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pumpkin stuffed

Vegan Turkish Rice Stuffed Pumpkins: Balkabağı Dolması

  • Author: Gonul
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 slices 1x


The perfect blend of sweet & savory, these vegan Turkish rice stuffed pumpkins will make a stunning Thanksgiving centerpiece! Easy-to-make, gluten-free, allergen/WFPB-friendly.



For the Pumpkin:

  • 1 large pumpkin (or 3 times as many small pumpkins)
  • 2 tbsp molasses (grape or blackstrap)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup medium grain rice (arborio or baldo preferred)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup almonds, whole, roasted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 4 dill sprigs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, soak the rice in drinking water with salt.
  2. Wash the pumpkins, cut out the tops, then scoop out the seeds inside.
  3. Brush the inside of the pumpkins with molasses and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Put the tops back on then bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. To make the filling, sautee the onions in olive oil for 5 minutes in a medium-sized pan. Then add the almonds and sautee for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rice, cinnamon, parsley, and salt.
  6. When the pumpkins are done with their initial bake, stuff them with the rice filling. Add the orange juice and water. Stir everything.
  7. Seal with the pumpkin caps and bake for 1 hour.
  8. Let slightly cool before serving with fresh dill, and cut into slices if desired.
  9. It will keep in an airtight container in the refridgerator for 3-5 days. You may also freeze this dish after cutting into slices for up to 3 months.


  • You may omit the olive oil and use brown or wild rice to make this dish whole-food-plant-based.
  • Omit the almonds and add pumpkin seeds to make it dish nut-allergy-friendly.
  • Depending on the BTU output of your oven, the rice may need more or less water. Check 45 minutes into the bake to make this adjustment.
  • You can make the rice filling one day ahead if you are planning to serve this dish the next day when you will be preoccupied.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Dinner, Holiday
  • Method: Sautee, Bake
  • Cuisine: Turkish


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 1617
  • Sugar: 63.5 g
  • Sodium: 1137.5 mg
  • Fat: 77.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 197.2 g
  • Fiber: 16.7 g
  • Protein: 45 g
  • Cholesterol: 231.4 mg

Keywords: pumpkin, rice, thanksgiving, turkish, traditional