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Serve this savory recipe for Halloween right from the cavity of a pumpkin.

Looking for a savory recipe for Halloween? Try “Dinner in a Pumpkin”. Not only is this meal healthy, but the presentation makes it the perfect entree for a spooktacular Halloween party food. This meal has a taste of the Southwest and it is cooked in the cavity of a pumpkin, perfect for Halloween dinner.

Especially in the fall, we love a good hearty meal to warm us up. Indeed, this is one of those recipes that serves as comfort food!  We’ve been making this dish for as long as I can remember for our annual family Halloween party.  Clearly, it’s the perfect recipe for Halloween! 

How This Recipe for Halloween Came To Be

The original recipe we served for many years at our annual Halloween party came from a chef, featured on a TV program many years ago.  It is delicious and has an oriental flair to it.

Each year we take turns baking this dish, one year my Grandma misplaced the original recipe and created her own recipe for Halloween. Clearly, she’s an amazing cook and loves to experiment with flavors! 

Well, it turns out that we loved grandma’s recipe better than the original and now it’s the main course each year for annual Halloween party.

With this in mind, we are featuring Grandma’s own Dinner in a Pumpkin recipe!  We hope you enjoy this recipe for Halloween!

And for another great recipe idea for Halloween parties, try our savory stuffed mushroom recipe.

What you will need for this recipe for Halloween

Ingredients for recipe for Halloween

First, you will need a medium sized pumpkin. You can experiment with different varieties of pumpkins, white, green or pastel. Each variety has it’s own unique flavor.

Selecting the pumpkin color to fit the theme of your Halloween party is fun too. When we’ve had a ghost theme, we used a white pumpkin. Have fun with it! Just be sure that it fits in your oven.  😉 

Along with a pumpkin you will also need:  

  • yellow onion
  • green pepper
  • ground beef
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Chicken Gumbo Soup
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Liquid Smoke
  • Chili powder
  • Dry Mustard
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown rice

Prepare the Pumpkin

First, clean the pumpkin and cut a hole in the top. We like to cut a notch on one side of the lid, in order to line it up properly.

Also, remove all of the seeds and stringy stuff, rinse the inside of the pumpkin cavity as well.

Finally if you’d like, draw a jack-o-lantern face on the pumpkin with a Sharpie marker.

Prepare the Meat Filling

Savory Fall Recipe

Begin by browning the ground beef, onions, peppers. Drain off any fat, if desired. 

Once the meat is cooked it’s time to add in the savory seasonings. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, soup, salt, pepper, liquid smoke, chili powder, dry mustard and cinnamon. Simmer to allow flavors to blend.

Finally, mix in the cooked brown rice. We love the nutty flavor of brown rice, however if you’re not a fan of brown rice, substitute equal amounts of white rice. Another healthy grain to try instead of brown rice, would be quinoa. 

Fill Pumpkin with meat mixture

Savory recipe for Fall

Place the clean pumpkin on a baking pan. Then fill the pumpkin cavity with the hot meat mixture. Finally, place the top back on the pumpkin.

Pumpkin dinner recipe

Place the filled pumpkin in a preheated 425º oven and bake for one hour! This is the fun part!

The last time we made this, my little Aiden saw the pumpkin in the oven and he was appalled that we would cook a pumpkin!  😂  I guess he’s never seen one cooking before!

Not only do we serve this recipe for our annual Halloween party, but we also serve lots of food the kids love to eat as well like, mummy dogs, bat wings and pumpkin puke, as well as Witches Brew

recipe for Halloween

Mmmm, I can almost smell the deliciousness of this dinner when I see these pictures.   😋 

recipe for Halloween

This is definitely a recipe for Halloween that will soon become a family favorite. As I said before, we look forward to this meal all year long.

The pumpkin takes on the flavor from the meat mixture and it’s just so delicious! The combination of flavors along with the sweet pumpkin is a party in your mouth. 

Allow to cool for a few minutes before scooping out the casserole and don’t forget to scoop some tasty pumpkin too!  Now you’re ready to dig in and enjoy!

Halloween Party Food
Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a Pumpkin is the ultimate comfort food during the Fall months! It's healthy, hearty and filling!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people


  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion diced
  • 1 Green Pepper diced
  • 1.5 lbs. Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 T. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Ketchup
  • 1 can (10oz.) Chicken Gumbo Soup
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 1/2 t. Black Pepper
  • 1 T. Liquid Smoke
  • 1 t. Chili Powder
  • 2 t. Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 t. Cinnamon
  • 2 C. Brown Rice, cooked
  • 1 medium sized Pumpkin


  • Cut off top of pumpkin, leaving a notch in the lid. Clean out seeds and rinse. Rub salt on the inside of the pumpkin to season. Set aside.
  • Brown ground beef with onions and green pepper. Add Worcestershire Sauce, brown sugar, ketchup and soup, liquid smoke, chili powder, dry mustard, cinnamon, salt & pepper, simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors.
  • Mix in brown rice.
  • Fill the pumpkin cavity with the meat mixture, top with pumpkin lid. Bake at 425º for 1 hour.


Don't forget to grab a scoop of the delicious pumpkin while serving this dish!  There's nothing like fresh baked pumpkin in the fall!  Top it with a little salt and pepper and dig in!
Keyword casserole, dinner, fall, halloween, pumpkin, Southwest Flavor

Are you excited to try this recipe?  Do you have traditional family favorite recipes for Halloween?

Please share with us what traditions you do with your family surrounding the Halloween holiday. We are always looking for new and fun ideas to try.

For more budget friendly Ideas for Halloween click here.

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And as always here at Sunny Side Design


Are you dying to try our other family favorite recipe for our Halloween party?! 

Get your copy of the Witches’ Brew Here.

Curious how we decorate for Halloween?  See Steph’s skeleton themed decor here. See Michelle’s budget friendly decorating ideas here.

For more Halloween ideas follow our Halloween Ideas board on Pinterest and for even more home decor and DIY ideas too.

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