Dinner in a Pumpkin
Baked pumpkin filled with savory meat and veggies - and best of all, you can eat the container! To call this Fall comfort food would be an understatement! Be sure to use a smaller pumpkin (4-5 lbs). If you need to serve more than 6, plan on using multiple pumpkins rather than one large pumpkin.
Servings
6
Cook Time
1 hour plus
Servings
6
Cook Time
1 hour plus
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and thoroughly clean out the seeds and pulp. Rinse well and pat the inside dry.
  3. In a large skillet, sauté the onions in oil until tender.
  4. Add the meat and brown. Drain the drippings ,if any, from the skillet.
  5. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar (if using), mushrooms and soup. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the cooked rice and water chestnuts. Stir to combine.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the cleaned pumpkin shell. Replace the pumpkin top and place the filled pumpkin in a shallow cake pan or on a rimmed baking sheet which has been lined with foil.
  8. Bake for 1 hour, or until the flesh of the pumpkin is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Depending on the size of the pumpkin - this could take up to 2 hours.
  9. Put the pumpkin on a platter. Remove lid and serve the meat/rice filling. Don't forget to scoop out some of the cooked pumpkin to eat as well.
Recipe Notes

Make sure to use a rimmed baking sheet or pan as the pumpkin can get quite weepy during the baking process.  Lining it with either foil or parchment paper will aid in cleanup.

I have made this using a higher temperature (425 degrees) during the latter portion of the baking -which enabled me to bake cornbread at the same time - and had great success.  Just lightly cover the top of the pumpkin with foil to prevent browning/scorching if needed.

This meal can be made vegetarian by using a vegetable based soup, omitting the meat and adding additional vegetables - eggplant, celery, grated carrots, etc.  The vegetables will need to be sweated or sauteed before adding - to make sure that the filling isn't too moist.