Stuffed Pumpkin: A Tasty Thanksgiving Delicacy

by Ishani Bose last updated -

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Pumpkin is undoubtedly everyone’s favorite fall fruit. While most people love to carve out scary faces on pumpkins during Halloween, there are some who use them as bowls with stuffings of a different kind during Thanksgiving – a national holiday in the US that is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year. Many stuff the pumpkins with soup, rice, meat or vegetables. Some also add molten chocolate lava in it as a filling and have it as dessert. Well, with all the scrumptious pies that will be on display this Thanksgiving, we present to you the perfect savory pumpkin stuffed with minced beef, vegetables, and rice.

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkin?

This is a recipe that involves scooping out an entire pumpkin, including the seeds, and keeping it in the oven to bake. It is a delicious and fancy Thanksgiving delicacy to serve your guests. It is quite a cumbersome recipe and needs to be made with a lot of precision as pumpkins come in unpredictable shapes and sizes and need to be baked to perfection – one that softens them enough to be pierced with a knife. Over baking will cause the pumpkins to break and under-baking will leave it raw.

A flatlay picture of tasty autumn stuffed pumpkin with fresh mushrooms ready to serve for a seasonal dinner,

Delicious Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe for Thanksgiving

This remarkable savory stuffed pumpkin will undoubtedly be the pièce de résistance of your Thanksgiving party!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: stuffed pumpkin
Appliance: oven
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Author: Ishani Bose

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pounds of a pumpkin
  • 1.5 pound of minced/ground beef
  • 0.75 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small green pepper (chopped)
  • 8 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 1.5 cups cooked rice
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 0.5 cup of finely chopped full cooked ham
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 0.5 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 0.5 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • To make stuffed pumpkin, start by first washing the pumpkin thoroughly. Then, draw a circle around the top stem and cut it and put it aside. Discard the seeds and loosen the fibers from within the pumpkin. You can use the pumpkin seeds in salads or have them as a healthy snack. 
  • Once done, keep the pumpkin in a large Dutch oven and fill it with boiling water to a depth of almost 6 inches. Now add 0.5 teaspoons of salt. Cover the pumpkin with the top you had set aside, and allow it to simmer for half an hour or till the time the pumpkin becomes almost tender. Ensure that it still holds shape. You would not want it to become too tender as it would easily break. Now, remove the water carefully from the pumpkin and pat it dry, whilst allowing it to cool. 
    The process of cooking pumpkin in the oven. Baked pumpkin with mushrooms and barley in the oven.
  • Meanwhile, cook the minced beef, green pepper, and onions, in a large skillet on medium heat. Continue to cook it until the meat no longer remains pink in color, and the vegetables tender. Once done, let it cool. Place the mixture, thus created, in a large bowl and to it add cooked rice, ham, tomato sauce, sautéd garlic, eggs, pepper, oregano, vinegar and the remaining 0.5 teaspoons of salt. Mix well. 
  • Now, in a shallow and sturdy baking pan, place the pumpkin and firmly pack the beef and rice mixture (that you mixed in a large bowl) into it. Cover the top and bake the pumpkin at 350° for 1 hour, leaving the baking pan uncovered. Once done, let it stand for not less than 10 minutes. 
  • Once done, ensure you remove the top and if you prefer to use a paper towel to let out excess moisture from the top of the meat. Now slice the pumpkin into 6-8 wedges and serve. Enjoy this delicious Thanksgiving treat with your loved ones!
    Pumpkin stuffed with stew meat and vegetables

Notes

Ideally, it is best to eat this soon after it is ready. However, should you have any leftovers, we suggest you scoop them out of the pumpkin, mix them up, cover, and refrigerate them. You can always reheat the mixture the following day and eat it. Secondly, you can change the stuffing as per your preference. For instance, you can add freshly baked bread and cheese, green leafy vegetables and peas, sausages and some nuts, along with the sauce of your choice, to make for a delicious stuffed pumpkin. 

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If you have tried this recipe, we would love your feedback in the comments section below. And while we can’t taste it, we would love to see how it turned out! You can connect with us on Facebook or Instagram and tag your picture with #organicfactsrecipes.

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About the Author

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Ishani Bose has worked as a reporter/features writer for several leading newspapers and organizations in India. It was her love for food, health, and wellness that brought her to Organic Facts. As a Content & Culinary Outreach Specialist, she is responsible for developing and managing the website’s recipe section. An avid Instagrammer who knows the latest social media trends, Ishani helps strategize and create authentic content for the website’s social media platforms. When not writing or cooking, you’ll find her reading, traveling, soaking herself in music, arts, and culture in every way possible. Ishani has completed an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” by Stanford University, US. 

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