Calabaza Rellena – Stuffed Pumpkin

Calabaza Rellena – Stuffed Pumpkin
Calabaza Rellena – Stuffed Pumpkin

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La Cocina Goya

Tender, sweet calabaza is a staple ingredient in so many Latin recipes; like stews and beans. Here, the classic winter gourd gets a delicious promotion to the center of the table. Filled with leafy green spinach, creamy evaporated milk and gooey cheese, the calabaza is topped with breadcrumbs and baked until irresistibly golden and bubbly. To serve this beautiful centerpiece, cut into wedges, or simply scoop out the flesh and filling.

  • Ingredients
  • Directions


calabazas (ahuyamas), sugar pumpkins or Kabocha squash (3-to-4 lbs. each)

¼ lb.

cooked country ham, cut into ¼” cubes


onion, finely chopped (about 1¾ cup)

1 bag (16 oz.)

frozen GOYA® Cut Leaf Spinach

2 cups

shredded Colby and Monterey jack cheese


Kitchen View

Step 1

Heat oven to 375°F. Slice 1½” off top ends of pumpkins; discard. Scoop out seeds and stringy pulp; discard pulp and reserve seeds for another use, if desired. Slice ¼” off bottom ends of pumpkins to help stand upright, if needed. Place pumpkins side-by-side in 9”x13” baking dish. Brush outside skin with 2 tsp. olive oil; set aside.

Step 2

Heat remaining olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add ham; cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add onions to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach and Adobo; cook until warmed through and well combined, about 3 minutes. Pour in evaporated milk; bring to boil. Stir in breadcrumbs, cooking until thickened. Remove pan from heat; stir in cheese until melted.

Step 3

Evenly divide spinach mixture among cavities of pumpkins, mounding filling on top. Sprinkle remaining breadcrumbs over filling. Add 1” boiling water to bottom of baking dish; cover loosely with foil. Bake until pumpkins are tender (thin knife inserted into side will show little resistance), about 1 hour. Remove foil and bake until browned and bubbly on top, about 30 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes, and up to 30 minutes, until set. Cut into wedges and serve (note skin is not edible).

Tip by La Cocina Goya

Make-Ahead Stuffed Pumpkins

This Calabaza Rellena-Stuffed Pumpkin recipe can be made the day before the big holiday dinner since the sturdy pumpkins hold up well to refrigeration and reheating. To do, remove the finished pumpkins from the oven (step 3), let cool completely (do not slice into wedges). Then cover well and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, tent with foil and heat in 350°F oven until warmed through, about 30 minutes, slice and serve.

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