Stuff It: Lentil-Stuffed Pumpkin

I brought this to Thanksgiving as a side, and the whole roasted orange pumpkin looked amazing overflowing with lentils. This is another dish that is incredibly easy to make, but looks impressive on a table. Skip the bacon and substitute the chicken stock if you want to make this vegetarian!

You can also make these lentils on their own as a satisfying winter side or main. Or feel free to roast the pumpkin on its own and fill it with other things, too — vegetable stew, mashed potatoes, stuffing, or Heather’s sweet potato puree with brown butter.

Or you could roast it stuffed with pie filling and serve it with a side of crumble topping and whipped cream as a deconstructed take on a pumpkin pie!

Enjoy!

xx Anna

Lentil-Stuffed Pumpkin

For filling:

  • 1 cup lentils (I used black lentils, also knows as beluga or caviar lentils)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2. tbsp butter
  • 1/2 package bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 whole sugar pie pumpkin, with lid cut open and insides scooped out
  • salt
  • pepper
  • thyme
  • tarragon
  • nutmeg

Heat oven to 350F.

Cut the top of a pumpkin like a jack-o-lantern and scoop out the insides. Rub with butter or olive oil, salt and pepper lightly on the inside, and set in a baking dish lined with parchment.

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until it begins to crisp. Add onions and garlic, and fry them in bacon fat until they are golden brown. Pour off excess fat, then add the rest of the ingredients and begin to cook lentils on the stove. When ingredients are thoroughly combined and lentils are just beginning to cook (5-10 minutes), scoop and pour the contents of the saucepan into the pumpkin. Cover with the pumpkin “lid” and bake for an hour. Then remove pumpkin lid, and bake uncovered until lentils are cooked through, another 30-60 minutes. You may need to stir the lentils inside the pumpkin or turn up the oven temperature to 400F.

When it is baked, let it cool for a couple of minutes and place on a serving tray. The pumpkin makes for an amazing serving bowl and will keep the lentils warm for an hour or two.

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