With only a week left until Thanksgiving, there’s usually a mad scramble in our house to plan a menu full of delicious dishes to serve our family and friends. I have a few regulars that we make every year, but I love trying new recipe ideas, which will hopefully top last year’s dish!
I usually look forward to the side dishes more than the turkey, as I’m not a huge meat eater, and stuffing is one of my faves, along with sweet potato casserole! After seeing stuffed pumpkins all over Pinterest recently, I really wanted to have a big, beautiful pumpkin on the table this year and I thought filling it with stuffing would be a great choice.
This stuffing starts with drying fresh sourdough bread in the oven, which lends its delicious, tangy flavor to the dish. If you are in a pinch for time you can definitely use prepackaged breadcrumbs or feel free to use your favorite gluten-free bread instead of the sourdough.
A mixture of sauteed veggies gets added to the dried bread, along with your choice of broth. I use chicken or turkey broth, for more flavor, but feel free to use vegetable or mushroom broth to make this stuffing vegetarian & vegan friendly. The pumpkin adds moisture to the stuffing as well so I suggest starting with less broth and adding more, as needed.
The pumpkin keeps the stuffing nice and warm as long as the “lid” fits well. You can choose to keep the pumpkin as a dish to scoop the stuffing out of or, depending on the flavor of your pumpkin, it can be sliced and served alongside your stuffing.
You can sample the flesh of the cooked pumpkin when you remove it from the oven to see if yours is tasty enough to serve. Either way, it’s sure to make a beautiful addition to your holiday table. Enjoy!
- 1 lb loaf sourdough loaf or bread of choice, cut into 1-inch cubes (gf bread can be used if needed, about 10 cups)
- 1 pumpkin, 4–6 pounds
- 4 tablespoons butter (dairy-free butter can be used)
- 6 oz (3/4 package or more to taste) crimini mushrooms, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1.5 cups chopped onion, about 1 medium onion
- 1.5 cups chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1.5 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1.5 teaspoons dried)
- ¼–1/2 cup chopped parsley, to taste
- salt and pepper
- 2½–3½ cups Low Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth, until bread crumbs are moistened (amount will depend on bread used)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Cut a large opening around the stem of the pumpkin at a 45 degree angle to make a lid. Scoop out all of the seeds and the pulp and rinse if needed. Pat dry and season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place cubed bread onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until completely dry.
- While the bread is baking, begin sautéing your vegetables.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to cook down. Add onion and celery, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions begin to soften and become translucent.
- Stir in thyme and sage, and cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
- Place dried bread cubes into a large bowl and top with sautéed veggie mixture. Slowly pour in broth 1 cup at a time and carefully mix everything together. Add just enough broth to moisten the bread. The pumpkin will provide extra moisture and it can become soggy if too much liquid is added. You can always add more later, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place pumpkin on a large baking sheet. Fill the pumpkin with the stuffing and top with the lid. Put the stuffed pumpkin into one of the lower racks in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes.
- Remove the lid, carefully stir the stuffing, add additional broth if needed, and place back into the oven without the lid. Bake for another 30-60 minutes or until stuffing is fully cooked and pumpkin can be easily pierced with a knife. More or less time may be needed, depending on the size and thickness of your pumpkin. Place the lid back onto the pumpkin to keep warm until serving. Additionally, you can loosely wrap the pumpkin in aluminum foil and cover with a towel to help it retain heat for a little longer.
- Stuffing adapted from this recipe from Food Network.
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