The Ultimate Vegan-Friendly BBQ’d Pumpkin, Mushroom Stuffing and Sticky Onion Gravy

Prep Time 1 hour | Cooking Time 1.5-2 hours | Serves 6
What turkey? This Christmas I’m tucking into a glorious barbecued pumpkin, rubbed with cumin and paprika, stuffed with mushrooms and served with a sweet, sticky onion gravy. Scroll down for more…


It’s the second day of summer which means there are only 22 more sleeps until Christmas. Here in Sydney it’s been a scorcher so I think it’s definitely time for creamy gelato, trips to the beach and of course, a good old Aussie barbecue. The team from Barbeques Galore have kindly sponsored this post, and have invited me to put together a tasty recipe to celebrate their range of barbeques which would make a great gift to a loved one (or even to yourself). This Christmas, I feel like swapping the traditional turkey and trimmings for a lighter, veggie-based option. Don’t think I’m holding back on the flavour though. In fact, I’m going all-out with my ultimate vegan-friendly barbecued pumpkin, rubbed with a spicy blend of cumin, rosemary and smoked paprika. I’ll fill it with a garlicky mushroom and onion stuffing, then wrap the whole hog, so-to-speak, in a foil parcel before barbecuing until tender. The icing on the cake will be my sweet, sticky onion gravy, which could not be easier to make. Keep reading to find out how you could whip up this mouth-watering vegan lunch for your family this Christmas, and be sure to leave me a comment at the bottom of the page if you liked the recipe or if you have any questions.


  • ½ medium Jap pumpkin (about 500g), skin on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium brown onions, finely diced
  • 200g cup mushrooms, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • ½ cup sweet vermouth
  • 2 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
Sticky Onion Gravy
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • ½ cup sweet vermouth
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tsp chilli powder, or smoked paprika

Prepare the barbecue. Heat a hooded gas or portable barbecue according to the manufacturer’s directions. We’re essentially going to roast the pumpkin, so it’s a good idea to set up a roasting rack if you have one.

Marinate the pumpkin. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds with a metal spoon and wash the skin thoroughly to remove any dirt. Trim away any damaged or bruised skin with a small, sharp knife. Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl, then rub all over the pumpkin and in the cavity containing the seeds. Set aside.

Make the stuffing. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, garlic and season with salt and pepper. If you like, you could also throw in an extra 2 tsp each ground cumin and smoked paprika at this stage. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the onions are brown, and the mushrooms have reduced. Stir through the rosemary and breadcrumbs to form a loose crumb. Place the stuffing mixture in a  mixing bowl. To help the stuffing bind together, place the plain flour in a small bowl and add 4 tbsp water. Stir to make a roux, or paste and add to the stuffing bowl. Using your hands, or a wooden spoon, knead the stuffing until it forms a soft dough.

Stuff the pumpkin. Fill the pumpkin cavity with stuffing. Wrap the entire pumpkin with foil, sealing the edges well to ensure there are no gaps.

Cook the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin onto the roasting rack on your barbecue. Cook for 1.5-2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender. You may need to check a couple of times during the cooking as times may vary.

Make the gravy. While the pumpkin roasts, make the sticky onion gravy by heating the oil and onions in a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and caramelised. Add the vermouth, barbecue sauce and paprika and cook for a further 5 minutes to caramelise. If the gravy is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to loosen it.

Serve the pumpkin. When the pumpkin is tender and cooked-through, remove to a chopping board and allow to cool. Slice into wedges and serve with the sticky onion gravy. This pumpkin would taste delicious served with my Spring Beans and Greens Salad, or my Carrot and Orange Salad with Parsley Stalk Pesto.




What are you cooking for your family this Christmas? Share your recipes and food photos by tagging #brendonthesmilingchef and #whatsbrendoncooking on Instagram or Tweeting to @bthesmilingchef, or leave me a comment below.

Happy cooking and keep smiling,

Brendon 🙂

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. this looks so beautiful! What a brilliant idea for a veggie christmas… I am actually planning a veggie christmas this year and I may add this to the meal… love your recipe for stuffing x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the kind feedback Domonic! Really glad you like it. Though I’m not strictly vegan myself, I really enjoy the cooking style. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and Happy Cooking. Would love to see a photo if you make it 😉


  2. This is just the most clever idea I’ve seen in a while! Sound like it taste amazing as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! Really glad you liked the post and thanks so much for leaving a comment. Hope you get to try it out. Have a great Christmas season!


  3. chefceaser says:

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.


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