Yes to oven roasted pumpkin! That’s right, it’s the time of year again. Pumpkin recipes are on the rise! And this one, I have to say is pretty special. First there is oven roasted pumpkin specially prepared with ginger, garlic, fresh chilies, coriander and a little honey (or maple syrup for vegans!). All tossed together with Hokkaido pumpkin (my favourite!) and roasted in the oven to perfection. Then served tossed in a lemony bulgur salad with fresh cilantro, mint, roasted almonds, pomegranate and crumbled feta cheese. What a combo! Vibrant with color, simple and delicious! Plus leftovers also taste great!
Roasted pumpkin and bulgur salad tastes great with feta
First of all, I am a big fan of Hokkaido pumpkin and feta together. You can practically just roast the two together and call it a meal. Which is probably what inspired me to make my recipe for oven roasted pumpkin with feta. As simple as it sounds, there’s a little more to it than that. Like almonds, parsley and a little chili. It’s one of my fall favourites and definitely worth a try. So yes pumpkin and feta. The feta of course is optional in this recipe, but I definitely recommend including it. I’ve done a version with and without, and my favourite Schwabe, although he’s not vegan, would tell you he likes the version sans feta best. So I say, serve the feta on the side, and give both ways a try.
What is Hokkaido pumpkin?
Hokkaido pumpkin’s name comes from its home – an island in Japan. It’s only in the last 20 years has the Hokkaido pumpkin also been cultivated in Europe and has since then become a really popular choice during fall. Compared to its pumpkin relatives, the solid, tasty orange-red flesh of Hokkaido pumpkin is extremely nutrient dense. This is because it contains less water than other pumpkins. It also has a low-fat content, making it the ideal fall vegetable for those watching their figure. The color already indicates that it is loaded with beta carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A and is vital for a healthy vision, skin and hair. And because the skin is edible you will get even more beta-carotene than from other pumpkins.
Ginger-Chili Oven Roasted Pumpkin with Bulgur Salad
- 1,3 kg Hokkaido pumpkin. ends trimmed, seeded and cut into evenly sized chunks, approximately 2-3cm wide.
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 fresh red chilies, seeds, membranes removed and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2,5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey (for vegans: maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup bulgur (200g)
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- juice of one large lemon, plus more to taste
- small bunch cilantro, chopped
- handful mint leaves, chopped
- 4 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted (ca 30 g)
- seeds from ½ a pomegranate
- crumbled feta, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 200°C / 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin pieces with the ginger, chili, garlic, olive oil, honey and coriander; season well with salt and pepper and toss until well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through until the pumpkin is golden and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile cook bulgur according to package instructions. Drain excess liquid if necessary and transfer to a large serving bowl to cool while the pumpkin finishes roasting.
- Add the slightly cooled pumpkin to the bowl with the bulgur (including the bits of chili, ginger and oil from the baking sheet).
- Squeeze over the lemon juice, add the herbs, and half of roasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. Toss to combine, adjust seasoning as desired and scatter with the remaining almonds and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with crumbled feta, serving more on the side, if desired. (I think feta makes it even tastier!).
- Serve at room temperature and enjoy!
- Make this recipe gluten-free by switching out the bulgur for quinoa or millet.
- For a vegan version, trade honey for maple syrup and skip the feta.
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