Simply De-Lite-Ful: Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is a fun and nutritious meal to serve your family at Halloween before they go out Trick or Treating.  The pumpkin can be prepped and the meat mixture cooked and refrigerated a day ahead to avoid the rush around dinner time when your goblins need help with costumes.  You can fill the pumpkin Halloween  morning and put it on time bake earlier in the day for even more ease.

  • 1 medium pumpkin
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • vegetable spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon beef base
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms or 1- 4 oz can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (15 oz.) can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice, white , brown or wild
  • 1 (8oz) can sliced water chestnuts

Cut top off pumpkin and clean out pulp and seeds thoroughly.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.  Add olive oil and onions and cook over medium heat till tender.
Add meat and beef base and brown.  Add soy sauce, mushrooms, brown sugar, pepper and soup.  Stir to mix and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add cooked rice and water chestnuts.

Spoon meat mixture into pumpkin.  Replace  top and place entire pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil under pumpkin. Bake about 1 ½ -2 hours or more, depending on the thickness of the walls of the pumpkin,  until inside flesh of the pumpkin is tender.  You may carefully remove whole cooked pumpkin to serving plate. 
Serve the meat, scooping out pumpkin to serve with it. 

Complete the meal with a crisp salad and rolls. 

Serves 8 generously.

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