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Whole Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin

Whole Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin

Bake this cheesy, savory bread pudding, with sweet apples inside a WHOLE pumpkin: Whole Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin!

You CAN cook a whole pumpkin in your oven! Try this easy and delicious gratin recipe with pumpkin, cheddar, onions and apples - a perfect autumn recipe | WHOLE PUMPKIN CHEDDAR GRATIN | @TspCurry - For more fall recipes see

I asked myself, “Self, what’s the worst that could happen if I threw my whole pumpkin – uncut into the oven?”

“Maybe, I’d be out the $3.00 I spent at the pumpkin farm?”

“Or maybe it would explode in my oven, covering the oven with slimy seeds and pumpkin ‘guts’?”

So I did it. I opened the oven door and stuck the entire pumpkin, uncut, stem-and-all in and closed the door!

You CAN cook a whole pumpkin in your oven! Try this easy and delicious gratin recipe with pumpkin, cheddar, onions and apples - a perfect autumn recipe | WHOLE PUMPKIN CHEDDAR GRATIN | @TspCurry - For more fall recipes see

When I opened the oven door 1 hour and 20 minutes later, nothing had exploded. And nothing covered the insides of the oven walls. The stem was not black and neither was the pumpkin flesh.

Instead, when I cut open the top and pulled up the ‘lid’ still stuck with seeds, the inside revealed a perfect evenly cooked interior. And the outside was a deep golden orange that would be a gorgeous serving vessel.

Now, this little experiment was not entered into without some prior research. I consulted a few cookbooks for pumpkin soups served in the pumpkin shell. Nothing.

Searching online for any “recipe in pumpkin shell” yielded a few recipes similar to this delicious-looking whole pumpkin apple casserole. But I wanted something savory and cheesy like a gratin or strata. I did find this amazing-looking Pumpkin and Cabot Habanero Cheddar Soufflés recipe to add to my To-Try file. But no whole-pumpkin strata.

In the end, it was the Cabot recipe that gave me a hint that cooking a whole pumpkin might not burn down the house – but I wasn’t positive since the soufflé recipe uses mini pumpkins and my sugar pumpkin was a whopping 11 inches in diameter!

Once my pumpkin was cooked, I created a cheesy, savory gratin with a celery and a little sweet apple. It’s a bit like Thanksgiving stuffing, only waaay better!


Whole Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin

Bake a cheesy, savory bread pudding, with sweet apples inside a WHOLE pumpkin.

  • Author: Serena Ball


  • 1 large sugar pumpkin
  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups) I used Cabot
  • 2 cups fresh bread cubes (about 4 slices firm white Italian bread, 1/2-inch cube)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 11 1/2 cup chicken broth, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place uncut pumpkin in large shallow dish and add 1/4 inch of water; cover the whole dish tightly as best you can with foil and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until just tender. Let cool. Then cut off ‘lid’ and scrape out pumpkin seeds. Cut and scrape pumpkin meat from inside of shell leaving at least 1/4 inch shell. Chop pumpkin meat into bite-sized pieces. Place pumpkin shell in the refrigerator to chill while completing remainder of recipe.
  2. Mix together cheese and breadcrumbs; set aside.
  3. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and sugar. Stir often until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in apple, 1/2 cup chicken broth, salt, thyme, and pepper, saute until apple is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add chopped pumpkin, about 1 1/2 cup bread-cubes mixture and 1/2 cup broth; cook, stirring until thoroughly heated through.
  4. Transfer mixture into cold pumpkin shell and pour 1/2 cup broth over mixture. Sprinkle remaining bread crumb mixture over top of pumpkin mixture. Cover entire top of pumpkin with foil. Place pumpkin on metal baking sheet (not stoneware! I cracked mine in the heat!) Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes until heated through. Remove foil and broil until breadcrumbs are golden (being careful not to burn pumpkin shell.) Serve in pumpkin shell.

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Thursday 20th of October 2016

This looks delicious! I've always been worried as well about baking sugar pumpkins - good to know it actually works. I'll definitely be giving this a shot!!

Serena Ball

Thursday 20th of October 2016

Oh good. So fun to know you'll be giving it a go...because what's the worst that can happen?! Enjoy Kelli!


Friday 9th of October 2015

Here in Brazil we have a traditional recipe very similar, it´s called " camarão na moranga" ,with shrimps, coconut mil and fresh leaves cilantro. It´s awesome!!

Serena Ball

Friday 9th of October 2015

Wow! Thanks for visiting from Brazil Katharina! I had a pumpkin vine go crazy in my compost pile...from last year. So now I have pumpkins galore. I will try to recreate your shrimp coconut sounds amazing. Thanks so much for sharing about the dish!

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