I know stuffed vegetables can be overdone as vegetarian main dishes, but hear me out on this one. This lentil, apple and pecan stuffed pumpkin is a seriously excellent autumn main course option. It’s hearty, warming, filled with autumn flavours and simpler than it looks! I highly recommend you give it a try.
I tweaked a recipe from Vegan Richa
- Large butternut pumpkin
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4tsp dried sage
- 1/2tsp dried thyme
- 1/2tsp dried rosemary
- Can of brown lentils
- Small apple
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 75g feta
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds
- Score the flesh and drizzle with some oil, and season with salt and pepper
- Roast for 45-50 minutes, until cooked through
- Meanwhile, dice the onion and mince the garlic
- Heat some oil in a fry pan then add the fennel, sage, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 30 seconds
- Add the onion and garlic, stir to combine and cook until the onion is softened and translucent
- Drain and rinse the lentils and add to the pan
- Dice the apple and roughly chop the pecans and add to the pan, stirring to combine all ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper
- When the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh, leaving 1-2cm around the edge. Roughly mash the removed flesh.
- Fold through the lentil mixture, then spoon back into the pumpkin
- Sprinkle over the feta and return to the oven for 10 minutes
I know that looks like a lot of time, and steps for this lentil, apple and pecan stuffed pumpkin recipe! I promise it’s worth it though – and it’s simpler than it looks. It makes such an excellent main dish for a dinner party – and you can prep the filling in advance too. That makes the cook time very hands-off which is what you want if you have friends over!
I love the sweetness the apples bring to this dish – it really does taste like autumn! If you want a vegan friendly version then just leave off the feta, it will still be tasty. I like sprinkling some fresh thyme or rosemary on top for a bit of greenery as I serve it, especially because I can pick them straight off my balcony!