Quick, easy Jack-be-Little pumpkin recipe. Stuffed mini pumpkins ready to party. Use this recipe base as a guide to your creativity.

Jack Be Little stuffed mini pumpkins

What Can I Make With Pumpkin?

Autumn is in full swing with all shapes and sizes of pumpkin and squash at our local French market.

We’ve been falling for all sorts of these pumpkin recipes: comforting pots of Leek and Pumpkin Soup, warmed Pumpkin and Parmesan Financiers for pre-dinner drinks, Butternut Walnut Gratin, and – one of our family favourites – Pumpkin and Mushroom Chestnut Tart.

What’s more, the French love the Potimarron. It’s the tough, thicker orange-reddish-skinned round pumpkin that even tastes nutty like a chestnut and the skin is edible once cooked. Known as onion squash in the UK, Japanese or Red Kuri Squash, it’s less watery, and –  crikey, call me mad, but I’ve also made Red Kuri Squash macarons!

Then there are the smallest, cute mini pumpkins for the Autumn table.

colourful pumpkins and winter vegetables French market

Can You Eat Mini Pumpkins?

Don’t just put the smallest, mini pumpkins down to decorating the house or your Autumn table. Mini pumpkins are edible! So, if you’re looking for mini pumpkin recipes, here’s one that’s so tasty, quick and simple to prepare. It’s so easy, my vegetable man at the market told me it over the counter!

What are Mini Pumpkins Called?

Already I mentioned them on le blog (published 15 November 2012) as Jack-be-Little.
Mini pumpkins are also known as Pomarine in France, although they originated in Colorado, USA. Like Potimarrons or Red Kuri Squash, once cooked, the skin is edible and they’re easy to stuff. Their cute size means they’re great as a side-dish for any festive Autumnal table, parties – or what about Thanksgiving?

I didn’t give them enough justice on my creamy lemon sauce recipe for roast chicken or turkey, and realise they need their own recipe post – so here’s the most easy recipe to make ‘Jack Be Little’ Stuffed Mini Pumpkins.

Jack-be-Little Stuffed mini pumpkins

Mini Stuffed Pumpkins – Vegetarian or Vegan

Each mini pumpkin is stuffed with a mushroom, a couple of cooked chestnuts, crème fraîche, fresh herbs, a rasher of bacon and cheese but you can simply follow the recipe below and adapt it to your own tastes:  Vegetarians or Vegans omit the bacon and cheese, and replace with some cooked wild rice or quinoa and nuts – it’s up to your creativity – or cavity?

I’m sticking with what my vegetable man at our local market told me to do years ago: simply cook them first in the microwave, slice off their tops, scoop out the middle seedy bit and replace with this delicious filling and then finish off for a few minutes under the grill.  It’s as simple as that!

Best Autumnal Party Food

These mini pumpkins are great as a side-dish, as a main dish for vegetarians or fun party food. It’s great for Thanksgiving or Christmas as a no-turkey treat!

If you’re preparing them for a party, it couldn’t be easier.  Just prepare them in advance earlier in the day and when ready to serve, simply finish them off under the grill or bake in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes. Moreover, I’ve noticed that everyone adores having their own personal pumpkin on their plate!

Mini Pumpkin Recipe

Clean, prick, cook the pumpkins, prepare the filling, stuff and grill!

Jack Be Little Mini Stuffed Pumpkins

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course : Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Starter, Light Lunch
Cuisine : French
Keyword : stuffed mini pumpkins
Servings : 6 people


Enjoy stuffed mini pumpkins as a side-dish, a light lunch or main dish. What's more, they're tasty, quick and easy too! Use the recipe base as a guide to your creativity.


  • 6 mini pumpkins (Jack-be-Little) washed and dried
  • 6 mushrooms finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 12 pre-cooked chestnuts
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche half fat or full fat
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp cheese (Emmental, Comté, Parmesan, or Cheddar) grated
  • 1/4 tsp freshly milled pepper & pinch fleur de sel
  • 1/4 tsp ground smoked paprika optional


  • Prick each mini pumpkin with a fork and cook them on plate in the microwave for 4 minutes. (If you don't have a microwave, then roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 200°C/180°C fan/400°F.)
  • Set them aside to cool, slice off their tops, then scoop out and discard the middle seedy cavity.
  • In a pan, fry the mushrooms, bacon and garlic in a little olive oil for a about a couple of minutes or until cooked.  Take off the heat, adding all the other ingredients and stuff the mixture into each mini pumpkin cavity.
    (At this point, you can set them aside in advance preparation and simply finish them off in the oven before serving.)
  • Keeping the tops aside for decoration only, place each stuffed pumpkin on a baking dish and place under the grill for 5-10 minutes.


If you're not vegetarian, then add a chopped rasher of smoked bacon to each mini pumpkin. 
For vegans: simply replace the cheese and crème fraîche with cooked quinoa or rice and add nuts of your choice for a no-turkey Thanksgiving or Christmas dish.

From the market

From the kitchen

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Comments (5)

The only time I’ve made stuffed pumpkins was for a French Fridays with Dorie post. I remember being wary, but they were quite good! Yours look terrific!

Thanks, Liz. I was wary when my veg guy told me how quick they were by throwing them in the microwave but it’s brilliant! This year has been a bonus in that mini pumpkins are plentiful, too. Must look out your Dorie post, as I don’t have her book.

Just looked up your Dorie post and it’s one big gorgeous pumpkin that she stuffs, taking 2 hours to cook; these are mini as a side-dish, quick to cook and you have your own little pumpkin all to yourself…

Love the look of this recipe as you can eat everything and nothing is lost

That’s true, Tonio. And I love it because we can change about the fillings.