Recipe for Dinner in a Pumpkin on Halloween
October 6, 2021
Dinner cooked inside a pumpkin and on a plate for Halloween by Salt Lake party stylist

Recipe for Dinner in a Pumpkin on Halloween

A recipe for dinner in a pumpkin is one you should SAVE! This is our go-to for Halloween night before heading out to trick or treat with the kids. My mom made this often growing up and I've fond memories I'm hoping to pass on to my family and yours!

Dinner cooked inside a pumpkin and on a plate for Halloween
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13 Days of Halloween

It's Day 10 of our annual “13 Days of Halloween ideas” with Jordan at Jordan's Easy Entertaining. I’ll be posting new Halloween ideas Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays all month long. This year the theme is MAGICAL BOOKS and I share tips for a Room on the Broom Halloween party as well as Harry Potter inspired Halloween ideas.

Check back each week on the blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Or better yet, JOIN ME to receive a weekly summary straight to your inbox each weekend so you don't miss a single Halloween thing.

Recipe for Dinner in a Pumpkin

Simple ingredients for dinner in a pumpkin

If you want to keep it simple this recipe for dinner in a pumpkin is the one for you! There are always ways to make it healthier – like making your own soup base instead of the gooey grey stuff! But in a pinch, that gooey grey stuff is pretty delicious!

Simple supplies

Yummy Ingredients

  • Small pie pumpkins
  • Ground turkey {or sub with lentils for a vegetarian version}
  • Cooked rice {a quinoa & rice blend works great here too!}
  • Vegetables your family enjoys: onion, carrot, and celery are our first picks. Mushrooms and peppers would be yummy too.
  • Cream of chicken soup mix {or sub a homemade version if you have the time}
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Seasoning salt
  • Oregano

You can bake one large pumpkin, or several tiny pumpkins for an individual dinner, which I think makes it more fun! Although a whole pumpkin is too much food for the average person, let alone a child. So plan on one little pumpkin for 2-3 people and use the rest of the pumpkins as table decorations. Or make pumpkin pasties later!

Halloween Dinner in a Pumpkin Table

Table set for Halloween with personal pumpkins on plates

Before you even think about making your Halloween dinner, use those cute pie pumpkins on the table as decor! Especially if buying the mini's for each person.

Do you set your holiday table early? I do. It's so fun to walk through the house and see the festive dining table. Ready for a party at any moment. Depending on how long you have it set, you may need to give it a quick dusting before actually serving your dinner though.

Recreate this fun setting with these cute party supplies:

Prep Your Pumpkins Early

Pie pumpkin cut open and seeds spilling out

Halloween night can get VERY busy, so prep your pumpkins a day or so in advance. You can get fancy with the top or just cut a plain ol' circle like I did. Scoop out the seeds and separate them from the pulp if you'd like to toast the pumpkin seeds. That's another fun family favorite!

Make Your Filling Recipe Early Too

Carrots, celery, and onion sautéing in skillet

These pumpkins take a LONG time to bake so anything we can do to speed up the process is going to help. So the day before you should:

Chop, slice, and dice your desired veggies and sauté them in a little olive oil until the onions are translucent. There's nothing worse than baking a stuffed pumpkin to find your veggies are still crunchy inside!

Ground turkey, rice, and soup mix in skillet for filling

Brown your ground turkey and season with oregano and seasoning salt. I throw mine in with the veggies.

Once browned, stir in the rice, soup concentrate, and Worcestershire sauce. Let this cool down and pop it into the fridge for stuffing your pumpkins tomorrow. Or if you've got the time….let's do this right now!

It's the Big Day! Stuff Your Pumpkins

Two pumpkins stuffed and in the oven

On the big day, stuff your pumpkins with the filling, leaving an inch or so at the top for bubbling. Replace the lid and place on a baking sheet. {they might overflow and this will save you from scrubbing your oven! Which I obviously do not like to do! 🤣} Move rack so your pumpkins will sit in the center of your oven and bake these babies at 375° for over an hour*.

*It depends on the size of your pumpkins – the bigger they are the longer it takes. These guys were done in 1 hour 15 minutes.

To test doneness, carefully take off the pumpkin lid and use a fork to pierce the inside flesh of the pumpkin. You want that pumpkin nice and soft. It's VERY IMPORTANT that you keep the lid on your pumpkins so they have a chance to steam. If there's no top, the pumpkin doesn't cook properly.

Your New Favorite Recipe for Dinner in a Pumpkin?

Dinner cooked inside a pumpkin and on a plate for Halloween by Salt Lake party stylist

I don't want to oversell this and have you disappointed, but I really love this recipe for dinner in a pumpkin. The pie pumpkins have a sweeter flesh and mix so well with the comfort casserole inside.

Not a Pumpkin Fan?

Baked dinner in a pumpkin by Salt Lake Party Stylist

Kids aren't pumpkin fans? No worries!

Just serve the casserole filling without touching the pumpkin sides. For those who want the orangey goodness, dive right in and scoop out the sides as you serve up each plate, or let people eat directly from the pumpkins!

If you try this recipe for dinner in a pumpkin, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. And if you share photos, I want to see it too! Please tag us @partieswithacause on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. We love celebrating all your hard work! 


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13 Days of Halloween

Coming up next for Day 11….

Halloween Books for Kids

From the Halloween Archives

Halloween Movie List Kids Will Love

Sweater Pumpkin Dollar Store DIY Decor

Butternut Squash and Ginger Apple Soup

Pin it for Later

Dinner in a pumpkin for Halloween Dinner by Salt Lake party stylist

Dinner in a Pumpkin

A delicious savory stuffed pumpkin recipe perfect for Halloween dinner or any fall feast.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Comfort food, Halloween, Pumpkin
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 385kcal


  • Baking sheet
  • Metal scoop
  • Sharp knife
  • Large skillet


  • 2 Small pie pumpkins
  • 1 lb Ground turkey Sub lentils for vegetarian
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 1 Carrot chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks chopped
  • Additional vegetables like mushrooms or peppers optional
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup Sub Mushroom soup for vegetarian
  • 2 cups Cooked rice Sub rice & quinoa blend for vegetarian
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano Dried


Prepare Pumpkins

  • Wash and dry pumpkins
  • Cut through top to create a lid and scoop out all pulp and seeds, cleaning out all strings attached to the sides
  • This can be done 1-2 days in advance and stored covered in the fridge.

Casserole Filling

  • Sauté vegetables in olive oil until onion becomes slightly translucent
  • Add ground turkey and brown with seasoning salt and oregano
  • Stir in soup mix and cooked rice
  • Can be made 1 day in advance and stored covered in the fridge.

Baking Your Pumpkin

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Fill each pumpkin with half of the casserole mixture leaving 1" of space at the top for bubbling.
  • Replace the pumpkin lid and place on baking sheet.
  • Move oven rack so pumpkins are located in the center
  • Bake 1 hour 15 minutes until the pumpkin flesh is soft enough to pierce easily with a fork on the inside of each pumpkin. Replace lid and continue baking if needed.

Halloween Products to Love


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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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Healthy food substitutions lists

Grab the Healthy Food Substitutions List for BEGINNERS

If you're ready to improve your lifestyle and the health of your family, join me in the "Healthy Hostess" movement. Where we serve great food to the people we love. With food that nourishes the body and events that feed the soul. Use this food subtitution list to plan more intentional holidays and gatherings. Collect healthier recipes, less stuff, and more meaningful memories, with me at Parties With A Cause. 

You are on your way to Healthier events! One food substitution at a time.

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