These adorable stuffed pumpkins are packed with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese - then baked to a golden perfection. This makes the perfect vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving!
Earthbound Farms sponsored the development of this recipe. All opinions are my own.
Last year I came upon a recipe for a baked 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 Thanksgiving (and 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 baked pumpkin in savory dishes, you can easily substitute acorn squash or sweet dumpling squash instead.
Since the original inspiration recipe was heavy on bacon and short on veggies, I fixed that by adding sautéed mushrooms and Earthbound Farm Baby Spinach.
I love Earthbound Farm greens, not only because they're 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 fixing quick lunchtime salads.
Tips & Tricks
The best thing about making these stuffed 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. Perfection!
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 get 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!
- 4 sugar pie pumpkins about 1 pound each
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced
- 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 5 oz baby spinach
- 1 stale French demi-baguette cubed (mine was about 6.5 ounces)
- ⅔ cup Swiss cheese shredded
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.