Vegetarian Stuffed and Roasted Sugar Pumpkins

Sugar pumpkins begin showing up at the market in early fall. They are the darling and tasty cousins of the pumpkins we carve for Halloween and are perfect for filling up with grains and vegetables and roasting until the pumpkin meat is tender. You can serve individual stuffed pumpkins as an entree or slice them as a lovely side. Refrain from being daunted by the number of ingredients; the dish comes together quickly and can be prepared a day before serving.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword pumpkin, stuffing
Servings 2 Sugar Pumpkins


  • 2 small sugar pumpkins
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium red onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms of choice
  • 1 cup packed wild rice or mixed grains and rice pre-cooked microwave packet
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 2 small carrots shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. If you have a microwave, one at a time, cook the pumpkins on high for 90 seconds. The quick nuke makes them easier to cut.
  3. Cut through pumpkin 1/4 from the top removing the cap with the stem. Using a melon baller or spoon, scrape the seeds and stringy bits inside the pumpkin out.
  4. Rub oil, salt, and pepper inside the hollowed-out pumpkin.
  5. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large sautè pan and heat on medium; add garlic and onion, stirring till golden.
  6. Add mushrooms to garlic and onion and cook for several minutes, then add carrots and cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil, rice, thyme, oregano, cumin, walnuts, cranberries, olives, orange zest, and salt and pepper to taste and stir until stuffing is combined .
  8. Spoon rice mixture into pumpkins pressing firmly to fill. Place lid on pumpkins and wrap tightly in foil. Pumpkins can be refrigerated overnight at this point.
  9. Place pumpkins on a baking sheet in preheated oven and roast for 60 minutes or until pumpkin flesh is tender and easily pierced with a fork. If Refrigerated, pumpkins will need to cook for around 90 minutes.
  10. Let pumpkins rest for 30 minutes before serving

I am a passionate advocate for food as medicine, life navigator and culinary coach. This is my space for sharing what excites, inspires and motivates me to live my best life. It began as a recipe blog for nourishing, simple, weekday meals and has become something much bigger… a guide to resilient wellness. I am excited to share my knowledge of how daily habits can cumulatively help you to live like you mean it and age like you want to.