So do you know those little stuffed pumpkins most people use as table decorations? You can eat them. Did you know that? I did. I stuffed them with this wonderful wild rice risotto of sorts. It’s chalk-full of fall things like carrots, celery, sage, thyme, pecans, and cranberries. Yum!
I fed these wild rice stuffed pumpkins to our friend who’s gluten-free and dairy-free, and bless his poor malnourished heart, he couldn’t contain his excitement. “VEEZ ARE SHO GOOD,” he told me, his mouth stuffed with piping hot stuffed pumpkin.
But like, as we all know I eat all the glutens and all the dairies, and I thoroughly enjoyed them just as well.
These stuffed pumpkins are an absolutely perfect side dish for Thanksgiving (omg only a month and two days away omg), aka my favorite holiday ever. But also these guys are perfect for a regular ol’ fall dinner party. Whatever floats your boat 🙂
How to make wild rice-stuffed pumpkins
This stuffed pumpkin recipe takes some time to complete, but most of that time is spent simply cooking the rice and pumpkins. To make this recipe, you first need to clean and cut the mini pumpkins. Wash them thoroughly under warm water, then cut the tops off (you’ll need them for later, though!). Scoop out the seeds, then brush each pumpkin with olive oil.
Once the pumpkins are clean and ready to go, make the wild rice filling. This will involve sautéing onions, garlic, celery, Brussels sprouts, and a few more choice fall veggies in a heavy-bottomed pan. Once the veggies have got some color on them and have cooked down slightly, stir in the wild rice, vegetable stock, pecans and dried cranberries and cook until the rice is soft.
Stuff the mini pumpkins with the wild rice mixture, and bake for around 45 minutes. The stuffed pumpkins should have just started turning a lovely golden brown and will look slightly wrinkly when they’re fully cooked. Serve the stuffed pumpkins immediately and watch them fly off the serving platter!
If you want to prep this stuffed pumpkin recipe for later, I’d recommend making the wild rice filling ahead of time. When you’re ready to assemble and bake the pumpkins, reheat the rice mixture in a saucepan with a bit more veggie stock to prevent it from drying out. Or I suppose you could assemble and bake everything, then reheat the pumpkins in the oven with some foil over them to prevent the rice from drying out during the second bake time (I’m not sure how well this would work, though!).
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, plus a few sprigs for cooking
1 1/2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups wild rice
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup fresh or dried cranberries
Thoroughly clean 8 baby pumpkins. Cut off the tops (save these), remove seeds and innards, and brush inside, outside, and tops with olive oil. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, cook onion over medium heat until translucent. Add in garlic, celery, carrots, and mushrooms, cooking for 5 minutes.
Stir in brussels, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and black pepper and cook for 1 minute, until you can smell the herbs. Add in wild rice, vegetable stock, pecans, and cranberries. Bring it to a boil, then turn heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the wild rice is plump and al dente (30-35 minutes).
When cooking is complete, preheat oven to 375°F. Carefully spoon rice mixture into prepared mini pumpkins, topping with pumpkin lids.
Place into a Braiser, place a few sprigs of fresh thyme around the pumpkins, and cover with lid. Place in oven, cooking for roughly 45 minutes. Pumpkins are done when they are slightly soft to the touch and golden brown around the edges. Serve immediately.
Keywords: thanksgiving, side dish, stuffed, savory, flavorful, vegetarian, holiday