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Sausage, Rice, and Cranberry Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Sausage, sweet onion, mushrooms, pecans, cranberries, kale, Parmigiano-Reggiano, seasonal spices, and rice came together for a flavor combination that’s perfect for cooler months.

INGREDIENTS
  • 8–10 mini pumpkins
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • ¾ cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 1 cup raw pecans, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) package SEEDS OF CHANGE®
  • 1 cup kale leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

  3. Slice the tops off the mini pumpkins and scoop out the seeds.

  4. Rub the pumpkins and tops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  5. Place the pumpkins (with their tops on) on the prepared baking sheet.

  6. Roast for 15–20 minutes, or until the pumpkins are just tender.

  7. Meanwhile, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a medium skillet on medium-high heat.

  8. Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain off the grease and set the sausage aside.

  9. In the same pan, add the onions and mushrooms. Cook until tender.

  10. Add the apple cider to the pan.

  11. Deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom with a wood spoon. Then add the pecans, nutmeg, and thyme.

  12. Cook until the liquid is slightly reduced (4–5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

  13. Microwave the SEEDS OF CHANGE® Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice according to the package directions.

  14. In a large bowl, combine the sausage, onion, mushrooms, dried cranberries, rice, kale, and ¾ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

  15. Transfer the pumpkin bottoms to a large cast-iron pan. Set the tops aside.

  16. Stuff the pumpkins with the sausage, rice, and cranberry mixture. Heap the mixture into each pumpkin. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano.

  17. Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkins are soft and the stuffing is heated through.

  18. Serve hot and place the pumpkin tops* back on the pumpkins.

  19. *The tops can be warmed up on the same baking sheet by placing them in the oven for a few minutes before serving. They are mostly decorative.