Greens-and-Cheese-Stuffed Cinderella Pumpkin


Inspired by Cassie Piuma's squash spanakopita at her restaurant, Sarma, in Somerville, Massachusetts, this stuffed pumpkin is filled with a nutty, creamy blend of Gruyère and feta cheeses; sweet, anise-scented fennel; and hearty green lacinato kale for a stunning vegetarian main dish fit for any holiday table. After roasting and before stuffing, scrape the inside of the pumpkin to loosen about 3 cups of the sweet, tender flesh to yield a flavorful base for the kale filling. Use a gentle hand when scraping to leave the pumpkin walls intact.

Greens-and-Cheese Stuffed Cinderella Pumpkin
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christina Daley
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 (5- to 6-pound) Cinderella pumpkin

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted, divided

  • 3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped fennel

  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (about 10 ounces), stemmed and chopped (about 4 packed cups)

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

  • 1 (1-ounces) bunch fresh dill, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 frozen phyllo pastry sheets, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut a 5-inch-wide hole in top of pumpkin, and scoop out seeds from cavity; discard pumpkin top and seeds, or reserve seeds for another use (see p. 106). Place pumpkin, cut side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 3 tablespoons melted butter, and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast in preheated oven until pumpkin flesh is slightly tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Discard foil, and carefully flip pumpkin cut side down. Continue roasting at 400°F, uncovered, until flesh is very tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

  2. While pumpkin roasts, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add fennel, shallots, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add kale in 3 additions, stirring until wilted after each addition, about 2 minutes total. Remove from heat; let cool 10 minutes.

  3. Flip roasted pumpkin cut side up. Drizzle pumpkin cavity with cream, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Using a fork or spoon, gently break up flesh inside shell, leaving walls about 1/2 inch thick and keeping pumpkin shape intact. (Leave any loose pumpkin flesh inside pumpkin.) Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; let oven drop to temperature about 10 minutes.

  4. Stir together Gruyère, feta, and dill in a large bowl. Stir in kale mixture, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Spoon mixture into pumpkin cavity, mounding mixture toward center.

  5. Crumple each phyllo sheet; arrange crumpled sheets on filling. Brush phyllo sheets evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter. Bake at 350°F until phyllo is crispy and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Suggested Pairing

Citrusy sparkling wine: Juvé y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava.

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