Denise says:

  • Pumpkin make excellent baskets to stuff. I have filled them with wild and white rice mixed with dried cranberries, onions and toasted hazelnuts.
  • As they can be prepared in advance and just reheated, they are ideal for Yom Tov or enjoyed during Autumn when the squash are at their best. The same filling can be alternatively used with aubergines, large tomatoes or marrow. This recipe is both vegetarian and wheat free.
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves: 6-8 people


  • 175g wild rice and basmati rice mix
  • 1 pumpkin – weight approx. 1.5kg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions – peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley – roughly chopped
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 50g toasted hazelnuts – roughly chopped
  • Topping
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries -
  • 3 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley


  1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400F / Gas mark 6.
  3. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment paper.
  4. Using a serrated sharp knife, remove the top third of the pumpkin; this is the lid.
  5. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds and discard.
  6. Place the pumpkin cut side down onto the baking tray. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes or until softened. Set aside.
  8. Add the cooked onion, chopped parsley, cranberries and hazelnuts and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to the cooked rice.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas mark 4.
  10. Divide rice mixture into the pumpkin shell. Place in a roasting pan lined with baking parchment paper. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)
  11. Bake until filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.
  12. To serve the stylish way: Sprinkle with cranberries, hazelnuts and sprigs of parsley