Stuffed Pumpkin

Straightforward and using some great winter vegetables this can be made to suit any size of pumpkin, from small individual serves right up to a large blue pumpkin as a starring centre piece for any table.

You will need:

Amounts will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin and the number of people you are feeding. This is a general idea for half a reasonable sized butternut pumpkin for two people

Olive oil for sautéing the vegetables
1 leek
1 turnip
1 parsnip
2 carrots
A big handful of roughly chopped fresh spinach
Seeded Mustard (heaped teaspoon approx)
Honey (two teaspoons approx) + honey for brushing inside the pumpkin
chopped Parsley
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
Optional extra can be cooked black beans, cooked brown rice or lentils - about ½ should be sufficient or a grain or pulse of your choice
Handful of grated cheese for topping such as Mozzarella or just plain cheddar or any cheese of choice that will bake.


Heat oven to 180ºc or 160ºc for a fan-forced oven.

Wash your pumpkin, take the top off and scoop out all the seeds and some of the flesh to make a decent sized cavity for your stuffing. Brush the inside of the cut pumpkin generously with honey and black pepper and place in the oven to roast.

While the pumpkin is roasting, gently sauté off the diced Carrot, Swede, Parsnip and Leek in a little olive oil to soften. This will most probably take 15 or more minutes. Add the chopped spinach, cooked beans or rice, mustard, honey and parsley and stir well on the heat for a minute. More black pepper to finish.

By now the pumpkin in the oven should be well on the way to be cooked. Remove from oven. Pile in the vegetable filling (its best to keep the pan tilted when you do this to prevent all the juices flooding the pumpkin), just use the vegetables, push down well into the cavity and then top with cheese, pressed down and if you wish a scatter of seeds or nuts (I use sunflower seeds)

Return to oven and cook for a further 20 minutes or more until you are happy the pumpkin is cooked (a skewer pushed down into the cut cooked edge will give you the answer) and the top golden.


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