Stuffed mini pumpkins with cranberry and pecan rice – cute little individual pumpkins or squash stuffed with delicious cranberry, pecan and vegetable wild rice. Vegan and gluten-free. Post sponsored by Appletiser.
Halloween is fast approaching so I have been brainstorming some recipe ideas to make for the occasion. I always have loads of ideas for sweet treats to bake, but you can't JUST have sweet things so I've tried to come up with some savoury recipes too.
These stuffed mini pumpkins with cranberry and pecan rice are super healthy, filling and delicious; not to mention cute! Pumpkins are the most notorious symbol of Halloween so it only seemed right that I should use them for a Halloween inspired recipe.
These would be perfect to serve as a meal with a glass of Appletiser before heading out trick-or-treating or to a Halloween party. If you want to make them look more Halloweeny then you could even carve Jack-O-Lantern faces in the pumpkins before you roast them!
This recipe is another in my series for Appletiser – one recipe a month for a meal that is the perfect pairing with a glass of Appletiser. Just like the delicious drink my recipes are all free from added sugar and contain at least one portion of your five a day!
These stuffed mini pumpkins are really easy to make; the hardest part is actually slicing the tops off of the pumpkins before you roast them. They can be a little tough to cut so make sure that you use a sharp knife and be careful you don't slip.
I actually used a mixture of pumpkins and squash as that was what I was able to find in the supermarket, both work well and are delicious. I also quite liked having a few different varieties so that everyone can choose which one they like best.
For the filling I used a basmati and wild rice blend. It is cooked with leek, celery, carrot, mushrooms and herbs and I then stirred in chopped toasted pecans and dried cranberries. It is full of flavour with little bursts of sweetness from the cranberries and crunch from the pecans and it works beautifully with the roasted pumpkin flesh.
These stuffed mini pumpkins aren't just good for Halloween; they would make a really impressive dish for any Autumn occasion and they are naturally vegan so everyone can enjoy them! Serve them with a salad on the side and a glass of refreshing Appletiser.
How To Make Stuffed Mini Pumpkins:
Start by carefully slicing the tops off of six small pumpkins or squash then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. Brush them with olive oil and roast until tender.
Fry onion, leek, celery and carrot until soft then add mushrooms, garlic and herbs and cook until all the water has evaporated.
Add rice and stock and simmer until the rice is cooked then stir in pecans and dried cranberries.
Fill the roasted pumpkins with the rice and pop in the oven until heated through.
The pumpkins can be roasted and the rice prepared in advance then warm through in the oven as needed.
More Pumpkin Recipes:
Vegan sweet potato bread with pecan streusel (ok, so not technically pumpkin but pretty close!)
Stuffed Mini Pumpkins With Cranberry And Pecan Rice (Vegan)
- 6 small pumpkins or squash each about the size of a large grapefruit, about 400-500g per pumpkin
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 stick celery thinly sliced
- 1 large leek thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 250 g (9oz) chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
- ½ tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp salt
- 270 g (1 + ½ cups) basmati and wild rice blend
- 640 ml (2 + ⅔ cups) cups vegetable stock
- 100 g (1 cup) chopped toasted pecans
- 70 g (½ cup) dried cranberries
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
- Carefully slice the tops off of the pumpkins and use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds and stringy flesh.
- Brush them inside and out with olive oil, make sure you do the tops too; then sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange the pumpkins and their lids in a roasting tray.
- Bake for around 30 minutes until the pumpkin flesh is tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the pumpkins are roasting start preparing the rice. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion, celery, leek and carrot. Fry gently for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic and herbs and continue to cook until all of the excess water has evaporated.
- Add the rice, stock, salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Bring up to a simmer then turn the heat down as low as it will go, cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans and cranberries.
- Divide the rice between the pumpkins, filling them right up to the top. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
- Serve the pumpkins topped with their lids.
This post is sponsored by Appletiser, thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love – playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.