Hello everyone!

Here I have another festive showstopper for you! Pumpkin stuffed with quinoa, crunchy hazelnuts, mushrooms and topped with cheesy sauce to make it next level!

It’s very straight forward to put together, and all the flavours work so well together. Vegan cheesy binds everything together while adding indulgence to this recipe, make sure to use your favourite brand and choose the taste that you love. I personally prefer the vegan cheddar in this recipe.

I was lucky enough to find Blue Prince Pumpkin variety in my local supermarket, and first of all, it looks adorable in the middle of the table and second the texture of it is so much better for stuffing than the regular one. It is much denser, with a great byte, sweet but still quite neutral, so it carries the other flavours perfectly. Mushrooms add meatiness to the stuffing and rosemary, cranberries and hazelnuts just sing Christmas to me:) I love to use them in my festive recipes!

And to take things to the next level, you can simply whip up the cheesy sauce (which is by the way fantastic for dipping crudites!) and pour it over the prepared pumpkin before the serving! Soooo good…And by the way, the skin is edible, but I never eat it:) Just thought that I would let you know that you could if you want to! And when you slice, it holds together and looks so cute on the plate!

Quinoa stuffed pumpkin

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Dish
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 150 grams of quinoa
  • 1/2 medium pumpkin I used blue prince variety
  • 100 grams of mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 70 grams of fresh cranberries
  • 1 small carrot
  • Large handful of spinach
  • 50 grams of vegan cheese
  • Few sprigs of Rosemary and thyme
  • Handful of hazelnuts plus
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • For cheese sauce
  • 100 grams of unsweetened cashew milk
  • 50 grams of vegan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Cut pumpkin in half and scoop all the seeds out
  • Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper and roast in preheated to 200 degrees oven for 35-40 minutes or till almost soft when you put a fork through
  • Meanwhile
  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pot along with sliced onion and leaves from rosemary and thyme sprigs(keep the stalks)
  • Cook for a minute on the medium heat
  • Add cranberries and 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • Allow to caramelise slightly, just about 1 minute longer
  • Add grated or chopped carrot, minced garlic and sliced mushrooms
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes or till mushrooms starting to pick up some color
  • Add rinsed quinoa, reserved stalks from herbs and 2 cups of veggie stock or water
  • Cover and allow to cook for 12 minutes
  • When quinoa is ready remove the stalks, add grated cheese, chopped hazelnuts and stir it in.
  • Remove the pumpkin from the oven and scrape slightly the sides and the bottom making more room for the filling
  • Add large handful of spinach to the bottom and follow immediately with hot quinoa over really packing it in
  • Add more grated cheese and chopped hazelnuts on top if desired and place in the oven for extra 15 minutes so the top gets crispy and cheese melts.
  • If you want to make it extra and pour some cheese sauce on top simply add cashew milk and violife cheddar to the blender and blend till smooth, warm it up over the stove and pour over prepared pumpkin
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