Stuffed Roasted Pumpkin w Pesto

This is a divine ‘joint’ to slice and serve with a bevvy of roasties and gravy.  A wonderful vegan / vegetarian centrepiece that is as delicious as it looks.  

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hr

Serves: 6


900g or 1 medium butternut pumpkin
1 x red capsicum, deseeded & quartered
1 x yellow capsicum, deseeded & quartered
250g button mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
olive oil
1 spring onion, sliced
1 large sprig of thyme
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 knob of butter (optional for Vegans)
120g spinach
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup pesto


Preheat your oven to 160.  Line a tray with baking paper (big enough for your pumpkin).

Slice the pumpkin in half lenghways, scoop out and throwaway the seeds and any sinew, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, place cut side down on the prepped tray.

Take the quarters of capsicum, drizzle with a little olive oil and arrange them around the edges of the pumpkin.  Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender (you make need to remove the capsicum earlier if they start to brown).

Pop the mushrooms in a saucepan with a little oil, butter (optional), 1 garlic clove and a sprig of thyme.  Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are, soft shiny and smell amaze-BALLS.  Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to stuff your pumpkin.

In the same saucepan, drizzle a little more olive oil (knob of butter), spring onion, remaining thyme and garlic and sauté gently.  When the onion is soft add the spinach, stir until fully wilted. Squeeze out any moisture and remove from the pan.

The pumpkin should be nice and soft by now and the capsicums tender and gorgeous.  Remove from the oven.  When the pumpkin is cool enough, scoop the flesh of each half, leaving about a 3 cm border around the edge.  Be careful not to go through the skin.  

Pop the flesh into bowl and stir through the peanut butter and sprinkle in the paprika.  Taste and season (try not to eat it all).

Ok, we’re ready to stuff and assemble our pumpkin. 

Paint the inside of each half of pumpkin with some pesto, then line with the roasted capsicum, spread over the mushrooms, then the spinach and lastly the smokey peanut pumpkin flesh (OMG – so good). 

Put the two halves back together and tie with some kitchen string.  Pop back on the roasting tin and bake for 20 minutes (or you can pop in the fridge and it will keep for 2 days).

Serve : with the remaining pesto and a tossed green salad.

Jax Says : if you’re making this for a vegetarian, a layer of haloumi is also delicious or some crumbed feta.  This is a lovely celebratory dish for dinner parties or a fabulous alternative to the Christmas roast meat.