Picadillo stuffed pumpkin is the perfect fall dinner party dish. It takes all the Cuban flavor we love from Picadillo and perfectly blends with the earthy sweetness of the pumpkin.
We especially love this idea because it really gives a classic Picadillo recipe a new life. There are a few “fall” ingredients that you can add in, that change up the flavor profile just enough to feel fresh.
The Pumpkin or fall squash is pre-baked, then filled with picadillo and latter baked again so all the flavor of the picadillo is absorbed by the pumpkin as it becomes very tender. For instructions on how to Whole Roast a Pumpkin or Squash find our tips HERE.
Our Tips for the Perfect Picadillo Stuffed Pumpkin
- You can assemble the dish the night before and bake in the oven just as you are ready to serve. Just let it come to room temperature for an hour before popping it in the oven.
- You can use any picadillo recipe: Classic Abuela’s, Instant Pot Turkey Picadillo, Turkey Veggie– they all will work for this recipe. We do recommend adding a few ingredients to make the picadillo feel more fall. See the list of “add-ins and garnishes” we have in the ingredient list. I love adding spinach, chestnuts and almonds for a pumpkin dish that screams “FALL” and sometimes I even top with parmigiano cheese before roasting.
- We recommend using kabocha squash because the flesh is luscious and sweet. The thick skin keeps the pumpkin in tact and everything inside it very moist. It also actually pairs perfectly with almost every recipe. You can use small pumpkins or squash to make it a more individualized entrée or a larger one and slice as you go.
Picadillo Stuffed PumpkinCourse: EntreeCuisine: Cuban AmericanDifficulty: Easy
1 recipe of picadillo, cooked and slightly cooled
1 large kabocha pumpkin
Add-ins and garnish: spinach or kale, almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts, dried figs or apricots, parsley, chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the pumpkin in an aluminum lined sheet pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Or until a knife inserts easily into the pumpkin. It will turn a dark brown color as it bakes. If it is very large it may need another 20 minutes to bake.
- You can make the picadillo while the pumpkin cooks, or take it out of the refrigerator if you have it premade.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven. Let it cool for 15 minutes. Pierce the pumpkin about two inches from the center and make a circle all around. Remove the top just as if you were to carve a pumpkin. Set aside. You can use the top later for decoration.
- Scoop out the seeds and any stringy pieces from the pumpkin. Don’t dig down too far. You don’t want to pierce the skin.
- Add the picadillo to the center of the pumpkin. Then bake the stuffed pumpkin for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving. Top with herbs and serve hot.
To serve, cut the pumpkin like you would a pie in large wedges. Each slice should have an equal amount of pumpkin and picadillo.