FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – This is what I experienced recently when right before I ordered the restaurant ran out of their famous “pot of gold”, a polenta stuffed roasted pumpkin. I had had it on the brain since my friend over at Recipes and Raised Beds posted about stuffed squash. I am not one to be a victim however, and decided to take charge of my own destiny and roast my own pumpkin. After all, I have stuffed and roasted a zucchini before. This recipe was incredibly simple, more than festive and limitless in terms of stuffing options. It is also a great way to use up odds and ends (notice my mushroom and cheese medleys).
Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin Pots
Servings will depend on size of pumpkin and amount of ingredients. Nothing is really exact, you are aiming for balanced flavors and some liquid (but not too much as a the squash will release some.). Takes about 60-90 minutes to roast.
- Small baking pumpkins or squashes, such as acorn (think gourd vessels) – aim for a pumpkin person unless large
- ½ to 1 inch cubes of bread (use up some that random freezer baguette!), about 3 cups (I ended up pulling some out when I looked there I had more filling that I needed and I wanted to avoid “filler”.)
- Sausage, about ½ pound cooked (bacon would be a-ok too, but probably use a little less) – remove from casing before cooking or just slice and dice it when done.
- ½ – 1 cup sliced onion
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (I used Chanterelle and Cremini and a top of a Portobello)
- 1 – 2 cups grated cheese ( I used a white cheddar, some parmesan and a some chunks of quesa fresco I had a round)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- Fresh sage and thyme
- 1 apple chopped
- 1 cup cream or milk (or both)
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- Butter or oil for sautéing (about a tablespoon)
You could easily make this vegetarian by removing the sausage, pretty darn gluten free (yes, that is an “official designation”) by removing bread and maybe substituting polenta, raisins instead of apple…… Imagine root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnips), fennel, nuts, cornbread (left overs), orange, ginger….
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Clean out the pumpkin by cutting a hole in the top, save this for a lid, and using a spoon to scoop out the insides. Save the seeds for roasting!
- Cook sausage and remove to a separate plate. In the same pan, sauté the onions and garlic.
- In a large bowl combine the bread chunks/cubes, chopped apple, sliced mushroom, chopped sage, thyme and grated cheese. Just use your hands!
- Add in sausage, onions and garlic and now the stuffing is complete!
- In a liquid measuring cup, pour cream/milk and add pepper and nutmeg. Mix but don’t add yet.
- Place pumpkins in a rimmed baking pan lined with foil or parchment paper. Hold on to the lid.
- Pre-roast the empty pumpkin sans top for about 20-30 minutes. This step is probably optional… but it’s what I did.
- Remove from oven and carefully fill the hollowed out pumpkin with stuffing, packing it in nice and tight. Pour the cream over the top, evenly dividing it by the number of pumpkins you have.
- Put the pumpkin top on (be sure to sing I’m a little pumpkin pot, short and stout…..)
- Bake for 45 + minutes, depending on size of pumpkin. Your goal is to cook until the pumpkin flesh on inside is soft (test with a fork) and ingredients are hot all the way through. You can use a thermometer to check this. If your pumpkin starts to burn, cover it with foil. For the last 15-20 minutes, I removed the lid so that the filling would brown up nicely.
- Serve and enjoy! You can eat straight out of the pumpkin with a spoon, slice it and serve it or a something in between.