Pumpkin is one of my favourite roasted vegetables, the sweet yet nutty taste gets me every time. Instead of enjoying it as a side dish, I wanted to make it the main focus for a change.
The flavours in the moroccan spiced lamb really complemented the earthiness of the roasted pumpkin and I just know this is going to be a favourite dish of mine during winter – actually, make that, during all seasons!
One butternut pumpkin half
I used butternut pumpkin/squash as its shape acts as a ‘boat’ that can hold the moroccan lamb mixture without if falling over the sides.
The spices in this dish include cumin, paprika and cinnamon – you could definitely add fresh chilli or chilli flakes if you’d like some heat. When cooked, the spices become aromatic and fill the room with a beautiful earthy fragrance.
Adding the red lentils
I always associate red lentils with moroccan food; maybe it’s due to their rustic red colour. The lentils add extra bulk to the dish in the way of flavour and texture.
Moroccan lamb mixture
This dish is vegetable friendly, virtually any variety in your fridge could be used. This is great for those nights when you have a few vegetables to use up or need some extra nutrients!
Flesh scooped out
Once the pumpkin is cooked, scoop enough flesh out to create a ‘boat’. I kept about 1cm from the edges and made sure there was still enough pumpkin flesh on the bottom so the moroccan lamb mixture didn’t seep through.
Ready to fill the pumpkin
As I don’t like waste, I added the scooped pumpkin flesh and seeds to the lamb mixture along with the coriander for extra moroccan flavour.
Nearly ready to be enjoyed
As you can see, the pumpkin has now been filled and is piled quite high. I love the colours in this dish – it really goes to show just how beautiful healthy food can be.
Mint yoghurt dressing
This mint yoghurt really sets off the moroccan spices as it brings an element of freshness to the earthiness.
Decorated and ready to be enjoyed!
This dish will keep for two days in a sealed container in the fridge. Store the mint yoghurt separately and serve on top once reheated in the oven.
Roasted pumpkin stuffed with moroccan spiced lamb
- 2 butternut pumpkin halves, washed
- 1 brown onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1 TBSP paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup beef stock
- 3 tomatoes, washed and diced
- 1 celery stalk, washed and diced
- 1 cup spinach leaves, washed
- 1/2 cup coriander stalks and leaves, washed and roughly chopped – extra leaves for decoration
- 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt or natural greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cup mint, washed and finely sliced
- 2 TBSP pistachios, roughly chopped
- 2 TBSP pine nuts
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line baking tray with baking paper.
- Place butternut pumpkin halves on baking paper and roast for 45 minutes.
- Add coconut oil to a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Cook onion, garlic and ginger for 2 minutes.
- Add cumin, paprika and cinnamon then stir for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add lamb mince and cook for 5 minutes or until brown then stir through lentils for a further 1 minute.
- Add beef stock, tomatoes, celery, spinach leaves, salt and pepper then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove pumpkin from oven and spoon flesh from inside the pumpkin.
- Roughly chop the flesh and add to lamb mixture, along with coriander.
- Fill pumpkin with lamb mixture then return pumpkin to the oven for 20 minutes.
- Mix yoghurt and mint together and set aside.
- Remove pumpkin from oven, transfer to a plate, top with mint yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander leaves, pistachios and pine nuts. Enjoy!
- If there is leftover lamb mixture it would be delicious over some cooked quinoa or brown rice!
- Also, to make it vegan/vegetarian – omit the lamb and use chickpeas instead, and use vegetable stock instead of beef stock.
- You can use any vegetables you like – grated carrot, mushrooms, zucchini, capsicum and corn would all work really well in this dish.
- You can definitely eat the pumpkin seeds and skin!
Although it seems as though there are a lot of ingredients, once broken down into spices and vegetables, there really isn’t much to it. It’s definitely worth making and I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did!