30 Oct Dinner in a Pumpkin

Every year for Halloween, our family makes a Dinner in a Pumpkin. We love this tradition. You are probably wonder what in the world is Dinner in a Pumpkin? Basically I make some sort of dinner “stuffing” and then cook it in a cleaned out pumpkin. I usually don’t make the same exact recipe. I honestly just make it up and have never written down the recipe. This year I wanted to share this idea with all of you as a fun, healthy Halloween tradition to do with your family. I created this recipe with my children in mind. What would they like? I went for a tomato, hamburger soup taste. I added carrots and celery for extra vegetables. The soup has rice and hamburger meat so the carbs and protein are covered. It is a great, well balanced meal with a taste children will enjoy. It is gluten free and dairy free to accommodate a wider audience. This recipe could easily be made vegetarian/vegan by omitting the hamburger. Lentils, beans, or other vegetables could be added instead. I added beef broth, but a vegetable broth would also work just fine. I cooked the rice earlier this week with a previous meal so the preparation was pretty slick. It only took me about 25 minutes or so. I then put the hamburger tomato mixture into the cleaned out pumpkin and cooked it for about an hour. It does take time, but the prep time is simple. Dinner in a Pumpkin will look far more sophisticated than it really is and your family will definitely be impressed.


After the pumpkin “stuffing” is cooked, transfer the mixture into the pumpkin. Leave pumpkin uncovered and cook for 1 hour at 350.
Remove from oven. Scrap off pumpkin off the sides and stir into tomato mixture. Scrap off as much pumpkin as desired. Chop op big chunks of pumpkin. Stir to combine.Spoon into bowls and serve.


Dinner in a Pumpkin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8-10 servings
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 10 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz. can beef broth
  • 2 c. cooked brown rice
  • 2 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  1. Cut out the top of the pumpkin. Remove seeds and pumpkin guts.
  2. Rub a little oil on the outside of the of pumpkin.
  3. Place pumpkin on a cooking sheet and set aside.
  4. Dice one small onion. (I chop my onion on variable 3-4 in a vitamix, or other higher powered blender).
  5. Peel and chop carrots. (I also use my vitamix)
  6. Chop celery into small slices.
  7. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  8. Add onion and garlic cloves and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add chopped carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 350.
  11. Add diced tomatoes, broth, cooked rice, tomato sauce. Reduce heat, cover skillet, and simmer.
  12. While the tomato mixture is simmering, brown 1 lb. hamburger in a separate skillet.
  13. Add cooked hamburger to tomato mixture. Remove from heat and pour into cleaned out pumpkin.
  14. Place pumpkin into oven and cook for about 1 hour. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of pumpkin.
This recipe can easily be made vegetarian/vegan by omitting the hamburger. Lentils, beans, or additional vegetables can be added. Vegetable broth can be substituted for beef broth.