This being Lil Man’s first Halloween and all, I thought it would be cool to start a new tradition for our little family. And what better than something that I’ve never seen done, just read about in some chick-lit novel I picked up years ago? So, the idea of the stuffed pumpkin as our Halloween tradition was born. After googling to make sure that this is something that is indeed possible, and that I [most likely] wasn’t going to end up with an exploded pumpkin in my oven, the experiment began.
First, I browned up some sausage along with some onion, garlic and red pepper flake for some heat. Next time, I’ll probably use Italian sausage. Then, I cooked some rice in some chicken broth with a couple of smashed cloves of garlic and salt for flavor. I made two cups, but I had a bunch left over. When it was done, I mixed it with the sausage.
While the rice was cooking, I cut open the pumpkins, slicing off a ‘lid’ off the top and scooped out the seeds and gunk out of the inside. Just a note: although I’d seen photos of stuffed pumpkins made with larger pumpkins, I went shopping for my pumpkin at 11 a.m. on Halloween morning, so the pumpkin selection was scarce, to say the least. What I did find where smaller pumpkins, complete with a sticker that had directions on how to bake them to make your very own pumpkin pie. So I got two small ones. Honestly, though, one pumpkin was more than enough to feed my family and have leftovers.
Then I stuffed them with the rice/sausage mix, put the lids back on and popped them in the oven (in a baking dish with an inch of water) at 375 for an hour or an hour and a half. You’ll know when they’re done. All of a sudden, the house will smell like quintessential fall.
After they cool for a little bit, I used a spatula to help lift the lids off the pumpkins. Then I scooped up some goodness into bowls.
It was delicious. The only thing I would do differently is maybe add some salt to the pumpkin itself before stuffing it. But since our infant son was going to eat this, I decided to skip the extra salt. He LOVED it, by the way. He begged for more when he was done.