Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin

You don't need a magic spell to turn a pumpkin into the edible serving dish for this satisfying autumn recipe. If you can't find a large pumpkin or squash, bake this stew in two smaller ones. Serve with Poblano-Cucumber Salsa (linked below).



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1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
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2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
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1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
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2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
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1 tsp. chili powder, preferably New Mexican
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1 tsp. ground cumin
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½ tsp. dried oregano
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½ lb. tomatillos, husked and quartered (1½ cups)
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1 15-oz. can hominy, rinsed and drained
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¾ tsp. salt
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1 3- to 4-lb. pumpkin, either sugar pie, cheese, red kuri, kabocha, or buttercup squash
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2 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese (½ cup packed)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté 7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook 3 minutes more, or until spices darken.

2. Add tomatillos, hominy, 1/2 cup water, and salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 10 to 12 minutes, or until tomatillos are softened. Uncover, and cook 5 minutes more to thicken stew, if necessary.

3. Meanwhile, cut top of pumpkin around stem to make lid. Scoop out pumpkin seeds and strings. Rub inside of pumpkin with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and sprinkle generously with salt. Sprinkle cheese in bottom of pumpkin.

4. Fill pumpkin with stew, then top with pumpkin lid. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until pumpkin flesh is fork-tender. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.

5. Scoop stew, including pumpkin, into bowls and serve hot, topped with Poblano-Cucumber Salsa (Click here for recipe).


Nutrition Information: 

6 g
Total Fat: 
9 g
Saturated Fat: 
3 g
31 g
10 mg
699 mg
6 g
10 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

Thought this was delicious, but I think it serves 3, not 4 people. Also, I would have called it stew instead of spicy.

This is amazing!!! The cucumber salsa tops it off nicely...I added some Greek Yogurt...my only issue, how many servings per recipe?

Thanks for a great pumpkin recipe! http://30poundsin30weeks.blogspot.com/

I accidentally set the oven to 400F, and the dish was done baking in 45 minutes. Yay!

This was an absolutely delicious recipe!! I used cayenne pepper instead of the new mexican chili and had a good spicy kick to it.

Fabulous!! I placed the stew in three small pie pumpkins to make individual servings. I placed the finished pumpkins on plates, and we ate the stew directly out of the pumpkins.

This was wonderful - made it in a red kuri squash. Delicious, especially with the cucumber salsa!

This looks ans sounds great, can't wait to try it.

This is a no-fail, super delicious dish. I have had many positive comments from guests that I have served this to. I continue to make this recipe over and over, as it is so scrumptious. I don't even make the salsa as the pumpkin stew, is so great on its own.

this is a amazing recipe. hearty and scrumptious. so good i make it at least once a month during the fall and early winter. the only thing is that the serving size will inevitably vary according to the squash and size chosen. i will never lose this recipe!

One of my most favorite fall recipes. Can't wait for it to be pumpkin season again.

Just omit the cheese to make it vegan. Its just as good!

This does not feed 6. I doubled for 11. Saw the amount and added 3 15 oz cans of tomatoes and two of small red beans. Still barely had enough. It is delicious but even with the pumpkin scooped from the sides of the "container" the serving size is misleading.

The stew on it's own is very good - but even better when served in a pumpkin and topped w/the avocado salsa! That really transformed the dish. I added a carrot and a few tomatoes as well - I had to add a whole cup of water to the stew and it was still slightly dry, but cooked very nicely in the pumpkin. I also added a spoonful of greek yogurt on top of the avocado - and it really brought out the flavors! Great dish - so festive too!

What Linda said. But it WAS delicious! Next time I will use a kabocha squash, or another dense, dryer and orange squash. My pumpkin was disappointingly stringy and pale. GREAT soup though!

My family and friends love this recipe. We make it every year as part of our fall festival: Halloweeen, Day of the Dead, and Samhain. Keep up the great veggie recipes

This is a go-to recipe for me. I love it. I have made my own modifications along the way, for example leaving out the tomatillos and replacing the hominy for quinoa. Love it topped with avocado. I have made this time and time again fro guests and they always want the recipe.

THis is a terrific recipe especially paired with the with the avocado cucumber salsa. I agree with Linda in that there is no way this feeds 6. I used a 3.2 lb squash and we could serve 3 with it along with rice and beans. That being said, it is one of the best things I have made in a long time and will definetly make it again!. THanks VT.

I made this and left the house for a meeting. My husband ate the whole thing and there was nothing left for me to try. He loved it. I had to make it again to get to try it. I served it for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone was impressed with the presentation and enjoyed the soup.

This stew is delicious! I used a medium carving pumpkin from our local co-op, so it was local and organic, 11-12 inches high by about 30 inches around. It is delicious, and the seasoning is excellent! I left out the cheese because I'm vegan and left out the hominy. I added other veggies on hand like cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, and some cayenne for a little heat. It came together deliciously and I had so much leftover that I froze half after scooping out the pumpkin rind. I'll definitely make this for Thanksgiving with friends! Thanks!

Wow! Delicious!

By far one of my favorite recipes!!! Love the Poblano-Cucumber salsa as well.

great soup

This was great, my husband and I ate it for three meals. Be sure to scoop into the sides of the pumpkin and get it all! I didn't have hominy and subbed some roasted corn and quinoa, I think this recipe enables you to make a few substitutions and still be delicious! I used the suggested Kobocha pumpkin.

want to try

What are instilled and homily please?

Sorry, tomatillos, not instilled, spell check error!

This was delicious and packed with flavor. I didn't hold back on the spices and threw in some carrots and celery as well. I used canned tomatillos which worked beautifully. Used with the poblano avocado salsa. Perfect for a chilly fall day! Husband ate an entire small pumpkin.:)

I couldn't find tomatillos canned or fresh in my grocery store. I have a jar of Salsa Verde or I have fresh green tomatoes... what is a good subsitute?

I've been making this since the 2008 issue! So glad I can look online and find the recipe when I can't put my hands on the hard copy. This year I'll be making it without the cheese or oil - all vegan. I don't expect there will be any noticeable difference in the flavor. This makes an impressive dish and it is so healthy and delicious! I'm serving as my Thanksgiving main dish this year.

LOVE this recipe. I always make a huge batch of the filling and freeze it for future squashes!