I picked up some gorgeous sugar pumpkins and winter squash from my mom’s garden last month. The first thing I made was this stuffed pumpkin. It was perfect. It has all the flavors and smells of a harvest meal. It’d make an impressive looking dinner party or potluck dish. To serve it, I sliced it in wedges and once plated, removed the peeling and cut the pumpkin into bite-sized pieces. The only thing really missing was a sauce so I recommend making turkey gravy to serve with it.
I used pears because that’s what I had on hand but apples would work just as well. I had a sunflower and pumpkin seed mix but one or the other would work. To remove the seeds and other innards of the pumpkin, I use a serrated grapefruit spoon. It cleans all the strings off the sides of the pumpkin better than anything else I’ve used.
1 sugar pumpkin (about 9″ across), washed, stem end cut off, and seeds removed
1 lb ground turkey
2 pears, cored and diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs fresh sage leaves, minced (2 tsp dried)
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced (1 tsp dried)
3 sprigs fresh thyme, destemmed (1 tsp dried)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a deep sided baking dish with a roasting rack and half an inch of water. Saute onion, garlic, and olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the ground turkey, cranberries, pears, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook until the turkey is cooked through. Stir in the sunflower seeds and pepitas. Stuff the turkey mixture into the pumpkin, leaving room to put the top back on the pumpkin. Put the pumpkin on the roasting rack and tent it with foil. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft when stuck with a fork. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before moving the pumpkin to a plate or serving platter, removing the top, and cutting into wedges.