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Take your spooky season celebrations up a notch with this festive dinner in a pumpkin! It’s filled with a creamy, savory sausage and rice pilaf that’s sure to be a hit with your family. So delicious, it’s scary.
This is one of my favorite times of the year because not only do the fun themed treats come out, but so do all the hearty soups and stews! If you’re looking for a fun treat, try these mummy cookie bites! If you want a hearty dinner to warm you up, try slow cooker pumpkin chili. And if you need more pumpkin in your life, these 3-ingredient pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are the way to go!
Dinner in a Pumpkin Recipe
Oh, this dinner in a pumpkin? It’s absolutely delicious! Imagine digging into a mix of sausage, mushrooms, and creamy, savory rice, all nestled inside a perfectly baked pumpkin. Every bite is a delightful burst of flavors that’ll make you want seconds. (Maybe even thirds!)
Gather the family around to enjoy this festive meal. It’s a winner, and everyone at the table will love it! Because not only does it look good, (the perfect Halloween dinner!) but it’s absolutely delicious and super easy to prepare! Don’t be surprised if ‘dinner in a pumpkin’ shows up in the dinner rotation a few times this fall.
This dinner in a pumpkin uses a lot of simple ingredients, and the great thing is, you can easily customize your pilaf with things you have in the fridge! I used creamy mushrooms, Italian sausage, yellow onion, and bell peppers for some crunch. Exact measurements are all in the recipe card below!
- Medium Pumpkin: Use a good-sized pumpkin, ready to be filled and cooked.
- Vegetable Oil: Used for cooking the veggies and sausage in.
- Red Bell Pepper and Green Bell Pepper: Colorful bell peppers, adding crunch and sweetness.
- Small Yellow Onion: A small onion for flavor and aroma.
- Garlic: Adds a strong, delicious taste to the mix. Fresh minced garlic is best!
- Ground Italian Sausage: Flavored sausage for a hearty and tasty filling. You could also swap this out for ground turkey or beef. Use whatever you have on hand!
- Cremini Mushrooms: Earthy mushrooms that add a nice texture and taste.
- Cream of Mushroom Soup: So your dinner in a pumpkin has a little extra creaminess and delicious flavor! Cream of chicken soup would also work.
- Cooked Rice: To give your meal a little more substance.
- Salt and Pepper: Basic seasonings to enhance the taste of the dinner in a pumpkin.
Let’s Make Dinner in a Pumpkin!
Your friends and family are going to love this festive meal so much! It’s simple to make, hearty, and most importantly- absolutely delicious!
- Prepare Pumpkin: Clean the pumpkin, cut the top off and gut and scrape it clean. Leave the pumpkin meat intact, only remove the guts, save the top.
- Preheat Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut Veggies: Wash and dice the red and green bell peppers, and onion. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat.
- Sauté: Add the diced peppers and onion to the skillet and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the Italian sausage and cook until the sausage is just browned. Then to the skillet add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté everything together for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add Soup and Rice: Reduce the heat to medium low and add the can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of water. Then add the cooked rice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add to Pumpkin: Stir until everything is well combined. Then remove the filling from heat and fill the hollowed pumpkin with the filling.
- Bake: Place the top back on the pumpkin, place the filled pumpkin on the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the meat of the pumpkin is fork tender and easily able to be scraped.
- Rest: Once the pumpkin has baked thoroughly, remove it from the oven and then allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Enjoy: To serve, scoop out the filling along with some of the pumpkin meat and then enjoy!
Tips and Variations
Try out these simple tips and tricks to make your dinner in a pumpkin taste even better! Flavor so amazing, you’ll want it all year long.
- Make it Vegetarian: For a vegetarian version, you can leave out the Italian sausage and add more vegetables in its place. If you still want a ‘meaty’ texture, you could also use meatless crumbles or tofu.
- Season Your Pumpkin: Before filling, lightly salt and pepper the inside of the pumpkin to infuse flavor into the pumpkin meat as it cooks. Seasoning salt is another great choice!
- Individual Dinner in a Pumpkin: You can use small sugar pumpkins instead of 1 large pumpkin, this filling will fill 3-4.
- Cheesy Topping: Sprinkle grated cheese over the filling before putting the pumpkin top back on for the perfect gooey, melted finishing touch.
To store leftovers, scrape the filling and pumpkin meat from inside the pumpkin and place it all in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. It’s so easy to heat back up over the stove!
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Clean the pumpkin, cut the top off and gut and scrape it clean. Leave the pumpkin meat intact, only remove the guts, save the top.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash and dice the red and green bell peppers, and onion. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat.
Add the diced peppers and onion to the skillet and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the italian sausage and cook until the sausage is just browned.
To the skillet add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute everything together for another 3-5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of water. Add the cooked rice and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir until everything is well combined. Remove the filling from heat and fill the hollowed pumpkin with the filling.
Place the top back on the pumpkin, place the filled pumpkin on the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the meat of the pumpkin is fork tender and easily able to be scraped.
Once the pumpkin has baked thoroughly, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
To serve, scoop out the filling along with some of the pumpkin meat and enjoy!
Calories: 377kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 16gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1061mgPotassium: 591mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 7050IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Hi! I’m a dedicated health blogger sharing valuable insights, natural remedies, and the latest scientific breakthroughs to help readers lead healthier lives. With a holistic approach to wellness, I empower individuals with accessible and actionable content, debunking myths and offering practical tips for incorporating healthy habits.