Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is one of those meals that we only have in the fall, but one I look forward to each year. There is something so neat about cooking a meal inside a vegetable, or is it a fruit? Stuffed peppers, stuffed tomatoes and zucchini boats come to mind. Dinner in a Pumpkin is special, because pumpkins are only available in the stores in the fall. That definitely ups the coolness factor for me.

Here's what you need to make this simple, delicious dinner: smallish pumpkin (sugar or pie pumpkins are fine), ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, water chestnuts, wild rice, onion, brown sugar, Worcestershire Sauce
Start by preparing the pumpkin. Cut open at the top and clean out the seeds and fibers. Discard or make some yummy roasted pumpkin seeds. Set aside. (Just for fun, you could draw a fun Jack-o-lantern face on it with a Sharpie!)

Saute your chopped onion, then add the ground beef and cook until done. Meanwhile, make the wild rice according to the package directions, except only use 1/2 seasoning mix. When it is finished, combine meat, water chestnuts, cream of mushroom soup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Then add in the rice.

Set prepared pumpkin in a baking pan. Spoon meat/rice mixture into the pumpkin and replace lid. Set pan in 350 degree oven (low enough that stem doesn't burn) and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Serve in the shell, scooping out the cooked pumpkin with the meat.
Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 small pumpkin 
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. oil
1 box Long Grain and Wild Rice (only use 1/2 of the seasoning packet when preparing)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 sm. can sliced water chestnuts, diced

Prepare pumpkin by cutting open the top and removing the seeds and fibers. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large pan, saute the onion in oil until translucent. Add in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package instructions, except only use 1/2 of the seasoning packet. When the rice and the meat are cooked, pour mushroom soup, brown sugar, soy sauce and chopped water chestnuts into the meat. Stir to combine, then add in the rice. Place pumpkin in baking dish and spoon the meat/rice mixture into the prepared pumpkin. Replace the "lid".  Place in the preheated oven on a low enough rack to ensure the stem doesn't burn. Bake for 1- 1 1/2 hours, or until the pumpkin is softened enough to scoop out with the meat mixture. Serves 6-8.
This is the perfect meal to have ready to eat before your kiddos head off to load up on sugar. The cooked pumpkin pairs wonderfully with the savory meat and rice. Need more pumpkin inspiration? How about a little something for dessert?
Do you have any recipes that you only cook during the fall months? I'd love to hear what they are! In fact, why don't you link them up to our It's Fall Y'all Link Party that goes live tomorrow morning? Hope to see you there!
I'm linking up at some of these great parties and


  1. Wow! That sounds yummy! This is the first time I've heard of dinner in a pumpkin - how easy is that! Gotta try it!

  2. this is so yummy, my mom just made it yesterday and im glad i can pin it now to my boards :)

  3. The rice side looks so yummy! I'll totally be giving it a go!

    Tenns @ New Mama Diaries

  4. Fun and different.

    It's a treat to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  5. This looks amazing, I love it! My daughter loves pumpkin, I think I will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This is almost the exact same recipe I've made for years, and it is so delicious! It's such a fun thing to do!

  7. Your recipe sounds so good. I do this each year too but make beef stew in it. I'll have to try yours. I love it that you can eat the dish. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful day.

  8. Hi Nici. I thought this dinner in a pumpkin recipe was so cool! Thanks for linking up to the Sweet Wednesday Link Party! Hope you're having a great week.


  9. Looks yummy thanks for sharing Jennifer

  10. What a charming idea! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  11. I love the stuffing for your pumpkin, this would be so full of flavor. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  12. What a great idea, pinning to my everything yummy board.

  13. Looks good! I will have to give this a try someday! Thanks for sharing! :)


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