While we all have that holiday stuffing recipe that we grew up with, sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. With this Pumpkin Stuffing with Gruyere and Pancetta recipe, you get the smoky flavor of pancetta, the tang of Gruyere, and a cheesy and moist texture!
After all, ’tis the season for all things pumpkin flavored, and you really cannot go wrong with adding cheese to well, anything! Your guests won’t soon forget this flavorful, unexpected stuffing recipe.
1 large loaf of day old ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/3 pound Gruyère, shredded
3–4 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
About 1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly cracked pepper
Place your oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Carefully cut the top off the pumpkin, just as you would if making a Jack-o-Lantern.
Remove all seeds and strings from the lid and the inside of the pumpkin and set aside.
Sprinkle the inside of the clean pumpkin with a bit of kosher salt and pepper.
Place pumpkin on the foil-lined baking sheet.
Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the pancetta and sauté until a bit crispy and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Toss the ciabatta bread, Gruyere, pancetta, garlic and thyme together in a large bowl. Sprinkle with pepper (you won’t need salt because the pancetta is already fairly salty).
Fill the pumpkin with the stuffing and pack in really well.
In a small bowl, combine the cream and the nutmeg and a bit of pepper and pour into the pumpkin.
Place the top of the pumpkin back in it’s place to create a seal.
Bake for roughly 90 minutes. When it’s done, the contents should be hot and bubbling and the interior pumpkin flesh should be tender. (I used a wooden skewer to test this.)
Using a sturdy spatula (I used my large spatula that we use for the grill), transfer the pumpkin to your serving platter. Having an assistant at this point is incredibly helpful as the pumpkin will be very hot and awkward to transfer.