Friday, November 11, 2011

Give Thanks: Dinner in a Pumpkin

Rachel from Maybe Matilda

Hi! My name's Rachel and I'm from the blog Maybe Matilda, where I love sharing my crochet and sewing projects. I thought I'd branch out a little today and put down my fabric and yarn for a minute to show you a fun Fall recipe . . .
One of my very favorite things about the Thanksgiving season is pumpkin recipes. True story: I once spent 45 minutes driving from one grocery store to the next searching for canned pumpkin because I was dying to make some pumpkin bread--my entire town must have been craving it just as much as I was, so I've tried to keep a little stock of it ever since so I can make pumpkin muffins, cookies, and pancakes on a whim.

But did you know you can actually cook a dinner inside of a pumpkin? It makes for a delicious, flavorful dinner that's so fun to serve during the Fall. It's quick and easy to pull together, and is such a hearty meal for chilly autumn evenings! I got this recipe from a friend of my mother-in-law's, and I expect it's going to become a fall tradition at our house.

Dinner in a Pumpkin
4 to 5 pound pumpkin (if you're choosing your pumpkin based on the size of the one in these pictures, don't! Mine was much too big and almost didn't fit in my oven, but it seduced me with it's adorable tall skinny shape . . . I'm a sucker for tall, skinny pumpkins.)
1 pound ground beef or turkey (I use ground turkey--it's cheaper, healthier, and so tasty!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked rice (it'll cook inside the pumpkin)
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or more--I love rosemary, so I used more like 1 full teaspoon)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

Get started by washing off the outside of your pumpkin and cutting off the top. Scoop out the innards, just as if you were going to carve it as a jack-o-lantern. I find that an ice cream scoop or metal measuring cup makes for easy pumpkin gut scooping! Make sure you scrape off all the icky stringy fibers from the pumpkin's inner walls. Melt two tablespoons butter and brush inside pumpkin (I like to just pour it down the inside walls of the pumpkin and swirl it to coat), and sprinkle with some salt. Place the pumpkin in a shallow baking dish.

In a large skillet, saute ground beef/turkey, onion, garlic, and rice in two tablespoons butter until browned. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese) and bring to a boil. Pour this mixture into the pumpkin, and replace the pumpkin's lid.

Bake at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours or until the pumpkin flesh inside is tender. Uncover the pumpkin, add the cheese, and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt. Serve it up, scraping some of the pumpkin pulp out with each serving.
(See? I told you my pumpkin was too big !) It's not the most picturesque, photo-worthy filling, but mmmmm, it sure is tasty! It's so thick and warm and tasty, and feels like the perfect supper to eat before Thanksgiving.

I hope you enjoy! Thanks for inviting me to be a part of the Give Thanks series, and I hope you'll come visit me at Maybe Matilda!


  1. Thanks so much for inviting me over! I'm excited to see more Give Thanks posts!

  2. Fun idea! I think my kids would love this.


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