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Baked pumpkin and watercress fondue

22 July 2019

This dish of a hollowed out pumpkin baked with a rich, creamy melted cheese filling makes a great starter on autumn days.

Baked pumpkin fondue
Baked pumpkin fondue

Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

1 hour 30 minutes


4 as a starter


  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 30g watercress, roughly chopped
  • 2 small shallots, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 150g grated mature cheddar
  • 150g grated Gruyère
  • 150g grated Emmental
  • 25g plain flour (or use cornflour for gluten free)
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 150g crème fraiche
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To serve (optional)

  • Crusty bread
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Roasted baby potatoes


Pre-heat the oven to 170ᵒC. Take a sharp knife and carefully remove the ‘lid’ of the pumpkin, keeping to one side. Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides from the pumpkin, leaving the edible flesh intact. Put the lid back on the pumpkin and place onto an oven tray. Roast the pumpkin in the oven for around 45 minutes, or until the flesh is just cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make up the fondue mixture.

Take a large mixing bowl and add in the grated cheese, watercress and plain flour. Mix together thoroughly so that the cheese and watercress are evenly coated with a fine layer of flour. In a separate bowl, mix together the crème fraiche, white wine, shallot and garlic, along with a little ground black pepper (to taste). Combine the cheese mixture and the crème fraîche, then take a spoon and carefully fill up the pumpkin with the cheesy mix. Put the pumpkin back into the oven for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Take the pumpkin out of the oven and carefully transfer to a board for serving. Serve with bread, potatoes, or roasted vegetables for dunking, using spoons or fondue forks to dip into the fondue and scoop out the soft roasted pumpkin.

Note: The pumpkin can be roasted ahead of time and kept refrigerated for up to 48 hours but you will need to add around 20 minutes extra onto the oven time for the fondue to melt as the pumpkin will be cold inside.

Our thanks to for providing this recipe.

Visit our autumn recipe section for more delicious meal ideas


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.