Whole Baked Pumpkin

Posted on Sep 17, 2013 in Baking, Mains

Whole baked pumpkin3

Looks pretty impressive doesn’t it? Filled with a divine combination of middle-eastern flavours, this whole baked pumpkin tastes even better than it looks.

I’ve not seen a whole baked pumpkin prior to spotting this Jamie Oliver recipe and once seen never forgotten – I knew I had to try it. The blend of tart cranberries, sweet nutty pistachio’s and the salty black olives work gorgeously amongst the sautéed pumpkin mix.

It’s not just the Persian-reminiscent flavours that reign in this baked pumpkin dish; it’s the impressive colour combination it offers. Setting your baked pumpkin down in front of your guests, removing its lid and unveiling the fragrant insides will impress the pants off anyone.

Whole Baked Pumpkin

Whole baked pumpkin4


1 pumpkin, about 1kg
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small handful black olives, stoned and chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped (I used fresh oregano and parsley)
1 dried chilli
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
50 g basmati rice, washed and drained
75 g dried cranberries
50 g shelled pistachio nuts
1 tangerine, zest of
200 ml organic vegetable stock


Preheat the oven to 230ºC/450ºF/gas 8.

Cut the lid off the pumpkin and reserve it. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and keep them to one side. Make the hollow where the seeds were a little bigger by scooping out some more pumpkin flesh. Finely chop this pumpkin flesh and one of the garlic cloves.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Pour in a splash of olive oil, then add the chopped pumpkin, chopped garlic, onion, olives, and half the rosemary. Cook gently for 10 minutes or so until the pumpkin has softened.

Notes: I had a 2kg pumpkin so I doubled the ingredients to suite and it worked perfectly!

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe

Whole baked pumpkin1

Whole baked pumpkin2

Meanwhile, place the whole garlic clove and the remaining rosemary in a pestle and mortar. Crumble in the dried chilli, add a good pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon and bash until you have a paste. Add a little olive oil to loosen up the mixture and then rub the inside of the pumpkin with it.

Season the cooked pumpkin mixture and stir in the rice, cranberries, pistachios and tangerine zest with a pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly then add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes (no longer or the rice will end up overcooked later).

Tear off a sheet of tin foil that’s large enough to wrap the pumpkin in a double layer and lay on top of a baking tray. Place the pumpkin on top and spoon the rice mixture into it, then place its lid back on. Rub the skin with a little olive oil, wrap it up in the foil and bake in the oven for about an hour. The pumpkin is ready when you can easily push a knife into it. Bring it to the table and open it up in front of everyone. Cut it into thick wedges and tuck in, leaving the skin. Serve with seasonal greens.

Whole baked pumpkin5



  1. Trying this as a main dish for our vegan guests at Christmas 🎄

  2. What a gorgeous vegetarian main course. Heaven.

    • It sure is Sarah! If you didn’t want vegetarian, a believe a roast lamb would work beautifully alongside.

Leave a Reply