Recipe | Baked Pumpkins with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Cheese

Baked Pumpkins with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Cheese Sponsored Recipe Last year I came upon a recipe for pumpkin stuffed with bread, bacon, and cheese on Pinterest. I immediately made a mental note because I knew that, with a little bit of tweaking (and a lot less bacon), it would be a perfect vegetarian main dish for a holiday dinner. And with Christmas right around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time to tackle this whole stuffed pumpkin thing.

I went to the grocery store to find one large pumpkin to stuff, but when I saw these mini pumpkins, I couldn’t resist. Personal stuffed pumpkins! If you can’t find them locally or if, like my husband, you’re not a fan of pumpkin in savory dishes, you can easily substitute acorn or sweet dumpling squash instead.

Baked Pumpkin Ingredients Baked Pumpkins with Spinach, Mushrooms & Cheese
Since the original filling was heavy on bacon and short on veggies, I fixed that by adding sautéed mushrooms and Earthbound Farm Baby Spinach. Whenever I need greens, I always buy a bag from Earthbound Farm, not only because it’s organic, but because I can always rely on their produce to be fresh and delicious. We almost always have a bag or two of Baby Spinach in the fridge for throwing into smoothies, stirring into soups, and quick lunchtime salads.

You can cut the pumpkins into wedges and eat them that way or scoop the insides out. I preferred scraping the pumpkin into the filling so I got the flavor of both in each bite. Pumpkin rind can vary in toughness–as a rule, it’s edible, but I’ve gotten some pumpkins (like these) where the skin was a little bit tougher and I had to discard it. Use your best judgment!

Baked Pumpkins with Spinach, Mushrooms & Cheese
The best thing about making these Baked Pumpkins for the holidays is that they’re easy. Crazy easy, in fact. Prepare the pumpkins and make the veggies for the filling in advance, so before dinner, all you have to do is stir together the filling, pop it into the pumpkins, and let them bake. While they’re baking, you can devote your attention to your side dishes or pour yourself a glass of wine and join your guests.

Baked Pumpkins with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Cheese

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 4 servings as a main dish, 8 servings as a side

Baked Pumpkins with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Cheese

Vegetarian stuffed pumpkins filled with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese. Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good.

Ingredients

  • 4 sugar pie pumpkins (about 1 pound each)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (5-ounce) package Earthbound Farm Baby Spinach
  • 1 stale French demi-baguette, cubed (mine was about 6.5 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Use a sharp knife to remove the tops from each pumpkin. Scoop out the insides and discard them (or save the seeds for roasting!). Rub salt and pepper on the inside of the pumpkins.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook them for about 5 minutes, until they're softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook about 5 minutes more, or until the mushrooms are browned. Stir in the spinach and continue to cook until it wilts. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer the veggie mixture to a large bowl. Add the bread, cheese, nutmeg, and cream and stir until combined. Divide the the filling into the pumpkins, then place the top back onto them. Put the pumpkins on a baking sheet or baking dish that's been sprayed with oil or lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake the pumpkins for about an hour, then remove the tops and bake for 20-30 minutes more, or until the filling is browned and crispy on top and the pumpkins are easily pierced with a knife. Replace caps and serve.

Notes

If you're not a fan of pumpkin in savory recipes, try kabocha, sweet dumpling, or acorn squash. Although I used Swiss cheese, just about any cheese would work in this. To make these in advance, prepare the pumpkins and sauté the vegetables up to a day ahead of time, then assemble the filling, stuff the pumpkins, and bake before serving.

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Disclosure: Earthbound Farm compensated me for the time spent developing and photographing this recipe. Sponsored Recipes are a once-a-month feature on Oh My Veggies-–my sponsors help make this blog possible!

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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. says

    This is SUCH a great idea! I love the little individualized pumpkins!! This makes me want to prepare an entirely vegetarian dinner for my family because I feel like there is no way they would not love these.. And thanks for the tip on subbing the pumpkin. Sometimes it’s hard for me to find these pumpkins, and I know that everyone loves acorn squash, so that’s perfect.

  2. says

    These are just beautiful (*GASP*)! What a stunning presentation, and each guest would feel so special, having their own gorgeous, personal pumpkin to dig into! Great suggestion, too, for other squash subs like acorn (which would also be so very pretty)! :D

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Yeah, Whole Foods had a big display of fancy mushrooms when I was there and I thought about buying an assortment, but my husband gave me the side-eye when he saw the price. ;)

  3. says

    I was just looking at the pumpkins at my grocery store this morning…wondering what I could make with them. Now I know! Cannot wait to make this one tonight. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. says

    These are just adorable! I’ve always wanted to stuff some yummy filling in one of those cute sugar pumpkins. I, too, always have that kind of spinach in the fridge. I love that it’s organic AND that it only costs $1.99 at Whole Foods!

  5. says

    Oh what I wouldn’t give for a personal stuffed pumpkin on Christmas! Unfortunately, I dont’ think my future mother-in-law would have any idea what to do with a pumpkin, mini or otherwise. A girl can dream, though!

  6. says

    These are so adorable and perfectly stuffed! I’ve never made a stuffed squash before, but I like the idea of digging in and getting a bite of the filling with the pumpkin. I hate preparing squash, but once that part is done, these actually do sound pretty easy too!

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