This is a marvelous autumn potluck dinner. Everyone will be very impressed with this thick beef stew made and served in a pumpkin shell! Use a 10- to-12 pound pumpkin; be sure not to overbake!

Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
4 hrs
total:
4 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Place beef in the saucepan and cook until evenly brown. Mix in the water, potatoes, carrots, green bell pepper, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer approximately 2 hours.

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  • Dissolve the bouillon into the beef mixture. Stir in the tomatoes.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Cut top off the pumpkin and remove seeds and pulp. Place the pumpkin in a heavy baking pan. Fill the pumpkin with the beef mixture. Brush outside of the pumpkin with remaining oil.

  • Bake in the preheated oven 2 hours, or until tender. Serve the stew from the pumpkin, scraping out some of the pumpkin meat with each serving.

Nutrition Facts

592 calories; protein 29.4g 59% DV; carbohydrates 61.9g 20% DV; fat 27.9g 43% DV; cholesterol 76.2mg 25% DV; sodium 1084.8mg 43% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (77)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2003
This is a neat recipe! The recipe doesn't give enough instructions though for non-experienced cooks, so here you go . . . cover the stew while it's being cooked on the stove, otherwise the liquid will cook off. Also, place the pumpkin top back on the pumpkin after it's filled, make sure the pumpkin stem is wet, and then cover the stem with tin foil. Read More
(290)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/27/2006
We thought that this had a very pretty presentation. The idea is wonderful. The stew....not so great. It lacked in flavor and seasonings. May try this again another time but first time was not a hit. Read More
(25)
91 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 63
  • 4 star values: 20
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2003
This is a neat recipe! The recipe doesn't give enough instructions though for non-experienced cooks, so here you go . . . cover the stew while it's being cooked on the stove, otherwise the liquid will cook off. Also, place the pumpkin top back on the pumpkin after it's filled, make sure the pumpkin stem is wet, and then cover the stem with tin foil. Read More
(290)
Rating: 5 stars
09/04/2003
This was fabulous! I doubled the recipe for a party and used an 11 lb. French cooking pumpkin. I made the stew Friday night and baked it Saturday. It came out wonderful and the leftovers just got better and beter. Served with a crusty french bread to complete! Thanks for this great recipe - I will make it again. Read More
(67)
Rating: 5 stars
11/26/2011
I had a 5 person Thanksgiving party this year and decided t try this recipe. Made stew in 5 small individual pumpkins and they were a HUGE HIT. I was nervous about how everything would turn out but I followed other's suggestions and it was such a success. A few notes.. 1.) Instead of 1 large 10-12 lbs pumpkin I used 5 small organic sugar pumpkins. Extends prep time but the presentation is amazing and your guests will be amazed! Rubbed pumpkin pie spice on inside of hallowed out pumpkin before pouring stew and baking. 2.) Additional ingredients: Sliced celery (adds flavor!), corn, cut green beans, & portabella mushroom. Very hearty. 3.) Reduced salt by 1/2 4.) Wet stems & cover with foil when bakiing. DO NOT overbake. I baked for only 1 hour 15 min. 5.) Sprinkled freshly grated Parmesean Reggiano and toasted spiced pumpkin seeds (collected from the pumpkins)on top of each stew right before serving. Comfort food, folks! Wonderful. Read More
(52)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/01/2005
this was great! stew tasted yummy and it looked awesome:) i didn't quite fill the pumpkin to the top with the stew when i took it out of the oven it was full - must be it filled the rest of the way with the pumpkin juice. very good recipe! thank you! Read More
(50)
Rating: 3 stars
09/26/2006
We thought that this had a very pretty presentation. The idea is wonderful. The stew....not so great. It lacked in flavor and seasonings. May try this again another time but first time was not a hit. Read More
(25)
Rating: 5 stars
10/08/2011
This has to be one of the best recipes I have ever seen for a party or large dinner party. I have made it twice and it is always a huge hit. People are blown away by the presentation and taste. Five stars all around. As others have noted the directions are a bit sketchy. Cover the stew while cooking on the stove and the pumpkin's top while in the oven. Also feel free to add nearly anything you like to the beef stew. I increased the vegetable count some. Just make sure that you do not add so much that the resulting stew no longer fits inside the pumpkin you have. About the pumpkin: I have no idea where you would find a 12 pound sugar pumpkin but it would not work. You need a standard "jack-o-lantern" pumpkin. A jack-o-lantern pumpkin contains quite a bit of water; making it unsuitable for use in most recipes. But the stew you create in the first part of this recipe is too thick on its own. However when you move it into the pumpkin to finish cooking the water from the pumpkin fixes that problem and adds a wonderful flavor as well. Read More
(24)
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Rating: 4 stars
11/05/2003
Being cajun I couldn't resist changing the recipe just a bit. I added 1/2 more pound of beef 12 oz. of "Texas Pete Seafood Cocktail Sauce and more salt than the recipe calls for. I also boiled the potatoes and carrots for 30 min. before following the recipe(I actually could have cooked them longer). I also didn't serve in the pumpkin but scooped everything into a large bowl. the pumpkin was delicious and the stew was better than that. Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2003
I made this last fall... several times!! It is soooooooo yummy. It makes an amazing presentation. And is full of Fiber!! I did add a handful of mushrooms just because I love mushrooms. Oh how I wish there were pumpkins right now! Read More
(18)
Rating: 1 stars
10/20/2006
Spare the poor pumkin! Added so many things to this stew to try and give it some flavor that it no longer had any relationship to this recipe. Cooked the pumpkin exactly as directed. The bottom split open and some of the stew leaked out preventing any thought of moving the ensemble to an attractive serving dish. The pumpkin looked pretty however. Will try again cooking the pumpkin empty for a shorter time and than filling it with something else - possibly pumpkin soup or mashed sweet potatoes. Or maybe I'll forget it all together! Read More
(15)