Dinner in a pumpkin: Halloween fun!

Posted on October 31, 2011


Yes, this pumpkin looks a little scary.

Fact is, he’s been roasted whole.

I started making “Dinner in a Pumpkin” many years ago when my kids were tiny.  Then it became a tradition.  My kids think this is what MUST be done before they head out trick or treating.  It has become a tradition.  I didn’t really plan on doing it this year but they got all bent out of shape.  But it really is kinda fun and the filling is yummy.  We serve it up, calling it “pumpkin brains.”  This is the one recipe where I will actually use canned “cream oh” soup.  One of these days, I will devise a recipe that does not use it.  But, since I only make this once a year, I guess it is not a huge priority.

Find a pumpkin that is on the smaller side of medium.  Scoop it extra clean on the inside.  Draw a face on your pumpkin with permanent marker. Then set aside.  Meanwhile, cook together:

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. extra lean ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

8 oz sliced mushrooms

Season lightly with salt & pepper

Once the meat is cooked and veggies are soft, add:

2 T. brown sugar

2 T. soy sauce

1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup

3 c. cooked brown rice

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained (optional)

More salt & pepper to taste as needed

Mix all together and then fill your pumpkin!  Place on a foil lined cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for about an hour to a little over that.  You just want the filling cooked through.  If you use a pie pumpkin, you can scoop up the walls of the pumpkin for the veggie.  I would not recommend eating a Jack-O-Lantern, however.  Not so tasty.  We don’t eat the pumpkin those years.  Sometimes I can’t find pie pumpkins big enough.  Kids think this is so festive, even if the pumpkin looks pretty sad after being in the oven for so long.  Fitting for Halloween though, right?