Russian Pumpkin-Rice Casserole

Russian Pumpkin-Rice Casserole

Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
406 Calories
17g Fat
64g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 406
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 14mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Protein 6g
Calcium 88mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Russian Pumpkin-Rice Casserole Recipe, or Tykvy Ris Zapekanka, is also known as Pumpkin-Rice Porridge or Risovaya Kasha s Tykvoy. In Russian. The word kasha refers to any cooked grain or cereal. The most popular kashas are made with buckwheat, millet, semolina, oats, barley, and rice. In the U.S., "kasha" refers to toasted buckwheat groats which are often used in Jewish cooking as a stuffing in knishes and other recipes, and in the popular dish known as Kasha Varnishkes.

Although traditionally served as a side dish, it could be served as a warm dessert (after all, pumpkins and other squash are fruits, not vegetables) if you amp up the sugar, similar to a pumpkin rice pudding or custard.

This would make a great centerpiece for any autumn-themed dinner since it is baked in a hollowed-out pumpkin shell (although it will bake fine in a casserole dish, too).


Steps to Make It

  1. Wash and dry the pumpkin. Cut the stem end off and set aside. Remove strings and seeds of pumpkin and discard, or roast the seeds later. Using a melon baller or other tool, scoop out as much pumpkin flesh as you can without piercing the skin and thinning the walls too much. Chop the flesh and set aside.

  2. In a large saucepan, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil and add the rinsed rice. Cover and cook over high heat until still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain well.

  3. Meanwhile, heat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine chopped pumpkin, partially cooked rice, raisins, dried sour (or sweet) cherries, and melted butter. Season with sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

  4. Because it will expand, stuff the pumpkin shell loosely with the mixture and sprinkle with the hot water. Place the reserved pumpkin lid on tightly. Place on baking sheet and bake till pumpkin is tender (when the tip of a thin knife can easily be inserted into the pumpkin), about 2 hours. Remove from oven. Let cool about 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Source: Adapted from a recipe on