Turkey, Wild Rice, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffed Pumpkins

Meredith Steele
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


3small pie pumpkins or 1 large sugar or cinderella pumpkin (3 to 4 pound)
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2teaspoon ground black pepper
1pound ground turkey
1large Granny Smith Apple (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
3/4cup dried cranberries
3/4can walnut halves
3cups cooked wild rice or wild rice/brown rice mix*
2tablespoons fresh sage, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried sage
1tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2cup low-sodium chicken or turkey broth


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Wash pumpkins. With a sharp knife slice the very tops of the pumpkins off. Next, scoop out the seeds and save set aside.
  3. Peel and chop the onions and garlic. In a large sided sautee pan over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan turn the heat up to medium-high, add a splash of olive oil if needed, and add the ground turkey. Season the turkey with 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Brown the meat until cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. While the turkey is browning, slice, core (peeling is optional), and chop the apple into small cubes.
  6. When the turkey is cooked, turn the heat to medium-low. To the turkey add the onions, apples, dried cranberries, walnuts, rice, sage, oregano, and chicken broth. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine scraping any bits of browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Taste and add any extra salt and pepper if needed. Simmer until the broth is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. On a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet, place the hollowed out pumpkins. Fill the pumpkins to the rim with the stuffing. Place the pumpkin tops back on the pumpkins. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 40 to 50 minutes until the pumpkins are cooked and tender. Test by inserting a toothpick or fork into the side of one pumpkin. If it inserts easily with no resistance it is done. The larger the pumpkin the longer it takes to cook
  8. Remove from the oven, plate, and serve. Makes 3 small pie pumpkins or 1 large (3- to 4-pound) sugar pumpkin
* I like to use a wild rice/brown rice blend. Pour 1/2 cup wild and 1/2 cup brown rice into 2 1/4 cups of boiling water plus 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes until water is absorbed.
—Recipe by Meredith Steele, In Sock Monkey Slippers