Sausage Rice Stuffed Pumpkins

3 small pie pumpkins (about 2 pounds each)
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups cooked long grain rice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 450°. Cut a 3-in. circle around each pumpkin stem. Remove tops and set aside. Remove strings and seeds from pumpkins; discard seeds or save for toasting.

In a large skillet, cook sausage, vegetables and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage into crumbles; drain. Remove from heat; stir in rice, 3/4 cup cheese, eggs, parsley, salt and thyme.

Place pumpkins in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan; fill with rice mixture. Replace pumpkin tops. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°. Bake 25-35 minutes longer or until pumpkin is tender when pierced with a knife and a thermometer inserted in filling reads 160°. Sprinkle remaining cheese over filling. To serve, remove rice. Scoop out pumpkin and serve with rice. Makes 12 servings