Best Stuffing recipe ever - and it's cooked in a Pumpkin

Not only is this the best stuffing recipe you'll ever taste - but you make it and serve it in a Pumpkin!

Take plain old turkey stuffing to new levels and impress your guests when you make this the centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner.

All you need to do is make this once and you've started a new family tradition.

best stuffing recipe in a pumpkin

The really great thing about this sausage and wild rice stuffing recipe is that you can change it to a Crock Pot stuffing recipe for Christmas and skip the pumpkin.

And while you're at it, why not make your whole Thanksgiving dinner on the grill and make this Rotisserie BBQ Turkey to go with your turkey stuffing recipe.

This recipe's been adapted and perfected from several others I've collected over the years including one from the Big Green Egg cookbook for Eggheads.

› Stuffing in a Pumpkin

Serves: 12 - 16

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 hrs

Indirect Heat: 300F - 325F

What you'll need:

  • 1 Pumpkin about 4 - 5 lbs (has to fit in your barbecue or grill with lid down)
  • 1 lb sausage meat (bulk or pre-made sausages with casings removed)
  • 1/4 lb cooked ham, diced
  • 2 cups wild rice blend (or long grain rice)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (to cook the rice)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 leek chopped (white part only)
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups cubed sourdough bread (see tip below)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (Ocean Spray Craisins)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Tip: if you can't find sourdough bread then try french baguettes or pumpernickle. If all else fails use plain white bread.

    Tip: if you can't find bulk sausage use premade Bratwurst sausages and remove the casings before frying.

carving pumpkin for stuffing

Step 1:
Cut a lid from the pumpkin and scoop out the innards as if you were going to make a jack 'o lantern.

Pierce the inside of the cleaned pumpkin with a fork but don't cut through to the outside.

salt and pepper in pumpkin

Rub salt and pepper on the inside walls of the pumpkin.

Step 2:
In a large sauce pan bring the chicken broth to a boil.

Add the rice, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked (about 40 minutes)

While the rice is cooking spread the bread cubes on a lined cookie sheet and sprinkle dried sage over the pieces.

Place in a preheated oven at 275F for 20 - 30 minutes flipping the bread cubes at least once. Cook until the cubes are slightly toasted.

Alternatively, a day in advance season the bread cubes with ground sage and let them air dry out at room temperature until they're stale.

fried sausage

Step 3:
In a large sautee or fry pan break up the sausage and sautee until browned over medium heat.

If you're using bulk sausage then sprinkle some dried sage and black pepper over the raw meat as it starts to cook.

If using premade sausage removed from their casings then no extra seasoning should be required.

Remove from the pan when cooked, cover and set aside.

cutting leeks

Step 4:
In the sautee pan used to cook the sausage add the butter until melted over medium heat.

Add the chopped leek, onion, green onion and garlic.

Sautee for several minutes until the onion begins to soften.

cubed ham

Add the bourbon (Yay!).

Add the chopped ham, apple and cooked sausage and let simmer until heated through.

Remove from heat.

best turkey stuffing in a pumpkin recipe

Step 5:
In a (very) large mixing bowl combine the cooked rice, bread cubes, the sausage ham & onion mixture from above and the beaten eggs.

Add the dried cranberries (Craisins) and raisins.

Add the fresh thyme and sage and some salt and pepper to taste.

Stir well to combine the stuffing.

turkey dressing in a pumpkin

Step 6:
Spoon all of the stuffing mixture into the pumpkin.

thanksgiving stuffing in a pumpkin

Once you've spooned all the stuffing into the pumpkin insert a sprig of fresh rosemary down into the center of the mixture.

Place the lid on the pumpkin.

cooking stuffing in a pumpkin on bbq

Step 7:
Preheat the BBQ or grill to 300F - 325F and set up for indirect grilling.

Place the stuffed pumpkin in a disposable aluminum pan and place on the BBQ.

Cook for 3 hours (or until the internal temperature reaches 180F).

Remove from the grill and carefully present the pumpkin with a spoon so your guests can scoop out their stuffing.

The pumpkin will be softer after cooking so take care not to damage it.


traditional turkey stuffing in a pumpkin

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