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Vegan Stuffed Pumpkin (gluten-free)

This brown rice and pecan stuffed pumpkin recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and makes the ideal Thanksgiving centrepiece! Can be made nut-free too.

Overhead shot of Stuffed Pumpkin with its lid off, stuffed with cranberries, rice and nuts on a white plate. The plate is on a folded linen napkin which is sitting on a grey table. Around it is a smaller pumpkin, silver cutlery and a dish of pecans.

(Originally published September 2019. Updated October 2020.)


It’s that time of year! Every year Autumn comes around so fast (do I sound like a broken record?!) and with it comes Thanksgiving. But more importantly, Thanksgiving food!

Traditionally a challenging time for vegans, nowadays there is no shortage of decadent delights available (Tofurky Veggie Roast anyone?). If however like me you prefer to eat gluten-free and want to make your own Holiday dishes, I have a beautiful recipe for you here – my delicious vegan Stuffed Pumpkin.

I’m particularly proud of this recipe as it’s a nod to my adopted home country of Canada. Being English, I didn’t grow up eating Thanksgiving food (we don’t celebrate the holiday). As a result, things like pumpkin pies and yam mash were a little alien to me!

Since I’ve lived here, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed eating my fill of pumpkins and pecan pie, and it makes me so happy now to be able to share a Holiday recipe of my own.

Closeup overhead shot of a pumpkin without its lid, stuffed with cranberries, rice and nuts on a white plate. The plate is on a folded linen napkin which is sitting on a grey table. Surrounding it is a silver fork and pecan crumbs.

Vegan Stuffed Pumpkin – The Recipe


This Stuffed Pumpkin is totally vegan and gluten-free, and is the perfect table centrepiece for your holiday feast. It’s not difficult to make, but it’s sure to add the wow factor and a splash of colour to any meal.

The pecans give it a delicious crunch, the brown rice makes it hearty and the cranberries provide a gorgeous splash of colour. Make this dish for your vegan Thanksgiving dinner if you want to visually impress your guests!


(P.S. I’ve got more vegan Thanksgiving and Holiday recipes on the blog – you can find them all
here.)

Closeup shot of Stuffed Pumpkin without its lid, stuffed with cranberries, rice and nuts on a white plate. The plate is on a folded linen napkin which is sitting on a grey table. Surrounding it is silver cutlery and pecan crumbs.

A Note on Ingredients

Stuffed Pumpkin Size

It goes without saying that if your pumpkin is larger than 5-inches wide, you’ll need more of the filling mixture. Be sure to add extra herbs and seasonings if this is the case, as it’s easy to scale up the other ingredients but forget to increase the salt and pepper etc. You don’t want a bland filling mixture!

If your pumpkin is smaller, you can make stuffing balls from any leftover filling. Just be aware that a smaller pumpkin may not feed so many people.


Nut-free Option

For a nut-free option, you’re welcome to use pumpkin or sunflower seeds instead.


Cranberries

Likewise, if cranberries are unavailable, feel free to use raisins or apricots. They won’t have quite the same traditional Thanksgiving appeal but they’ll still be delicious.

Overhead shot of a woman's hand holding the lid of a stuffed pumpkin on a white plate. The plate is on a folded linen napkin which is sitting on a grey table. Around it are smaller pumpkins, silver cutlery and a dish of pecans.

Vegan Stuffed Pumpkin (vegan & gluten-free)

This brown rice and pecan stuffed pumpkin recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and makes the ideal Thanksgiving centrepiece! Can be made nut-free too.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 50 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, comfort food, gluten-free, healthy, vegan, vegetarian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 small to medium-sized pumpkin (about 5 inches wide and 2½lb in weight)
  • cup short or long grain brown rice
  • ¾ cup pecans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus a little more to brush the inside and outside of the pumpkin)
  • ½ stick celery, finely diced (about ⅔ cup)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (about ⅔ cup)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tbsp dried rosemary, finely ground
  • 1 tbsp dried sage, finely ground
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Sea salt to taste (I usually use about 1-1½ tsp)
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Cut the lid off your pumpkin and scoop out the insides, leaving a large hollow cavity. Set aside.
  • Cook the rice as per package instructions. When cooked, drain and set aside.
  • While the rice is cooking, place the pecans in a skillet and toast them on the stovetop on a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Place in a blender or food processor and blend for 6-8 seconds, until pecans are broken into small pieces. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan or skillet, add 1 tbsp of oil, plus the celery and onion, and sauté the mixture on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently (or until onion is translucent).
  • Add the garlic and sauté for a further 2 minutes.
  • When the rice is cooked add it, along with the rosemary, sage, cranberries, pecans, onion powder, remaining oil, water, salt and black pepper to the pan. Gently cook the mixture for a further 10 minutes (stirring frequently). It should be fairly crumbly by this point. Adjust the seasoning if needed and remove from the heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°CF/205°C.
  • Brush the inside and outside of the pumpkin with olive oil, and season the inside well with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon the filling mixture into the pumpkin - packing it fairly tightly - and place the lid on top.
  • Wrap the pumpkin completely in a layer of aluminium foil and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove the foil and bake the pumpkin, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes. The pumpkin is ready when you can easily push a knife into the skin.
  • Remove it from the oven and serve cut into four wedges with your favourite seasonal greens, mashed potatoes and if you wish, gravy.

Notes

  • For a nut-free version, feel free to replace the pecans with sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Looking for more vegan Thanksgiving recipes? Why not try my Salted Pecan Pie, my Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or my Sage & Garlic Hasselback Potatoes?


If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I’d love to know how you’ve made it your own!

Side shot of a pumpkin without its lid sitting on a beige linen napkin. The pumpkin is stuffed with cranberries, rice and nuts. Surrounding it is silver cutlery and a smaller pumpkin.Looking for a centrepiece for your vegan Thanksgiving dinner? This delicious Stuffed Pumpkin recipe is packed with pecans, rice, cranberries and vegetables for a dinner that's bursting with flavour. Gluten free, with a nut free option too. #pumpkin #stuffedpumpkin #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #thanksgiving #fall #pecans #cranberries

Comments 2

  1. Hi! The font did not work on my end so it has a rectangle where the number should be before the word cup for the rice. I am guessing it should be 1. I see it with the veggies too. “About cup”. This sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Ansley, thanks so much for letting me know! So glad you like the look of the recipe. I’ve copy + pasted the text out for you below so you have the measurements if the fractions don’t display properly for you in the recipe above. x

      1 small to medium-sized pumpkin (about 5 inches wide and 2½lb in weight)
      1/3 cup short or long grain brown rice
      3/4 cup pecans
      2 tbsp olive oil (plus a little more to brush the inside and outside of the pumpkin with)
      1/2 stick celery, finely diced (about ⅔ cup)
      1 small onion, finely diced (about ⅔ cup)
      3 large cloves garlic, crushed
      1 tbsp dried sage, finely ground
      1/2 tbsp dried rosemary, finely ground
      1/2 cup dried cranberries
      1/2 tsp onion powder
      2 tbsp water
      Sea salt to taste (I usually use about 1 tsp)
      1/2 tsp black pepper

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