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Mini Pumpkins with Cajun Cream Cheese Filling


Mini Pumpkins, Cajun, Cream Cheese, Fall, Autumn, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Appetizer, Make-ahead

Mini Pumpkins with Cajun Cream Cheese Filling

Terri Pischoff Wuerthner

These miniature savory treats filled with flavorful cream cheese are the embodiment of fall. The "jack-o-lantern" pumpkins are filled with a delicious, creamy dip that can be spread on crackers, baguette slices, or raw veggies.

They can be prepared ahead, covered and refrigerated and baked just before serving for a delightfully different hot dip. Or, bake them up to two days ahead, cover and refrigerate and serve at room temperature.

They are festive, and add a perfect autumn touch to any party.

These 8-ounce pumpkins are known as Jack-o-Lantern or Jack-be-Little.

Yield: 12 Appetizer Servings


  • 6 mini pumpkins, about 8 ounces each
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 6 small fresh basil or sage leaves for garnish
  • crackers, baguette slices and/or raw vegetables


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Place pumpkins in a baking dish with just enough water to barely cover bottom of pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool. Slice off the top quarter, leaving stem intact and reserving tops. Carefully remove seeds and fiber, and center of pumpkin, leaving at least a 1/2-inch shell to support filling.

Mix remaining ingredients, except herb leaves for garnish, crackers, baguette slices, and raw vegetables. Blend until well-combined and smooth. Divide mixture among pumpkins.

Return pumpkins to pan and bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes, loosely covered with a sheet of foil.

Place an herb leaf on top of cream cheese filling and put pumpkins, topped with lids, on serving platter surrounded by crackers, baguette slices, and/or raw vegetables on which to spread the filling.

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