Holiday stuffed pumpkins

Holiday stuffed pumpkins

Green Kitchen Travels

A couple of years ago, we were in the USA during Thanksgiving. It is not something we celebrate in Scandinavia, so we weren’t prepared for the hype that surrounds this American holiday. We were invited to the home of a distant relative of David. They wanted to give us a proper celebration and had prepared an impressive table of sweet pies, Brussels sprout salad, potatoes, condiments and... the largest turkey we had ever seen. Unfortunately, David had forgotten to tell them the small detail that he was a vegetarian. He couldn’t bear disappointing his well-meaning relatives and looked at me with panic in his eyes. Throughout that evening he carefully smuggled all his pieces of turkey on to my plate, while digging in on the side dishes. After that experience, we started to think that vegetarians need their own Thanksgiving dish, instead of always being left with the sides. The stuffed pumpkins are our version of a centrepiece. They are filled with delicious autumn vegetables, pistachio nuts, raisins and cinnamon. Here we have used smaller Hokkaido pumpkins, but a larger Muscat pumpkin also works well – it just needs longer cooking time. — Luise


Quantity Ingredient
400g wholegrain rice
1.2 litres water
2 hokkaido pumpkins
2 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
or 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 handfuls mushrooms of choice, coarsely chopped
6 kale leaves, thick stalks removed, coarsely chopped
100g shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
5 sprigs mint, leaves picked and chopped
3 tablespoons raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
150g feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Rinse and drain the rice. Place in a saucepan together with the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer gently for about 40 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkins. Cut a lid out of the top of each one, then scoop out the seeds and discard. Rub the insides with oil and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions, mushrooms and kale over a medium-low heat until soft and cooked, but not brown. Remove from the heat, add the pistachios, mint, raisins and cinnamon and stir well. Add the cooked rice and crumbled feta cheese and toss to combine. Spoon the stuffing into the greased pumpkins, put the ‘lids’ back on and bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes or until the skin is browned and bubbly. Check with a knife to see if the pumpkin flesh is soft. Serve hot. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3–5 days.
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