Pumpkin Cheese Chowder

This pumpkin chowder is served in a pumpkin. Place it on a very large platter with sides to prevent leaks.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 45 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 8 small baking pumpkins
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 oz.) solid-packed pumpkin
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1½ cups 1% milk
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp low-fat Cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • ⅓ cup minced flat-leaf parsley


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Use a paring knife to cut the top off each pumpkin. Remove the top and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Brush the insides with the butter and sprinkle with salt. Place the pumpkins and tops on a lined baking sheet, and bake until tender, about 25 minutes or until pumpkins are tender when pierced with a fork, but still hold their shape.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add broth, canned pumpkin, pepper, and nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, purée the soup. Combine ½ cup milk with cornstarch and blend well; add remaining milk and stir. Add milk mixture, cheese, and wine to soup and heat until the cheese melts and soup is hot, stirring frequently.
  • Place the baked pumpkins on individual plates and pour in the soup. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.