Pumpkin Chili – Dinner in a Pumpkin!

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Dinner in a Pumpkin

The past few mornings have started to feel more and more like Autumn. The leaves are turning beautiful yellows and reds and it was only 23° when I got up this morning! Since our children were young we have had a tradition in our home to make Dinner in a Pumpkin. It is a great way to kick off the fall season. You can make just about anything in a pumpkin from pasta and rice dishes to chilis and stew. The possibilities are truly endless.

One of my favorite Dinner in a Pumpkin ideas is Pumpkin Chili. Pumpkin Chili is bursting with the flavors of fall and when you family sees you take the top off the pumpkin they will be in awe.


  • 10lb – 12lb Pumpkin
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 15.5oz can kidney beans
  • 2 15.5oz can chili beans
  • 1 15.5oz can great northern beans
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 14oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
  • Chili mix packet (I got mine from Willow Creek on Main Street.)
  • 1/2 TBS Cinnamon
  • Sour cream, diced green onions and shredded cheese for toppings


1. Cut the top off and clean out all the seeds and goop from inside the pumpkin.

2. Preheat oven to 350°

3. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add ground beef. Cook until browned and then drain off the excess grease.

4. Add diced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stirring frequently.

5. Add beans, pumpkin puree, tomatoes and chili packet. Simmer 2-3 minutes.

6. Spoon the chili into the cleaned out pumpkin. Place the pumpkin top back on the pumpkin before baking.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

7. Bake Chili inside of the pumpkin for 45 minutes. This will be enough time to let the sides get soft so that you can scoop the pumpkin out and stir it into the chili if you like. But it is not long enough to make the pumpkin soft to the point of just falling apart.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

8. After baking take the top off the pumpkin and add shredded cheese, sour cream and diced green onions.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a pumpkin is a fun family tradition. It gives your family something to look forward to each year and can really help you kick off fall.

Looking for more fun things to do this fall? Check out these Haunted Cookie House ideas!

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19 thoughts on “Pumpkin Chili – Dinner in a Pumpkin!”

  1. Not only does this look delicious, it’s also super festive. I think this is the best fall dinner idea I’ve seen in a long time.

  2. I’m on the lookout for some new fall and Halloween recipes. This is so unique and looks really tasty!

  3. This is the best idea ever! I love the idea of chili served in a pumpkin! I’ve added pumpkin puree to my chili before, but never thought of actually serving it in a pumpkin! Brilliant!

  4. This is such an awesome idea! I’d love to make some this fall. It would be such a fun surprise for my family!

  5. Wow does this ever look amazing. I would have never thought to make it in a pumpkin. What a great idea.

  6. I love chili so much! This is such an awesome idea to make pumpkin chili! My family will love it!

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