Baked Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin
Serving Size:5|Prep Time:35minutes|Cook Time:1 hour25 minutes

To prepare the pumpkin
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cut off pumpkin lid and set aside. Clean out the interior, removing seeds and pulp. Brush interior with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Put the lid back on the pumpkin and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the flesh is tender, about 1 ¼ hours – a sharp knife should be able to pierce the flesh easily.
  4. While the pumpkin is baking, cook the wild rice according to package directions and prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling
  1. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and onions, cook while stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and apples and cook until there is no liquid left in the pan – about 5-10 minutes. Add the ground meat and cook until thoroughly browned,15-20 minutes.
  3. Add the oregano, chile powder if using, and dried cranberries. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked wild rice, salt and pepper to the meat mixture and heat through while stirring to combine.
  5. Place cooked filling in the cavity of the baked pumpkin. To serve, use a big spoon to scoop out the pumpkin flesh along with the filling.
Chef’s Narrative
Pumpkins are not just for carving! Serve this easy dish with layered flavors directly in the pumpkin for a festive seasonal presentation.
Recipe Substitutions
Any hard-skinned squash works great with this recipe, acorn or Hubbard or even Spaghetti are great choices. Adjust baking time to accommodate the type of squash you choose. If using squash, cut in half and bake each half cut side down on a baking sheet until tender. Ground beef, chicken or pork can be substituted for the turkey.
  • 1, 2.5 pound sugar/pie pumpkin
  • 2tablespoonsolive oil
  • ½ teaspoonsalt
  • 1cup wild rice, cooked according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • 2teaspoonsolive oil
  • 1largeonion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1cupbutton or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • ½cuppeeled, cubed apples
  • 1poundground turkey
  • ½ cupdried cranberries (preferably apple juice sweetened)
  • 1teaspoondried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1teaspoonground chipotle or chile pepper (optional)
  • ½teaspoonsalt
  • ½teaspoonpepper