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Stuffed Pumpkin


This special Stuffed Pumpkin is a meal our kids look forward to every season and has become one of our favorite Fall food traditions! It’s a hearty, nutritious meal that is packed with flavor and served right from the pumpkin!

Dinner in a pumpkin, scooped into a white serving bowl and topped with fresh sage.

Festive and Delicious Stuffed Pumpkin Dinner

When you start talking to people about their family traditions, food seems to be a common theme.  It only makes sense though – what else brings family together faster than a delicious meal? I remember my Grandma saying that if you want people to always want to come over to your house, then always have good food around. How right she was.

This fun and festive dinner is one of those traditions. Wild rice, ground beef and mushrooms are coated in a delicious, flavor-packed sauce and cook right in the pumpkin. When it’s done baking, you scoop it out, right along with the perfectly cooked pumpkin. It is so hearty and full of delicious fall flavor- making it a meal we look forward to all season long!

Rice, ground beef, mushrooms and baked pumpkin in a serving bowl with a striped linen in the background.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Stuffed Pumpkin:

  • Pumpkin
  • Ground Beef
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Wild Rice
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Dried Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
Ingredients you need to make dinner in a pumpkin.

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkin:

  1. Clean out your pumpkin. Wash and dry the pumpkin and cut off the top. Make sure the whole is big enough to scoop the filling out when it’s done baking. I like to make sure that I cut on an angle so the lid will sit on top without falling into the pumpkin while its baking. Use a large metal spoon to clean out the inside of your pumpkin. Don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the lid, too!
  2. Saute the veggies. In a large skillet, saute the onions, celery, mushrooms, garlic and water chestnuts over medium heat until the onion is translucent and the vegetables start to get tender. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Cook the beef. In the same skillet, cook the ground beef and seasonings until the beef is crumbled and cooked through. Remove from the heat.
  4. Make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the soup, brown sugar, soy sauce and vinegar. Add the cooked rice, vegetables, and ground beef. Stir to combine.
  5. Stuff the pumpkin. Pour the rice mixture into your clean pumpkin. Put the top on, and place your pumpkin on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake. Bake in a 400 degree oven for an hour, or until your pumpkin is tender. Larger pumpkins can take longer, so if it’s not quite done, continue cooking in 15 minute intervals or until you can easily pierce the inside of the pumpkin with a fork.
  7. Serve! To serve, scoop out the filling- making sure to scrape the inside to get a generous serving of the delicious cooked pumpkin as well!
Process shots showing how to make dinner in a pumpkin.

Tips & Suggestions:

Make individual stuffed pumpkins. Instead of a large pumpkin, cook the filling in small individual sized pumpkins! They will cook a lot faster, so adjust the time accordingly. Start with 30 minutes and check for doneness.

Skip the pumpkin. For a simpler dinner, make the filling and stir in cubed butternut squash. Bake in a casserole dish at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the squash is tender.

How to store leftover stuffed pumpkin. Scoop out all of the filling, along with the cooked pumpkin, and put in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days.

What kind of rice can I use for stuffed pumpkin? I like to use a wild rice blend, but you can also use white or brown rice.

Use whatever veggies you like! We love mushrooms, but feel free to leave them out if you’re not a fan. Or try substituting different vegetables as well.

A bowl of dinner in a pumpkin with a silver spoon and topped with fresh sage.
Baked pumpkin stuffed with rice, ground beef, mushrooms and celery scooped out with a wooden spoon.

Looking for More Pumpkin Recipes?

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4.1 from 19 votes

Stuffed Pumpkin

This special Stuffed Pumpkin is a meal our kids look forward to every season and has become one of our favorite Fall food traditions! It's a hearty, nutritious meal that is packed with flavor and served right from the pumpkin!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 797kcal



  • Preheat oven to 400℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash and dry the outside of your pumpkin. Cut a wide circle around the top of the pumpkin (wider than you normally cut it when you carve a pumpkin) and clean out the seeds and pulp from the inside of the pumpkin.
  • In a large skillet, saute onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic and water chestnuts over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes until they become tender and the onions are translucent. Remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat over medium high and add ground beef, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until the ground beef is cooked through.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the cream of mushroom, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Whisk to combine. Add to the ground beef along with the veggies, and cooked wild rice. Stir well to combine everything.
  • Add mixture to your cleaned out pumpkin and put the top on the pumpkin. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. The time it takes to cook will vary depending on how big your pumpkin is. After an hour, you can check to see if it's done. The outside of the pumpkin will be a dark orange, and the inside will be fork tender when it is done. If it isn't done, let it cook for another 10-15 minutes. Continue baking until it is done. Larger pumpkins can take up to 2 hours!
  • When the pumpkin is done, remove it from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Open the lid and give it a stir. When you are serving, scoop pumpkin with each spoonful. Enjoy!


*You can use small individual pumpkins instead of one large pumpkin if you want.  The cook time will be a lot faster using small pumpkins and so adjust accordingly.  


Calories: 797kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 963mg | Potassium: 1719mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 19627IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 7mg
Keyword : Stuffed Pumpkin


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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I love this idea and was wondering if you think it would work using the mini pumpkins to make individual servings for kids. I know it sounds a bit too much but my 3 littles are so picky this might be a trick worth trying. How cool to eat out of your own pumpkin.

Ok, stupid question, but do you just use a regular pumpkin for this? Or does it need to be a baking pumpkin that you use for baking?

5 stars
It’s also fun to pen or paint a face on the pumpkin when it has cooled. I’ve been making a similar stew every Hallowed since my 47 y/o Daughter was in pre school. We would add apples just before stew was fully cooked and cinnamon too!

The first year I made this, it turned out great! The pumpkin does get soft, so handle with care when removing it from the oven. It is really hard to take off the pan it is cooked on. The second time I did it, I could not find any big pumpkins, so I used individual “pie” pumpkins. It turned out great, and they were REALLY cute! But to make one for each guest at Thanksgiving was a LOT of work! Cleaning out so many pumpkins was hard.