Stuffed Pumpkin


Makes 4 servings

Stuffed Pumpkin
  • 1 medium pumpkin (about 8" diameter)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small (6oz) onions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup pinenuts
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1½ cups dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups cooked rice (see notes)

Special equipment

an ungreased skillet


Preheat the oven to 350°.

Cut a lid from the top of the pumpkin as you would a jack-o-lantern and set it to the side. Scoop out the seeds and fiber; discard. Coat the inside of the pumpkin with two tablespoons of the brown sugar.

In a large skillet, lightly brown the onions in the oil. While that’s cooking, in seperate batches (because they roast at very different rates), toast the almonds and pinenuts in a dry frying pan and reserve. When the onions have begun to brown, add garlic and lamb meat, stirring occassionally until brown. Stir the nuts, dates, cinnamon, rice and the last tablespoon of sugar into the meat mixture. Fill the pumpkin, replace the lid, and bake for about an hour and a half or until the pumpkin begins to soften and brown.

When serving, be sure to scrape the interior of the pumpkin. You want the sugar and bits of the roasted pumpkin in each serving.


Instead of using plain boiled rice, we’ve been making this for years with a simple Pilaf, that is, rice cooked in chicken broth and a little butter instead of water.

The original source for this recipe is long lost, but it’s been so tweaked over the years that it probably no longer resembles the original.


While it may be tempting to modify the recipe for individual presentation in acorn squash or another small gourd, adjusting the baking time for the density of the squash, the added prep work, the additional oven real estate needed, and the inability to find consist gourd sizes all lead us to heartily disadvise the substitution. Stick to the original pumpkin container whether you’re cooking for four or forty.