Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a pumpkin 4

Recipe amended from original, by All Things Beautiful.

Ingredients

1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds (I used 2 small pie pumpkins)

1/4 pound sausage
Johnny’s Seasoning Salt
1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (1 c. croutons)
1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2–4 garlic cloves (to taste) coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped (I used Jimmy Dean sage sausage)
About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions 
1/2 cup pecans
About 1/3 cup heavy cream

 
Be creative; you can add peppers, celery, stewed tomatoes, or even substitute some of the sausage with ground beef or ground turkey.

 

Directions

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a glass pan with Pam, to prevent pumpkin from sticking.
Using a very sturdy knife—and caution—cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween Jack-o-Lantern).  Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it in the baking pan.

Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, sausage, and scallions together in a bowl. Season with Johnny’s to taste—and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream with more Johnny’s and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little—you don’t want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It’s hard to go wrong here.)  I just put the extra mixture in another dish and baked it alongside the other.

Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 45 mins to 1 hour—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. You can also take the pumpkin top off for the last 20 minutes to brown. I sliced the pumpkins into fourths to serve.

Prep Time20 min

Cook Time60+ min

Servings8-10

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