In the fall, I am always looking for how to make recipes with pumpkin. So when my friend posted this Roasted and Stuffed Pumpkin dinner recipe on a Facebook page, I thought it would be a great idea to serve pumpkins for dinner.
Unfortunately for me, my friend is one of those cooks who relates recipes like this:
“Oh, you just heat up some sausage and rice and apples or whatever you think sounds good and then you put it in the pumpkin and bake it…”
In my world, that means you’re a real cook–someone who doesn’t need a method and someone who can fly by the seat of their pants in the kitchen.
I’m more of a directions girl. I need some clear-cut instructions if I’m going to get something from the kitchen to the table, and it’s going to be edible. I need to know precisely how much of each ingredient will be involved. I need to know what might “sound good.” I need to know how long it takes to bake a pumpkin!
So I consulted with my friend and got some specifics and eventually came up with this recipe that I think you’ll like to try.
- 2 small “sweet” pumpkins (Trader Joe’s calls them pumpkin pie pumpkins, I found some small ones at the pumpkin patch)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 2 c. cooked rice
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 1 c. raisins or dried cranberries
- 1 c. nuts, chopped
- curry powder
- Add oil to a pan and place over medium heat.
Add the sausage, onions, and garlic. Cook until the sausage is browned, breaking up the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.
- While the sausage is browning, cut pumpkins open, remove seeds and stringy stuff.
- Remove the sausage mixture from the pan and place in a bowl. Mix in all other ingredients. Add curry and spices to taste. (I used just a little bit of curry and cinnamon, because some people at my house don’t like nutmeg, but you can add spices and keep tasting the mix)
3. Place on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake at 375 for one hour, or until the flesh of the pumpkin is soft and edible.
4. It’s fun to serve this as is, so the kids get to see that they’re eating a pumpkin (for some, this might be just what they need to convince them to be adventurous.) After I brought it to the table, I halved the pumpkins and scooped out the filling and pumpkin and mixed them.
At first, it sounded foreign to me, but when I broke down the ingredients to the kids: “See, it’s got meat, apples, raisins, and nuts – all things you like.” it didn’t sound so crazy!
All of my kids ate it, and it got great reviews from my husband!