Our family has a wonderful tradition for Halloween. We have “Dinner in a Pumpkin”. I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Colleen MaWhinney. It is so much fun to let the kids drawn the face on the pumpkin and then watch it bake in the oven. The kids laugh about the face in the window. We are now carrying on this tradition with our grandkids. We all look forward to it year after year. I hope you will enjoy it too.
Dinner in a Pumpkin
Serves 6 to 8
1 fresh sugar pumpkin (8 to 12 inches diameter) or about the size of a soccer ball
1 ½ pounds of hamburger
1 med. Onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 med. Bell pepper, diced (optional)
1 tea. Salt
½ tea. Pepper
1 – Can (10.5 oz.) Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 TB. Soy Sauce
½ cup sliced water chestnuts, drained
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced – canned or fresh
2 TB Brown Sugar
1 ½ cups COOKED rice, any type you like
Wash the outside of the pumpkin and cut the top to create a lid. Cut on a slant, so that the lid won’t fall into the pumpkin when it is cooking. Clean out the pumpkin; scoop the seeds and stringy fibers. (Keep the seeds for making pumpkin seed snacks). Draw a face on the pumpkin with markers.
Brown the hamburger, onions, garlic, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Drain. Add soy sauce, brown, sugar, mushrooms, Soup, water chestnuts, and rice. Mix to combine. Put the entire mixture into the pumpkin. (If it all doesn’t fit, but the extra into an oven safe dish and bake covered next to the pumpkin.) Place the lid back on the pumpkin and place pumpkin onto a 13 by 9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours or until the pumpkin is soft. Serve by scooping out portions of the filling and parts of the cooked pumpkin.
You could also just use small sugar pumpkins and give everyone a pumpkin of their own. Cook small pumpkins only 45 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.
If you double the recipe for a larger pumpkin, plan on 2 ½ hours baking time.
*** To make this Gluten free replace the cream of mushroom soup with 1 cup milk, 1 TB Gluten Free beef bouillon and 2 TB. Cornstarch. Combine until smooth and add to the simmering hamburger mixture. Stir until thickened. Make sure the soy sauce is also Gluten Free.