Wild rice stuffed butternut pumpkin with the best gravy ever

Impress your guests this Christmas with this fancy dish


  • SERVES: 8
  • PREP TIME: 30 minutes
  • COOK TIME: 60 minutes
  • TOTAL TIME: 1hr 30 minutes

Impress your guests this Christmas with this fancy, stuffed butternut pumpkin. Filled with wild rice, pine nuts, herbs and tarty cranberries, it’s topped off with lashings of deliciously rich, silky, gravy. This is the perfect centrepiece for your plant-based feast!

Oh, and we better not forget to mention the convenience factor of this dish. Not only does it cater for just about every dietary requirement (ie. vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, option for oil-free), but it can be prepared a day or two in advance too. Because who wants to spend most of Christmas Day in the kitchen? We sure don’t.



  • 1 large butternut pumpkin, washed and halved lengthways
  • Kitchen twine to tie pumpkin


  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable stock liquid
  • ½ tsp salt


  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or saute in 1/3 cup water instead for an oil free version)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp baby capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup tamari almonds, chopped (or you can use plain roasted almonds)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped (plus a stem of fresh sage leaves to garnish pumpkin)
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 3/4 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (plus more to taste)


  • 4 cups vegetable stock liquid
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin halves cut side up on the baking tray and bake for about 45 minutes (depending on pumpkin size), until just tender. Do not overcook as it will bake for another 15 minutes at the end.
  2. Place all wild rice ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until al dente. Drain excess water.
  3. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast for 2-3 minutes, moving constantly, until they start to turn golden brown. Transfer to a small bowl.
  4. For the stuffing – in the same large saucepan, heat the olive oil (or water) over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery to the pan and sauté until veggies start to soften and brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add splashes of water to the pan if the veggies start to stick.
  5. Add the pine nuts, almonds, capers, cranberries, sage, dried rosemary, salt and pepper to the saucepan and mix well to combine. Remove from heat.
  6. When rice is cooked, drain well and add to the veggie mixture. Mix well to combine.
  7. When butternut pumpkin is just tender remove it from the oven. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Leaving a 2cm border, scoop out the pumpkin flesh of both halves. Roughly chop the flesh and stir it through the rice mixture. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Using a spoon, tightly pack the rice mixture into the pumpkin halves, piling it high (there will be some stuffing leftovers so you can enjoy it the next day).
  8. Carefully pick up one half of the pumpkin and flip it on top of the other half. To hold it together, tie it up in 3 or 4 places with kitchen twine (if you are making this a day or two ahead you can let the pumpkin cool at this point, then cover and refrigerate). Otherwise, return pumpkin to oven and roast a further 15-20 minutes until heated through. Prior to serving, decorate the pumpkin by tucking the fresh sage stem under the kitchen twine.
  9. For the gravy – add all gravy ingredients to a saucepan. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce heat to medium and allow gravy to rapidly simmer for a few minutes until it thickens. Add black pepper, to taste. Gravy should be nice and pourable; add a splash of water to thin if necessary.
  10. Because the pumpkin is tender and in separate halves, carve one slice and use a wide spatula to transfer it to a dining plate before carving the next. Serve with lashings of gravy. Enjoy!


  • If you have made the pumpkin in advance, simply take it out of the fridge and allow it to return to room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in a 180C (350F) oven to heat through for 30 minutes.
  • Gravy recipe makes 5 cups. If making gravy in advance, allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat gravy, simply warm in the microwave or in a saucepan over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. You’ll need to add some water to make it pourable again as it will have thickened in the fridge.

If you loved this recipe, you’ll love this free recipe book download.

Earth Collective X Pistuu Presents a Plant-Based Christmas Feast Menu.

If you’re planning a more planet-friendly Christmas meal this year and need some inspiration. look no further! We’ve teamed up with our friends at Pistuu to bring you a mouth-watering, Alternative Christmas Feast Menu, complete with ideas for starters, mains, sides, dessert… and even a “No-Egg Eggnog”. YUM YUM YUM! To get your FREE recipe book, simply sign up using the form below…

About Pistuu

Pistuu helps busy professionals and families discover and create amazing weekly plant-based meal plans. Each one of Pistuu’s 100% plant-based recipes are carefully crafted to make them super easy to follow. They’re nutritious, delicious and done and dusted in 20-40 minutes. You can download it on Apple and Android today.

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