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a cozy winter meal...

Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Pumpkins | Oh Joy

The last few days have starting feeling like winter here in Los Angeles (well, our version of winter anyway) so I've been craving warm and comforting foods lately. While I'd happily enjoy a chicken pot pie or some baked mac and cheese, I'm trying to make healthier options that are still filling and warm for this chilly time of year. So I asked my friends at Heirloom LA to teach me a fun recipe to share with you all. It's so tasty, comforting, and crazy delicious...Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Pumpkins! Yes, you heard that right, folks. Click below to see how and also to get the recipe for a vegetarian version, too.

Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Pumpkins | Oh Joy

Here's the recipe...

Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Pumpkins
Serves 4 people as an appetizer or 2 people as an entrée

You'll need:

2 softball-sized pumpkins or kaboucha squash

1 lb. lean ground turkey

4 slices rustic bread, diced into chunks 

1 cup heavy cream

1 onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, chopped

6-8 sage leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

2 large eggs, beaten

salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Pumpkins | Oh Joy

Here's how:

1. Cut the top off of the pumpkin, and scoop out the seeds to expose the cavity of the pumpkin so the opening is wide enough to stuff. Season with salt and pepper, then steam or roast until tender (about 15 minutes on 350' F)

2. Soak the bread in the cream for 5-10 minutes until moist, and the bread has absorbed the cream.

Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Pumpkins | Oh Joy

3. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, caramelize the onions, garlic, and sage until translucent for about 3 minutes.

Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Pumpkins | Oh Joy

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, caramelized onions, garlic, sage, chopped parsley, eggs, bread cream mixture, salt, and pepper. Mix with hands to incorporate thoroughly.

5. Arrange pumpkins onto an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly pack the meat mixture into the two pumpkins until all of the filling is used. Bake in oven 35-45 minutes at 350' F or until internal temperature reaches 165' F.

Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Pumpkins | Oh Joy

6. Allow to cool 10 minutes, cut in half, and serve with a light greens salad or marinated cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!

Now, for the vegetarian version...

Pumpkins with Sage and Parmesan Stuffing (vegetarian)
Serves 4 people as an appetizer or 2 people as an entrée

You'll need:

2 softball-sized pumpkins or kaboucha squash

10 slices rustic bread, diced into chunks and toasted

1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1 cup heavy cream

1 onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, chopped

6-8 sage leaves, chopped

4 tablespoons butter, unsalted

1 cup white wine

1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

4 large eggs, beaten

salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

Pumpkins with Sage and Parmesan Stuffing | Oh Joy

Here's how:

1. Cut the top off of the pumpkin, and scoop out the seeds to expose the cavity of the pumpkin so the opening is wide enough to stuff. Season with salt and pepper, then steam or roast until tender (about 15 minutes on 350' F)

2. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, caramelize the onions, garlic, and sage until translucent (about 3 minutes). Deglaze white wine and reduce by half. Pour in cream, and bring to a simmer.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine toasted bread, caramelized onions, garlic and sage cream mixture, chopped parsley, eggs, 3/4 cup of the grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix with hands to incorporate thoroughly.

4. Arrange pumpkins onto an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly pack the bread mixture into the two pumpkins until all of the filling is used. Then use the remaining 1/4 parmesan to top off the stuffing. Bake in oven 35-45 minutes at 350' F or until internal temperature reaches 165' F.

6. Allow to cool 10 minutes, cut in half, and serve with a light greens salad or marinated cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!

Thanks so much to Matt and Tara at Heirloom LA for your crazy and creative food skills!

{Recipe by Heirloom LA, photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy.}

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