Have you ever had dinner in a pumpkin? It literally is just that (...unless you're thinking it's all of us sitting down to eat a meal in a giant pumpkin, then you're wrong. And I'm bummed, cause that would be so great). But really, it's a meal baked in and served from a pumpkin!
The first time I experienced this fall dinner delight was while I was in Idaho at college. My friend, Jill, invited a bunch of us over for a fancy fall feast. It was amazing. And I was so impressed that our dinner was being served from a pumpkin. Does it get more fall than that? I decided to cook this fun dish for dinner last night because my parents were coming over to eat with us. The recipe makes a lot, so I wanted to make it when I knew we would be having guests. It was a hit!
There are lots of recipes dishes you can make in a pumpkin, but this is the one I chose (and loved. Seriously, I think I had thirds at dinner. And I went back later and snuck some for dessert).
Dinner In A Pumpkin
- 1 medium pumpkin (6-10 lbs)
- 2 lbs ground beef (cooked)
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 sliced carrots
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 Tbsp. garlic salt
- 1 celery stalk (sliced)
- 1 yellow pepper (diced)
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Bring all ingredients, except pumpkin, to a boil in a pot and simmer for 10 minutes*. While the beef mixture is simmering, cut the lid from pumpkin and scoop out seeds** and strands, cleaning out the inside. Place the pumpkin on a sturdy baking pan and fill with beef mixture. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you may not be able to fit all the stew mixture inside -bake any extra stew in a covered dish. Place the lid on the pumpkin and bake at 350F for approximately 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours, or until pumpkin is tender and slightly brown. We all had seconds (some had thirds) and we still have leftovers, so I'd guess this could easily serve 6. (original recipe found here)
tip: when serving, scrape the inside of the pumpkin a little whenever you're scooping out a serving. The pumpkin is baked and tastes awesome with the rest of the stew stuff.
*I don't know about you, but my mixture had, like, no liquid to it. So it didn't boil. I just skipped this step;)
**I saved some of the seeds and roasted them and then used them on top of the salad we served with dinner. Here's an easy recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds. And for our salad, I used the Trader Joe's cilantro dressing and it was soooo good! It is a total dupe for the cilantro dressing at Costa Vida, and tasted awesome with this meal.
For dessert, try this recipe for chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!