Hominy, tomatillo, and chili pepper form the foundation for this flavorful, southwest stew, making for a nutritious, filling dinner. Pumpkins are one of my absolute favorite ingredients to work with because of their creamy texture and pleasant squash flavor; they’re super high in vitamin A and C!
Plus, is there anything better than an edible bowl?
As an Arizona native, I love nothing more than creating recipes inspired by Southwest cuisine, which boasts bold flavors that are savory, sour, and spicy. Here in the south, we like a lot of heat, but don’t worry because the stew is mildly spicy so you can control the spiciness.
In terms of sweet pumpkin recipes, I made a really delicious pumpkin pie with gluten free crust earlier this month, but I think everybody should have the opportunity to enjoy fresh pumpkin in a savory way. For those of you who might be unaware of the virtues of cooking with pumpkin, this recipe will get you into the fray in the best possible way. Just imagine the adult version of carving pumpkins meets Harry Potter in the southwest.
What are the best pumpkins for cooking?
Cooking with pumpkin makes for an exciting presentation and tasty feast. Use any winter pumpkin, such as red kuri (my number 1 choice), sugar pie, cheese pumpkin, or even kabocha squash. You can even remove the seeds in advance and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake the dish.
How to Make Southwest Stew in a Roasted Pumpkin – Step by Step
Like most great stews, this one starts with sweating some onion with garlic, bell pepper, and olive oil until softened (photo 1). After the moisture is released, it’s time to toast the spices to extract flavor (photo 2).
After you begin to smell the aroma of spices in the air, you can add the moist tomatillos, hominy, and water. Bring everything to a simmer, then cover and cook to form the southwest stew (photos 3 & 4).
Assemble the pumpkin stew with an extra layer of cheddar cheese and place under the broiler until golden. Serve whole or cut in half and top with a spoonful of refreshing poblano salsa then serve!
When cooking for myself and my husband, I like to serve an entire pumpkin for dinner and then store the leftovers for a light lunch. If serving to dinner guests, I like to cut the pumpkins in half, since nobody can eat an entire pumpkin in one sitting.
I once made this dish as a casserole for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit.
Top Tips Baking Soup inside of a Pumpkin
- Prep the pumpkins in advance by making the recipe and storing in the fridge. Reheat when ready to eat.
- Prepare the poblano-avocado-cucumber salsa up to 3 hours in advance and store in the fridge to accompany the pumpkin stew.
- To make the lid, use a pairing knife or pumpkin carving knife to cut around the stem; go around a second time to loosen the lid and pry it away with a spoon.
- Scrape away the seeds and flesh with a spoon.
- Rub the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Pumpkin always tastes better with salt.
- You do not need to serve the stew inside of the pumpkin. You could layer the stew in a casserole dish and top with cubed pumpkin rubbed with olive oil instead.
More Delicious Fall Recipes You Might Like
- Maple and Peanut Butter Baked Apples with Silky Cashew Cream – an easy, healthy dessert
- Chicken Squash Stew with Cranberries
- Immunity-Boosting Turmeric Vegetable Soup – this would also be an amazing recipe to roast inside of a pumpkin!
- Healthy and Moist Zucchini-Carrot-Parsnip Bread
*If you’ve tried this southwest stewed pumpkin or any other recipe on the blog, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
Southwest Roasted Pumpkin Stew
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 pound tomatillos remove husks, rinse, and chop
- 1 25-oz can hominy or substitute canned beans or corn
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 2 2-3 pound pumpkins red kuri, sugar pie, cheese, or kabocha
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 oz cheddar cheese (1 cup packed) preferably sharp, grated on large holes
Make the Southwest Stew
- Warm the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add a trio of onion, garlic, and bell pepper, cook for 8 minutes until soft. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and oregano; stir and cook 3 minutes longer.
- Stir in the tomatillos, hominy, and water. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes.
Roasting the Pumpkin
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and make room on the middle rack for the tall pumpkins.
- Cut around the stem of each pumpkin until you can pry away the lid. Use a spoon to scrape away the flesh and seeds. Drizzle the olive oil into each pumpkin and swirl around. Season with salt.
- Set the pumpkins on a baking sheet. Add half the cheese and fill with stew. With the lid on top, roast the pumpkins 1 1/2 hours. Top with the remaining cheese and broil for 3 minutes until golden.
- Serve in the pumpkin or scoop out into bowls and top with poblano-avocado-cucumber salsa if you wish.
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