Stuffed butternut pumpkin with rice pistachio and cranberries – The Brown Paper Bag

Stuffed butternut pumpkin with rice pistachio and cranberries – The Brown Paper Bag

Stuffed butternut pumpkin with rice pistachio and cranberries

A wholesome, delicious and festive alternative to a stuffed pork / turkey, but ultimately just a wonderful way to look at eating plants a bit differently too whether it’s Christmas or not. Be creative in how you think about swapping out some ingredients too if you like.

Swaps could include:

  • buckwheat or pearl barley in place of rice / quinoa
  • parsley, coriander, basil in place of sage
  • cashew cheese or nutritional yeast (at smaller quantities) in place of feta
  • stuffing a larger kent or jap pumpkin instead of a butternut (slice through the middle, no need to tie on those ones)

Any leftover stuffing can be served on the side of the pumpkin or add extra fresh baby spinach or rocket to make a salad for the next day.


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Serves 6-8

1.5kg whole butternut pumpkin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small zucchini, cut into 1 cm dice
½ red capsicum, cut into 1cm dice
250 g microwave brown rice and quinoa* (do not cook)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
50g baby spinach +extra, to serve
2 tbsp pistachios, toasted, roughly chopped
2 tbsp cranberries
1 tbsp sage leaves, finely chopped +extra leaves, fried in olive oil, to serve?
40gm feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 200°(180°fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut pumpkin in half lengthways and remove seeds. Place pumpkin on prepared tray, cut side facing up. Spray pumpkin lightly with oil and season. Cook for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes or until just tender. Set pumpkin aside to cool slightly then spoon outflesh from pumpkin halves, leaving a 1.5cm thick border. Mash pumpkin flesh and reserve. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion
and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add zucchini and capsicum and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add rice, vinegar and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and cook for 1 minute. Stir through spinach, remove from heat, cover with lid and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir through reserved pumpkin, pistachios, cranberries, sage and feta. Season. Divide rice mixture between pumpkin halves. Gently join halves together and tie with kitchen string at 2cm intervals. Return pumpkin to baking tray, brush outside with remaining maple syrup and cook for 20 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes. To serve, remove string and cut into thick slices. Serve with extra baby spinach leaves and fried sage leaves, if desired.

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