A Meal in a Pumpkin

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A Meal in a Pumpkin is a delightful dish that combines the flavors of various ingredients cooked inside a hollowed-out pumpkin. It’s not only a delicious meal but also a visually appealing centerpiece for fall gatherings. This recipe has a rich history of being enjoyed during autumn and Thanksgiving celebrations. Here’s the recipe, along with its ingredients, instructions, and preparation steps:

Recipe: A Meal in a Pumpkin

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  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or sage
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • Olive oil for sautéing

Recipe Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Begin by cleaning the pumpkin. Cut off the top to create a lid, and scoop out the seeds and pulp from inside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and fragrant.
  4. Add the ground beef or turkey to the skillet. Cook until browned and fully cooked, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks.
  5. Mix in the diced tomatoes, corn, peas, cooked rice, salt, black pepper, and dried thyme or sage. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth to moisten the mixture and enhance the flavors. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Carefully fill the hollowed pumpkin with the mixture, packing it gently as you go. You can layer some grated cheese between the mixture layers for added flavor.
  8. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet. Put the lid back on the pumpkin.
  9. Bake the pumpkin in the preheated oven for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the pumpkin flesh is tender when pierced with a fork. The exact baking time may vary based on the size of the pumpkin.
  10. During the last 15 minutes of baking, you can remove the lid and sprinkle more cheese on top to melt and create a delicious crust.
  11. Once the pumpkin is fully cooked, carefully remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
  12. To serve, scoop out portions of the pumpkin flesh along with the flavorful filling.

Preparation Time:

  • Preparing the ingredients: Approximately 30 minutes
  • Cooking and baking time: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Total time: Approximately 2.5 to 2.75 hours

Enjoy your Meal in a Pumpkin as a wholesome and creative dish that captures the essence of autumn!

Certainly, here are the nutrition facts and some health information for the “A Meal in a Pumpkin” recipe:

Nutrition Facts (Approximate values per serving):

  • Calories: Around 350-400 kcal
  • Protein: About 20-25g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 30-35g
  • Dietary Fiber: Around 4-6g
  • Sugars: About 4-6g
  • Total Fat: Approximately 15-18g
  • Saturated Fat: Around 7-9g
  • Cholesterol: About 50-60mg
  • Sodium: Approximately 600-700mg

Health Information:

  • Protein: This recipe is a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Carbohydrates: The carbohydrates come from sources like rice, vegetables, and pumpkin. They provide energy and fiber.
  • Fiber: The dish contains dietary fiber from vegetables and pumpkin, promoting digestive health and helping with satiety.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: The pumpkin, vegetables, and meat contribute various vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
  • Moderation: While the recipe provides valuable nutrients, be mindful of portion sizes due to the presence of cheese and fat.
  • Saturated Fat: The cheese and meat contribute saturated fat. While fat is essential, try to limit saturated fat intake for heart health.
  • Sodium: The sodium content might be relatively high due to broth and seasonings. Consider using low-sodium options if you’re watching your sodium intake.
  • Customization: You can customize the recipe by using leaner meats, whole grain rice, and adjusting the cheese quantity for your dietary preferences.

Remember that the actual nutritional content may vary based on ingredient brands, portion sizes, and other factors. It’s a good idea to calculate nutrition based on the specific ingredients you use if you need precise information.

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