When most people think of pumpkin, they think sweets…pumpkin lattes, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin butter

That’s fine, but I think you might be surprised at how tasty pumpkin can be in more savory applications. I happen to love roasted, cubed pumpkin tossed with a bit of butter, chili powder, and parmesan cheese.

I recently had a small pie pumpkin hanging out on my kitchen counter, and I knew I wanted to do something different with it. With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ve been looking up stuffing recipes…I wondered if I could put a savory sausage stuffing in a pumpkin.

Not only did it work, but it was delicious. This would make a pretty easy and impressive side dish for Thanksgiving, and with a little cooking time adjustment you could easily double or triple the recipe for a larger pumpkin to serve more people.

Sweet Italian sausage stuffed pumpkin

1 pie pumpkin, cut in half lengthwise, innards removed

1 pound sweet Italian sausage (bulk or removed from casings)

2-4 ribs chopped celery

About 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/2 cup cornbread croutons, crunched up

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

About 1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat your oven to 400° and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the gunk, then rub the inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, cut side down, for about 30 minutes or until the flesh is fork-tender.

Meanwhile, fry sausage over medium-high heat along with the celery, mushrooms, and onions until the meat is browned and the veggies are soft. Drain, then pour into a bowl and let it cool a bit. Once the mixture is cooled, add breadcrumbs, croutons, cheese, and egg. Stir to combine, then add chicken broth a little at a time until the bigger chunks of crouton are just moist.

Scoop the mixture into the pumpkin halves, cover with foil, and bake (use the same foil-lined baking sheet) for 30-45* minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 15* minutes or so, just until the tops get brown and crunchy.

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To serve, scoop out a bit of the pumpkin flesh along with the stuffing mixture.

This would make a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving spread, or any fall gathering.

Speaking of fall! You should probably check out my awesome giveaway for your chance to win a hat and scarf, lovingly crafted by yours truly.

* All cooking times depend on the size of your pumpkin and how much stuffing is in each half.

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