Stuffed pumpkin with quinoa

Autumn in our kitchen is clearly a season of pumpkins. I did not quite belong to pumpkin lovers before, but like everything in life, our taste buds change over time. Nowadays, I can have roasted Hokkaido pumpkin on every possible occasion 🙂 In addition, pumpkins are incredibly cute, beautiful and very diverse! Today, I have prepared for you a simple and somewhat unusual recipe for stuffed Sweet dumpling pumpkins. In my opinion, this variety is interesting in color, taste, and structure but it is not easy to get around here. I bought it in one of the Prague Kaufland stores, where it is sold throughout the season. The flesh of the pumpkin is yellow to light orange, it is pleasantly sweet with a nutty taste after baking and it has a crumbly consistency similar to spaghetti squash. We will use quinoa as the base for the pumpkin filling. Quinoa is native to South America, where it was traditionally used as a cereal crop. It is great because it contains a lot of protein and fiber, it has a low glycemic index and thanks to its neutral taste it fits well into sweet as well as salty recipes.


2 small to medium-sized Sweet dumpling or Hokkaido pumpkins 

  • 100g quinoa
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 thicker bacon slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • half of a smaller eggplant or zucchini
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 70g shredded cheddar
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder

Preparation and roasting the pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Wash the pumpkin properly, cut off the top and scoop out the seeds. If it does not stand steady, cut away a part of its bottom to even it out. Rub the pumpkin with olive oil, season it with salt and pepper and place it upsidedown onto a baking tray. Bake in the middle part of our preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Then flip the pumpkins over and bake for another 20 minutes until they are soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.

Cut off the top part of pumpkin and remove its seeds before roasting in the oven
Cut off the top part of the pumpkin and remove its seeds before roasting in the oven

Making of the pumpkin filling

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package. Sauté the onion and bacon in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Add the chopped pepper and eggplant/zucchini. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the cranberries, pine nuts and boiled quinoa, season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Press the garlic into the mixture and add most of the grated cheddar cheese (some of it will be used as a topping). Fill the pumpkins, top with the rest of shredded cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve warm with lettuce.

Quinoa filling with dried cranberries has a pleasant smell
Quinoa filling with dried cranberries has a pleasant smell
Fill the pumpkins and bake for a couple more minutes
Fill the pumpkins and bake for a couple more minutes

I hope you love pumpkins as much as I do and will give a chance to quinoa as well 🙂 As an alternative, you can also use bulgur or brown rice. Bon appetite!

Martina Hason

I have always been a highly curious person, who wants to understand everything. Probably that’s why I decided to study biology at the level of cells and molecules. The world around us is amazing and I try to comprehend and enjoy it to the fullest. I have to admit that my passion for food has always been there too, but I have never cooked myself so much. Not until I realized how relaxing it actually is for me to run around the kitchen and that home-cooked meals are also good for our health. I’m soothed by my mother’s traditional dishes on the other side I’m fascinated by all the colors, smells and tastes of exotic food and I love international cuisine. Another reason for my next passion, namely travelling, which enables me to try new dishes and to get inspiration. I hope you will enjoy our recipes!

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