and delicious fresh pumpkin recipes:
Cherie Schetselaar – Grain Crazy
Fresh Pumpkin Risotto
Alexandra Caspero – Delicious Knowledge
Katie Hamm – Healthy & Happy Hour
Alysa Bajenaru – Inspired RD
Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Fries
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Dr Barb – Nutriton Budgeteer
Pumpkin Chili Chicken Pizza
Elizabeth Jarrard – Don’t (White) Sugar Coat It
Vegan Pumpkin Soup
Kristen Bourque – Swanky Dietitian
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Marie Spano – Performance Nutrition
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins
Regan – The Professional Palate
Pumpkin Ravioli in a Walnut-Sage Cider Sauce
Danielle Omar – Food Confidence RD
Emma – The Hearty Heart
(Vegan) Cocoa Pumpkin (Whiskey) Mousse
Gretchen – kumquat
Baked Mini Pumpkins
Emma Stirling – The Scoop on Nutrition
Chermoula Chickpea & Pumpkin Sliders
Janel Funk – Eat Well with Janel
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Nicole – Whole Health RD
Kaddo Bourani – Candied Pumpkin with Yogurt and Meat Sauce
Yuri – Chef Pandita
Pumpkin Apple Soup
Lisa – Healthful Sense
Pumpkin Cream Pie Filling & Pudding
Jessica Fishman Levinson – Nutritioulicious
Jane Schwartz, RD
Pumpkin Coconut Soup
Kat Lynch – Eating The Week
Pumpkin yogurt dip for waffle sticks
Katie Caputo – East Meats West
Serena – Teaspoon of Spice
Whole Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin
Kristina – Love and Zest
Carrie Miller – Nutrition Know How
Baked Stuffed Pumpkin & Pumpkin Orange Muffins
Ann Dunaway Teh – Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish
Pumpkin, Squash and Apple Soup
Kara Lydon – Peace, Love, and Food
Pumpkin Yogurt Dip
Stephanie Howard – Give Them Something Better
Fall Harvest Chili
Karman Meyer – Nutrition Adventures
Pumpkin-Potato Breakfast Hash
Ayla Withee – Eat Simply
Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds
Heather Calcote – Dietitian on the Run
Pumpkin Rosemary & Mushroom Quinoa
Jill Melton – The Relish Dish
Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin
EA – The Spicy RD
Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta
Diane Welland – Eat Well, Eat Clean
Pumpkin Cranberry Scones
Rebecca Noseworthy – It’s a Savoury Life
Fall Pumpkin Chili
What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe 🙂
This recipe is featured in the I’m Lovin It Tidy Mom Fridays party post.