Easy Dinner in a Pumpkin Recipe

by Mel

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How to cook dinner in a pumpkin the easy way. A very simple recipe for the beginner cook, you can make dinner in a pumpkin and actually like it! 


A few nights ago, we were the lucky dinner guests of a good friend who let us be a part of one of her family’s favorite Halloween tradition: Making Dinner in a Pumpkin.

Cooking dinner in a pumpkin has always been on my Fall bucket list.

But my fear always got to me and it just seemed too complicated.

Until now that is. Making your dinner in a pumpkin is actually really easy and won’t take much more effort than making an ordinary dinner would take.  

I can say easy because after my friend taught us how she did it, we’ve made it every year since. I love having dinner planned for me! 


I’m not usually one for cream soups in recipes, but when I need a quick recipe for our dinner in a pumpkin, I’m okay to use it! The flavors of this recipe combine so well, especially with the cooked pumpkin. 

  • small to medium pumpkin
  • ground beef
  • cooked rice
  • mushrooms
  • water chestnuts
  • Cream of Chicken soup
  • soy sauce
  • brown sugar 

The great thing about this dinner is you can prep most of the ingredients ahead of time, so when you are ready to cook, you can just throw everything into the pumpkin quickly. 


You can have the rice, ground beef or chicken already cooked a day or two early.  Keep it in the rridge until the day of. 

I don’t know about you, but dinner time is always crazy. So I love cleaning my pumpkin the morning we are going to eat it. Once the seeds are cleaned out and the jack-o-lantern face is drawn on, I just keep it in the fridge until prep time. 

With your pumpkin cleaned and prepped, you’ll just mix all the ingredients together to make a casserole-type dish. Scoop it inside the pumpkin and bake in the oven for about 1 hour until the pumpkin meat is tender. 



Dinner in a Pumpkin

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Cooking dinner in a pumpkin is easier than you think with this simple, family-friendly recipe!



  • 1 small to medium pumpkin (always go with smaller and round so that it will fit in your oven)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 oz canned or fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 8 oz water chestnuts, drained


  1. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and thoroughly clean out the seeds and pulp. Paint a Jack-O-Lantern face with a permanent marker.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. In a large fry pan, saute onions with ground beef until browned. Drain any fat. Add in soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, and soup. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in cooked rice and water chestnuts.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the pumpkin shell. Replace pumpkin top and place entire filled pumpkin on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake 1 hour or until meat of the pumpkin is tender. Put pumpkin on a platter to serve.


Original recipe from Allison Grow

  • Category: Main Dish

Keywords: dinner in pumpkin, Halloween

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