We are sharing this recipe in celebration of Oxfordshire Pumpkin Festival, an annual event encouraging people to eat – rather than throw away – their Halloween carving pumpkins. An estimated 12.8 million pumpkins are due to go uneaten this Halloween, with 18,000 tonnes going to waste.
This recipe is a real crowd pleaser and can be made with pretty much any type of squash or pumpkin, including Halloween pumpkins that have been carved (just make sure to give them a good rinse before cooking with them).
Pumpkins and squashes are full of nutrients, including vitamins E, C, B and beta-carotene. Apart from the stem, every part of a pumpkin and squash is edible, including the skin on thin-skinned varieties.
Leftover Halloween pumpkins that don’t get eaten can be composted at home alongside other food waste, where they will turn into a wonderful rich compost that can be added to garden beds and plant pots. Otherwise, they can go into a food recycling caddy where they will be recycled into compost or used to generate electricity.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 1 large or 2 small pumpkins/squash – including carved Halloween pumpkins
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) Olive oil
- 10 ml (2 tsp.) Honey
For the stuffing:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 125 ml quinoa or white rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Harissa or other chilli paste
- 1 roasted red pepper, peeled, seeded and diced
- 60 ml raisins
- 120 ml roasted peanuts, crushed
- 180 ml grated cheddar cheese or vegan cheese
- Optional: 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped, and a handful of crumbled feta
Prepare the pumpkin:
- Put the grill at the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C .
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise.
- Remove the seeds with a spoon. These can be composted at home, put in a food recycling caddy or cleaned and roasted and used to top salads.
- Oil, salt and pepper the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin cut side down on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Out of the oven, brush the inside with the honey.
Preparing the stuffing:
- Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling salted water, cook the quinoa or rice for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Set aside.
- In a skillet, brown the onion and garlic in the oil. Add the harissa and mix well.
- Add the quinoa, bell pepper, half the peanuts and the raisins. Reheat over medium heat, stirring regularly.
- Add 125 ml of the cheddar and coriander if desired. Salt and pepper.
Divide the stuffing among the pumpkins. Sprinkle over the remaining peanuts and cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and pumpkin is heated through.
More pumpkin and squash recipes
Looking for other ways to cook with pumpkin? Check out these recipes from Good Food Oxfordshire. They include pumpkin ketchup, pumpkin hummus and cheazy pumpkin pasta sauce…!