Holiday Feast Stuffed Pumpkin
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- 1 medium
- 1 lb
- ground turkey or beef sausage, optional
- 1 medium
- green bell pepper, optional
- 1 pkg
- favorite stuffing mix*
1Wash the pumpkin, and cut the top off, knife angled in, as you would for a jack-o-lantern. Try to keep the stem intact, but you may need to trim it a bit to fit the oven. The more stem, the better :)
Trim any strings carefully from the underside of the "lid".
Scoop the seeds and pulp out of the pumpkin. Set the cleaned pumpkin and top aside.
2Chop the onion and pepper.
3In a large 4 qt. dutch oven, brown the meat over med-high heat. Reduce heat to med, then stir in the onion and bell pepper.
Continue cooking until the onion is golden and pepper is tender.
4Add the stuffing mix to the pot, and prepare as directed on the package.
5Scoop the stuffing mixture into your prepared pumpkin, packing firmly as you go. Double the stuffing as necessary -- you should have enough stuffing to fill the pumpkin to the rim.
Place the top on the pumpkin, and set firmly in place.
6Place the stuffed pumpkin in a baking dish. I've used a 9" round cake pan, a 2 qt. square Corning Ware casserole dish, or you can use whatever shallow baking or roasting pan that works for you.
I don't recommend too deep a pan because it makes serving the cooked pumpkin a little tricky.
7Add about half an inch of water or broth to the pan.
Bake at 350* for about 2 hours (this will depend on the size of your pumpkin). It should be soft when poked with a meat fork. If you want to brown it a little, raise the temp to 450* for the last 15-30 minutes of baking time.
8Carefully remove the pumpkin from the baking dish onto a serving dish. Serve with the top on, or artfully placed on the side.
If you decorate your serving platter, this beautiful addition to your holiday feast will double as a centerpiece!
9NOTES: The pumpkin cuts like pie, for serving. I've had best results with a small-medium size pumpkin. If you need more servings, make one for each end of the table. Or you could make an extra small, personal size pumpkin for each place setting.
If you can find them, the varieties especially for eating will have the best flavor.
The recipe is very flexible, so make whatever kind of filling/stuffing you like -- cornbread, rice, etc.
If you prefer vegetarian, substitute celery, mushrooms, red and yellow peppers for the meat.
You can stretch the stuffing by adding cooked rice, cranberries or raisins, nuts, even some shredded carrot -- whatever you like.
*We are gluten intolerant, so I use my "Mom's Stuffing" recipe instead of a package mix.
If you choose your pumpkin/pan size carefully, you'll be able to bake two things at the same time.