Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment, set aside.
Heat some oil in a large pan and saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the spices (and salt and pepper if needed) and spinach and saute until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
Add the stock, crumbed cornbread, and cheese. Stir to evenly distribute all ingredients.
Cut around the top of the pumpkin, circling the stem to create about a 5-6 inch opening. Remove the top and cut off any seeds or loose flesh. Scoop out the loose flesh and seeds--you don't need to scrape anything out of the wall of the pumpkin. Save the seeds for future use or discard. Discard the stringy flesh. Stuff the pumpkin to the top with the stuffing. Add additional cornbread if needed. Replace the top of the pumpkin firmly over the mixture.
Bake for an hour and a half or until the pumpkin is tender and a knife inserted into the side goes in cleanly and the mixture inside is bubbly. Remove the top and bake for an additional 15 minutes to help with some evaporation and to crisp up the filling.
I made the cornbread for stuffing yesterday and left it uncovered for a few hours after cooling so it dried out a bit.
Years ago, pre-pandemic we had gone apple picking and stopped at a farm stand on our way back. I picked up something but on my way out I saw a big bin of Long Island Cheese Pumpkins. I had just read about them and almost bought one but the line was long and I had already checked out. I also wasn’t sure if I had enough cash on me.
I drove all the way back later in the week and the stand was closed. The next year I believe was Covid year one and when we went to pick apples again they seemed to be closed for good.
This year I ordered my apples from a farm collective and one of the items listed was a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. Obviously, I had to get it! They really do look like a wheel of cheese.
I’ve always wanted to stuff a giant squash. I tried with turban squash a couple of times but something always went array. These pumpkins seemed perfect–thick-walled and with minimal loose, stringy flesh.
Winter squash keeps well so this pumpkin has been waiting patiently on my enclosed porch to meet its destiny today. I made the cornbread for stuffing yesterday. I realized last month I liked cornbread as a stuffing ingredient so while my first instinct was to use Italian bread and Italian sausage, I thought why not try cornbread? I had pivoted to using Spanish chorizo but didn’t like the look of it when I cut open the packaging so I ended up making it vegetarian. I don’t think it actually needed meat in retrospect–maybe it would have made it greasy? So many of the stuffed pumpkins I’ve seen look so heavy–lots of meat and cream and cheese and that’s not my style.
I made this for our lunch. Our main meal of the day but at a time of day when I feel a little fresher and the light is better. One of the perks of my husband working from home most days! I hate waiting around all day to make something fun or involved for dinner.
I think it would make a great vegetarian entree for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah, it seems quite festive but it is also nice just for a regular meal. It is quite simple to make. The pumpkin is very easy to cut into and the guts are very loose and scoop out cleanly without a lot of effort. The hardest part was obtaining the pumpkin and remembering to make the cornbread the day before. It was so flavor and satisfying to eat!
Hi! I'm Rachel, the recipe developer here at Coconut & Lime! I've been creating recipes and sharing them here since 2004. When I am not cooking in my tiny kitchen, I'm reading in my backyard hammock here in Baltimore City.