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Dinner in a Pumpkin- A Fun Halloween Tradition


Make this simple dinner in a pumpkin recipe for a fun family Halloween memory.

How to Make Dinner in a Pumpkin- Halloween Tradition- Family Halloween Tradition- Halloween Dinner Idea

Dinner in a Pumpkin- A Fun Family Tradition

A few years 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. I had always wanted to try making dinner in a pumpkin, but it seemed way to complicated. Until I learned from my friend that it was actually quite easy.

Even if you are not a gourmet cook, making dinner in a pumpkin is simple and delicious. There are just a few steps to follow and before you  know it, you’ll have a festive dinner for your family or friends.

Cook Dinner in a Pumpkin: A Halloween Tradition!


How to Make Dinner in a Pumpkin

There are lots of dinner in a pumpkin recipes out there, but we always use this one from my friend Alli because it’s simple and delicious. The full recipe is below, but here is the rundown:

  • Pick out a medium-size pumpkin. You’ll want to be sure to get one that will fit in your oven!
  • Clean out the pumpkin, removing all seeds as best you can.
  • Draw a Jack-0-lantern face on the outside with permanent black marker. Place on a large cookie sheet— this is the one we use!
  • Brown the meat and onions, and then combine all the rest of the ingredients.
  • Place the dinner mixture into the pumpkin and bake.

Make your entire dinner festive by serving these sides with your dinner in a pumpkin.

Dinner in a Pumpkin Recipe

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Yield: 6 servings


  • 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


Be sure to tag your dinner in a pumpkin on social media with @sofestive and #celebratesimpler. I’d love to feature you! 

 Check out all 31 Days of Simple Halloween Ideas Here

31 Days of Halloween-sofestive


Melissa loves simply celebrating life through holidays, travel, photography, and the simple moments at home. Her best friend Brandon and her are raising their 4 adorable little ones just north of Salt Lake City, UT. Sunshine, gelato, a good run, planning a trip, and an organized house make her really happy. She loves sharing simple ideas to inspire everyone to celebrate life. Simply.

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  1. Alli Thompson October 29, 2017

    Hi! Do you use a baking pumpkin and eat the pumpkin flesh with the meat filling, too? Excited to try this!

    1. Melissa Sunday October 30, 2017

      Yes, a small baking pumpkin or regular carving pumpkin. Just make sure it will fit in your oven! And yes, we eat the pumpkin flesh with the mixture!

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