Cheese-Stuffed Pumpkin

This warm, satisfying dish combines some of our favourite autumn flavours. It's like turkey or chicken stuffing—with cheese! And it presents rather nicely. The quantities and cooking time will vary a little depending on the size and thickness of your pumpkin, but this recipe lends itself to adaptations.

  • 1 pumpkin, about 8 to 10 inches (20-25cm) in diameter
  • 8 oz (250g) cheese, grated (it's fabulous with Gruyere, cheddar, or a combination)
  • one 12-14 inch (30-35cm) baguette
  • 1 Tbsp (15mL) butter
  • 1 Tbsp (15mL) olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup (30mL) fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/8 cup (30mL) fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups (625-750mL) good chicken or vegetable stock (as vegetarian option), preferably homemade
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut off the top of the pumpkin and remove the seeds and strings. (This can be a little tiresome, but it's the only labour-intensive part of this recipe. We found a grapefruit spoon worked well to finish it off.)

Heat butter and olive oil on low. Add shallot, garlic, and sage, and cook until sage goes brown and crispy. Add rosemary and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.

Cut the baguette into pieces about 1 to 1 .5 in. square. Place a layer of bread, cheese and shallot-herb mixture in the bottom. Then top with more bread, more cheese, and more shallots and herbs, repeating until everything is used up and the pumpkin is full. Squish it down to compress the bread and cheese as much as possible. Then pour stock over it until the bread and cheese is well-saturated. Replace the pumpkin lid.

Bake at 350 F for 2 to 2.5 hours. You want the pumpkin flesh soft, but not mushy, and you want to take it out of the oven before the structure collapses. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh from the sides to serve.

Serve with a green salad on the side. Makes 4 servings.