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Stuffed Pumpkin Dinner

This recipe is a great way to use a pumpkin up after scooping out the seeds to bake. It is so delicious and fancy enough to serve to guests.—Christin Holt, Kingsburg, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. Bake: 1 hour + standing
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 large pumpkin (5-1/2 to 6 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fully cooked ham
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar


  • Wash pumpkin; cut a 6-in. circle around top stem. Remove top and set aside; discard seeds and loose fibers from inside. Place pumpkin in a large Dutch oven. Fill with boiling water to a depth of 6 in.; add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is almost tender but holds its shape. Carefully remove and drain well; pat dry.
  • In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain well. Cool slightly; place in a large bowl. Add rice, tomato sauce, ham, eggs, garlic, oregano, pepper, vinegar and remaining salt.
  • Place pumpkin in a shallow sturdy baking pan. Firmly pack beef mixture into pumpkin; replace top. Leaving pan uncovered, bake at 350° for 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the top; if desired, use paper towel to remove excess moisture from top of meat. Slice pumpkin into wedges.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 285 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 114mg cholesterol, 595mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 23g protein.

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  • Laurie
    Jan 20, 2021

    I have been making this recipe since 1970's it's very good,but I found the time for boiling the pumpkin is way too long and the pumpkin soaks up a lot of water so I clean out and salt my pumpkin put the lid on and par roast it instead I also add some corn to the stuffing, it works and really improves the appearance of the stuffing.

  • Martha
    Oct 23, 2019

    Confusing as some of the instructions are missing. I put the boiling water inside the pumpkin and did not find it had any result. I followed all of the steps precisely and did not find this recipe to be one I would use again. No offense to the author. Just think some additional information is needed.

  • ltlmac2000
    Oct 30, 2015

    Quick ? Step 1, do you think that the 6" of water is being placed inside the pumpkin, or inside the dutch oven (e.g outside of pumpkin). Looks like a great recipe, but I can't find another pumpkin recipe that does this first. Most just bake the pumpkin with the ingredients inside. Thoughts?

  • Have Your Cake & Lose Weight too
    Oct 30, 2011

    I had some left over sloppy joes and rice in the freezer. I had a little left over pumpkin that I had served pumpkin dip in yesterday. I cooked the pumpkin as per the directions. I added the eggs to the thawed the rice and meat and stuffed the pumpkin. I baked according to the directions and we had a fun "new" meal made from leftovers. I am so happy I saw this recipe because I never would have thought to stuff a pumpkin and bake meat inside of it. It was a very healthy well balanced meal as well. thanks, Linda