I love to do something a little extra special and fun with holidays.  This year with Halloween approaching I thought why not have dinner in a pumpkin!  I’ve seen several of these types of recipes floating around Pinterest but I largely adapted my recipe from this one.  It was so fun to make and my kids thought it was super cool to eat out of a pumpkin.  The recipe is easy to follow but it does take a little bit of time to cook (plan at least 1 hour and 30 minutes but it could easily take longer depending on the size of the pumpkin).

1 medium sized Pumpkin (the same kind you would for carving)
1 and 1/2 cups Honeyville Freeze Dried Ground Beef
1/2 cup Honeyville Dehydrated Onion
1/2 cup Honeyville Freeze Dried Celery
1 and 1/2 cups Honeyville Freeze Dried Green Beans
2 and 1/2 cups hot, cooked Honeyville Rice (Brown or White)
1 (10.5 oz) can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 (8 oz) can Sliced Water Chestnuts, drained
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

First, thoroughly clean the outside of the pumpkin.  Next cut out a lid, just like you would for carving a jack-o-lantern.

Scrape out the insides, or “yucky, cheesy, funky strings” according to my 3 year old.  Season the insides with some salt.

In a pot of boiling water, add the beef and onions.  Cover, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes to re-hydrate.   

Before draining the water, add the green beans and celery to the same pot.  Let sit about 2 minutes until the new veggies are re-hydrated and bright.  Drain.  Using that same pot add the mushroom soup, soy sauce, and brown sugar.  Stir together over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes to let the flavors meld.

In a large bowl combine soup mixture, meat and veggies, water chestnuts, and rice.  Lightly mix and fold until everything is coated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Carefully spoon mixture into hollowed out pumpkin.

Replace the lid and transfer pumpkin to a foil lined jelly roll pan or baking sheet. 

Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.  It may take up to 2 hours to cook the pumpkin depending on the size and thickness.  The pumpkin should be to be soft and very fork tender.  If you are feeling fancy, once the pumpkin is out of the oven use a sharp knife to cut just the skin and make a jack-o-lantern face.

Remove lid and spoon out individual servings.  Make sure you scoop some of the delicious cooked pumpkin too!

This food was right up my alley!  The casserole type food stayed hot and moist during the whole cooking process, and the pumpkin was so yummy as well.  I don’t think I had ever had this type of pumpkin before–I’ve certainly had my fair share of sweet pies and cookies but nothing savory.  I liked each bite to have a little bit of everything–the flavors mixed together so well!  What types of Halloween food traditions do you like celebrate with during this time of year?

Happy Eating!