The dinner itself is sweet and savory, and it is so fun to serve it from a pumpkin! It is a warm, hearty meal with the delicious flavors of fall. The best part of this dinner is that the pumpkin cooks along with the casserole inside. Before serving the casserole, you scoop chunks of pumpkin from the inside and stir it into the casserole. The pumpkin is sweet and tender, similar to butternut squash. Did you know there are many health benefits to eating pumpkin? Just 1/2 cup of pumpkin provides 100% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A which aids vision, pumpkin is a rich source of the antioxidant beta carotene, and 1 cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a banana! Pumpkin seeds are also good for you, so don’t throw away the seeds when you clean out your pumpkin!
- 1 medium pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp oil or butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (can use canned mushrooms)
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1 8 oz can water chestnuts
- Salt and pepper
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 4 cups cooked rice, white or brown
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Thoroughly wash and dry the outside of the pumpkin.
- Cut the top off the pumpkin and clean out the pulp and seeds. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet. Save the top.
- In a large skillet, sauté onion and mushrooms in oil or butter. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain the grease from the beef. Add salt, pepper, and water chestnuts.
- In a large bowl, mix soup, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Add ground beef mixture and cooked rice.
- Empty bowl into the cleaned out pumpkin and replace pumpkin top.
- Bake for 1 hour on the lower rack of the oven, or on the rack where the pumpkin can be most centered in the oven.
- After 1 hour, remove the top and check the sides of the pumpkin for doneness. The outside of the pumpkin will turn a dark orange, and the inside of the pumpkin should be tender and easily scoop off the sides with a spoon. If the inside of the pumpkin is still not fully cooked, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin. Using hot pads, place the pumpkin onto a serving plate, remove the lid, and stir. Be sure to scoop off chunks of cooked pumpkin into the casserole as it is served.
Courtesy: Favorite family dinners