Meal in a pumpkin

Fall Meal in a Pumpkin

It is fun to make a meal in a pumpkin, (or any squash) each fall. This is an annual event in our home, a meal in its own casserole dish. Make one large meal in a pumpkin to share, or individualize with smaller pumpkins.

Pumpkin and other related squash are filled with fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are very low in carbohydrates and high in potassium. Pumpkin is great for your dogs as it is an essential ingredient in my BowWowOf5 dog treat recipes.

To Healthy Cooking and Eating,


P.S. Don’t forget to follow me in the Power of 5 Test Kitchen and join in the happenings!

I am very proud of my Published Power of 5 Test Kitchen Cookbook ~ Caregiver Edition!

“Full of recipes, helpful hints, and the tools you need to promote safe and meaningful engagement for those challenged with an illness, your kitchen can be a place where fun and health flourish, no matter the challenges you face.”

A second more comprehensive cookbook – Power of 5 Test Kitchen Cookbook ~ Your Guide to Healthy Cooking and Eating will be coming out in February 2023 with many more tested healthy Power of 5 recipes, even a section for healthy Power of 5 Dog Treats! Melissa’s BowWowof5 dog treats!

Stay tuned!

Fall Dinner in a Pumpkin

A meal in a pumpkin can become a tradition for dinner for Halloween or any fall holiday dinner, I know it will be in my home! The finished dish brings a festive meal to the table, even saving a serving dish, as you serve it right from the pumpkin!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine All American
Servings 6 People
Calories 159 kcal


  • 1 medium Pumpkin You can use smaller pumpkins so each has their own
  • 1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil May use butter or vegan butter
  • 1 small Onion Diced
  • 1 cup Fresh Mushrooms Sliced
  • 1 lbs Lean Ground Beef Use Beefless Grounds or other meat substitutes
  • 1/2 cups Fresh Green Beans Cut
  • 15 oz Vegetable Broth May use chicken broth if you prefer
  • 2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos May also substitute soy sauce
  • 2 cups Rice: White or Brown Cooked. (I used quinoa, see Cook's notes below)
  • Fresh Basil or Oregano Optional spices
  • Cinnamon or Nutmeg Optional spices


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Thoroughly wash and dry the outside of the pumpkins.
  • Cut the top off the pumpkin and clean out the pulp and seeds. Keep the top.
  • Don't miss out on roasting the seeds – spray a foiled cookie sheet with olive oil and spread the seeds. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • In a large skillet, sauté onions, mushrooms and green beans in oil or butter. Add ground beef (or plant-based crumbles). Drain grease if using ground beef.
  • Add seasoning to taste.
  • In a large bowl, mix soup, nutritional yeast, and Braggs Aminos (or soy sauce).
  • Add meat and cooked rice or quinoa.
  • Empty bowl into the cleaned out pumpkins and replace the top.
  • Bake on the lower rack of the oven.
  • After 1 hour, remove the top and check the sides of the pumpkin for doneness. The outside of pumpkin will turn a beautiful dark orange.
  • Depending on the size of the pumpkin, it may take an additional 10-15 minutes. I made two smaller individual pumpkins so they didn't need the extra time.
  • Using hot pads, place pumpkins onto serving plates, remove the "lids" and stir. Scoop chunks from the pumpkin's insides into the casserole dish as it is served.


Cooks Notes
Melissa’s Modifications: Making this recipe Vegetarian/Vegan is easy. Replace the ground beef with a meat substitute such as Gardein brand  Beefless Grounds, decreases the Calories and Fat as this modification increases Protein and Fiber! Chocked full of Vitamin A, C and Iron.
To make this Gluten- Free; Use Brown Rice or Rice of your choice, but do not use Quinoa.  Quinoa is considered high-risk as it may cross contact in the harvesting process or even grown with Wheat, barley and/or rye, and therefore not recommended for those with Celiac disease.
Number of servings depends on the pumpkins you choose, or  you can  get small pumpkins and make individual pumpkin meals.


Serving: 6Calories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 21.9gProtein: 13gFat: 4.2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 563mgPotassium: 394mgFiber: 9.4gSugar: 7g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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