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Greek Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe – Kolokitha Gemisti

This Greek stuffed pumpkin recipe comes from Ermoupoli, the capital of the beautiful and cosmopolitical island of Siros. Although pumpkin has an American origin, this fall vegetable has a strong presence and tradition in Greek cuisine. Even though the best period to consumer a pumpkin is between October and November, Greek housewives could find a pumpkin and preserve it in their cellar from August to March. This genuinely facilitated their lives as in the old days there were no refrigerators and they could use this high nutritional value vegetable in order to cook sweet or salty pies, soups or even stuff them.

Carving pumpkins is a beautiful classic fall activity. In Greece, we don’t celebrate Halloween although this festive becomes trendier every year as an effect of the globalization that we are facing. We still don’t carve a jack-o’-lantern alike people in the U.S.A, so it makes more sense for us to load it with aromatic herbs and bake it. But, why carve a jack-o’-lantern when you could stuff a pumpkin and eat it instead? Indeed, it seems to be substantially tastier to stuff the pumpkin, bake it into something delicious and treat it as a gorgeous serving dish.

In Greek, this dish is called kolokitha gemisti (κολοκύθα γεμιστή) and in order to cook it, you need the following ingredients: a pumpkin, Greek olive oil, salt, black pepper, onion, red pepper, green pepper, carrot, ground beef, rice, paprika, meat broth, golden raisins, parsley, mince, and spicy graviera cheese. You can find graviera cheese at any Greek food store.

This Greek baked stuffed pumpkin recipe is not just ideal for festivals like Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is also a delicious way to impress your guests for any occasion! Easy to prepare, this recipe takes around one hour and a half to prepare and cook and serves around 4 persons.

Stuffed Pumpkin

Greek Stuffed Pumpkin – Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon of Greek olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons of Greek olive oil
  • 350 gr of minced meat
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 140 gr of rice
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 500 ml of meat broth
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 50 gr of golden raisins
  • ½ of a parsley bunch
  • ½ of a mint bunch
  • 80 gr of spicy graviera, grated

How to make – Instructions

  1. Start this authentic stuffed pumpkin recipe by preheating the oven at 374°F.
  2. Wash the pumpkin well under freshwater and allow them to dry.
  3. Take a sharp knife and cut its top horizontally in such a way that it can be used as a lid.
  4. Take a spoon and scoop out the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin.
  5. Sprinkle the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle it with some olive oil.
  6. Take a baking pan and cover it with parchment paper.
  7. Place the pumpkin (cut side down) on the pan and bake it for around 45 minutes. Now, it is time to prepare the filling.
  8. Take a nonstick pan and bring olive oil to heat over medium temperature and saute the onions, peppers, and carrot. With a spatula, stir until they are softened.
  9. Add the minced meat and saute until it gets a nice brown color.
  10. Now, add the rice, paprika, salt, pepper, and meat broth.
  11. Stir, low temperature and simmer for around 30 minutes until the rice is boiled.
  12. Add the raisins and the aromatic herbs and remove the pan.
  13. Take the pumpkin out of the oven and carefully turn it upside down.
  14. Place the filling inside the pumpkin. Sprinkle top with graviera cheese.
  15. Bake for around 15 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  16. Serve right away.

Surprise your guests this Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with this delicious and authentic Greek stuffed pumpkin recipe! I hope you enjoy it. If you are a pumpkin lover, you need to try this kolokithopita recipe.

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