It’s been years since I’ve made Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin, and when it came up in our Halloween Countdown, I decided it was time to try it again. I followed our original recipe for the most part. However, since I wanted to try a “pie” pumpkin, which are smaller, I didn’t think it would hold the entire casserole. Besides, I’m not cooking for a large family. So, I scaled it down.

You can follow the link if you want the recipe. While my note says I liked it before and the kids didn’t (which explains why we haven’t had it in years), I wasn’t particularly happy with this version. However, Wayne liked it, calling it a “gourmet” meal. That’s high praise!

I should have salted the pumpkin before adding the casserole mixture. And I think the casserole itself would taste better with celery and mushrooms added to the ground beef, onions and rice. Next time I’ll omit the brown sugar; for some reason that made it way too sweet. Some recipes add carrots and/or broccoli and/or water chestnuts. I may try those in the future as well (probably not the water chestnuts, though, because Wayne said to save those for Chinese recipes). Swapping chicken for the beef and homemade gravy for the cream of mushroom soup would work also, as suggested by Mel at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. So many options!

It was a fun Halloween week meal, and the leftovers were just as good as the original. Combining or keeping the two components separated is up to you!

Note that this pie pumpkin had a very thick skin. That made it difficult to cut open in order to remove the seeds, but easy to scrape off the cooked pumpkin.