These festive, and savory stuffed pumpkins are bound to be the pièce de résistance at your fall table this season, and while they look complicated, they could not be easier to assemble!
I absolutely love this time of year. I’m a “pumpkin everything” kind of girl, and that includes roasted pumpkin. Have you ever tried roasted pumpkin? It tastes similar to roasted squash, so give it a try.
I love roasting whole mini pumpkins on a baking sheet, and stuffing with a harvest-flavored filling; maple sausage, chopped walnuts, wild rice, earthy mushrooms, with dried cranberries and fresh thyme round out today’s savory dish! For less mess in the kitchen, I use the same pan to make the stuffing, as I do to serve. It’s functional, and pretty for presentation.
This is a perfect party dish all season long! You could even prepare the sausage stuffing a day or two in advance, and fill each pumpkin after roasting the day of your event. The roasted pumpkin tops are more for appearances, and the photos no doubt everyone will want to snap after being served.
And make sure to save those pumpkin seeds, and roast for another time – Happy Fall, all!
Harvest Stuffed Mini Pumpkins
- 8-10 mini pumpkins
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound ground pork sausage
- 3/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup crimini or baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 cup walnut pieces, chopped
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup wild brown rice, cooked to package directions
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Slice the tops off the mini pumpkins and scoop out the seeds. Rub the pumpkins and tops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the pumpkins (with their tops on) on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkins are just fork tender.
- While pumpkins roast, add one tablespoon of olive oil to a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Drain off the grease and set the sausage aside.
- To the same skillet, add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.. Add the apple cider to the pan. Deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the walnuts, nutmeg, and thyme. Cook until the liquid is slightly reduced (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and mix in dried cranberries, cooked rice, spinach, and ¾ cup of Parmesan. Transfer mixture to a separate bowl.
- Wipe skillet, and transfer the pumpkin bottoms to the same pan. Set the tops aside.Stuff the pumpkins with the sausage, rice, and cranberry mixture. Heap the mixture on top of each pumpkin. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan, and fresh thyme sprigs.
- Place the pumpkin tops back on the pumpkins, for presentation. Serve hot.