yummy and easy dinner in a pumpkin recipe!

every year in october, right before halloween, my in-laws all get together and have dinner in a pumpkin.

no, we don’t eat our dinner inside of a giant pumpkin (which would be awesome). it is kinda a casserole type dish that is made and put in a pumpkin and then you cook it in your oven!

before i get started sharing how to make it, i just want to say thanks to my mother-in-law, robyn! she is the lovely hand model in the photos…and this is her recipe that she has been using for about 15 years! of course a few tweaks here and there, but only to make it better!

when we make it we usually make two large pumpkins so we triple or quadruple the recipe because we have TONS of family that love to eat lots of this. i would recommend starting out with the recommended small/medium pumpkin first to see how you like it and then maybe go for a large one next time for leftovers 🙂




1 small-medium pumpkin
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1.5-2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey
2 tbsp. sot sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 (4 oz) can of sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1.5 cups cooked white rice
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts drained
.5 cup celery, chopped


cleaning out

before you start anything, preheat your oven to 350 dregrees! i always forget to preheat my oven first.

step one: clean the pumpkin! cut the top of the pumpkin off and clean the insides of the pumpkin, or make your husband do it like i did, haha just like if you were making a jack-o-lantern. after the insides are all clean, then wash the outside in the sink. DON’T FORGET TO KEEP THE TOP! you’ll need it for later.

step two: in a large skillet (or giant pot like we did) heat up your oil and sautée your chopped onions and celery until the are tender. (we forgot to do this first, oops)

dinner in a pumpkin

step three: add in your ground meat or ground turkey and cook until all the meat is browned. drain the excess grease from the meat.

step four: add in the soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, soup, rice and water chestnuts and mix all that up. (we put extra soup to make it saucier. we like things saucy.) it’s supposed to look kinda gross…but it tastes so good!

step five: put the yummy concoction inside your cleaned pumpkin and put the lid back on. put the pumpkin on a baking sheet and stick that sucker in the oven. cook between 1.5 to 2 hours. the outside of the pumpkin will look kinda brown, like it has been sunbathing for too long and you want the meat/pulp of the pumpkin to be tender.

dinner in a pumpkin before and after

step six: SERVE AND ENJOY! you can add hot sauce to it if you like some heat or cheese, but i don’t think you need to. it’s pretty delicious by itself. make sure to get some of the yummy pumpkin meat/pulp when you scoop it out!

if you make it let me know!! it is super easy and yummy!

have a happy thanksgiving guys!




28 thoughts on “yummy and easy dinner in a pumpkin recipe!

  1. Ooh, how great. I’m pinning this to make it with the littles next Halloween……how great! [My Gran used to make a more tomato-y based stew and cook it inside a hollowed out bread – I remember it was delicious!]….


  2. THIS IS AMAZING! I am definitely going to do this next year. Consider it Pinned! We’re all out of pumpkins for this year up here in Canada other wise I would do it tomorrow. – Thanks for sharing Britney & Robyn

    Liked by 1 person

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