The Washington Post

Lisa King's Stuffing Pumpkins

Lisa King's Stuffing Pumpkins 12.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Nov 20, 2013

Baking stuffing inside pumpkins offers flexibility in several ways: It keeps the stuffing moist and flavorful, without having to use the turkey. It's handy for portion control and a small number of guests. It can be modified to suit vegetarians at the holiday table if you use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken bouillon. The cooked pumpkin can be scooped out along with the stuffing.

Make Ahead: The pumpkins can be stuffed and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. The pumpkins can be baked several hours in advance and tented with aluminum foil.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings

  • 3 sugar or pie pumpkins, 3 to 4 pounds each
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery ribs
  • 1/2 cup raw or roasted, unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups toasted homemade or store-bought bread cubes (plain or herb-seasoned)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (crushed cubes or granules or paste) (may substitute vegetable bouillon)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line one or two baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.

Make a horizontal cut across the top quarter of each pumpkin, creating "lids" that you'll use for baking. Scoop out the seeds and fibrous matter from each pumpkin and its lid. Place the pumpkins on the baking sheet(s).

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, stirring to coat. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring a few times, until translucent.

Combine the cashews, wild rice, dried cranberries (to taste), bread cubes and parsley in a mixing bowl. Add the cooked onion and celery; toss to incorporate.

Thoroughly dissolve the bouillon cube in the hot water, then add to the bowl along with the eggs. Mix thoroughly to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill each pumpkin with the mixture, leaving enough headroom for the lids. If you have leftover stuffing, spoon it around the edges of each pumpkin. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the pumpkins are tender and the stuffing is hot throughout.

To serve, scoop out spoonfuls of the stuffing along with the pumpkin flesh.

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Recipe Source

From Pennsylvania farmer and cookbook author Lisa King.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (not including pumpkin): 200

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 12g 18%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 55mg 18%

Sodium: 180mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 20g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 5g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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