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Dinner in a Pumpkin; the Perfect Halloween Meal

dinner in a pumpkin – an autumn feast

I am always striving to run my home like Mrs. Cleaver, but the reality is that I am more like Peg Bundy. I know Mrs. Cleaver  probably served her children dinner in a pumpkin before trick or treating every year. I, on the other hand, have read the recipe for it every year in my favorite food column, the Forum in the Everett Herald (original title: Bonnie’s dinner in a pumpkin from Cindy) , and only dreamt of making it…Well, watch out June, I finally got my act together and made it. Well, maybe not exactly on Halloween, but close enough!  Everyone loved it, especially Mr. D. I doubled the recipe because of the Wilsons’ hearty appetite, used a larger pumpkin and  baked it a little longer. You could probably use any stew or chili type recipe you like, but this one was very good. Be sure to scrape some of the cooked pumpkin into each serving – it’s really tasty.

Dinner in A Pumpkin

Adapted from The Everett Herald Forum Column


  • 1 5-7 pound pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped (I used both)
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 t. salt (you may use a little less, I found it a bit salty)
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 can (4 oz) mushrooms, undrained
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Cooking Directions:

  1. Clean outside of pumpkin, cut a lid, and scrape out all of the seeds and membrane from the inside.
  2. Brown the hamburger in a large skillet with the pepper, celery and onion.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, soup and rice. Mix in the hamburger mixture.
  4. Place inside the pumpkin and put the lid on. Place the pumpkin on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. If you want to get really creative you can decorate the cooked pumpkin with toothpicks and edibles such as olives, baby carrots, etc.
  6. enjoy!


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