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Pumpkin Stew

This special stew is the meal our two kids look forward to each fall because we only get to enjoy it when the fresh pumpkins come out of the garden. The stew is cooked and served right in the pumpkin shell. A true taste of autumn, it also makes a pretty presentation at a potluck. —Donna Mosher, Augusta, Montana
  • Total Time
    Prep: 2-1/2 hours Bake: 2 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pumpkin (10 to 12 pounds)


  • In a Dutch oven, brown meat in 2 tablespoons oil. Add water, potatoes, carrots, green pepper, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Stir in bouillon and tomatoes. Wash pumpkin; cut a 6 to 8 in. circle around top stem. Remove top and set aside; discard seeds and loosen fibers from inside.
  • Place pumpkin in a shallow sturdy baking pan. Spoon stew into pumpkin and replace top. Brush outside of pumpkin with remaining oil. Bake at 325° for 2 hours or just until the pumpkin is tender (do not overbake). Serve stew from pumpkin, scooping out a little pumpkin with each serving.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 324 calories, 11g fat (3g saturated fat), 57mg cholesterol, 1070mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 23g protein.

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  • marniehook
    Oct 28, 2019

    This is a great recipe. I have made it for years. Instead of cooking in one large pumpkin, I put the stew in several small pumpkins. Each person then has there own pumpkin on there plate!!

  • LPHJKitchen
    Sep 27, 2019

    A hearty, fall-festive recipe! I opted to speed up cooking time and made this is in the pressure cooker with great results. It cooked up nicely with lots of flavor!

  • Peapod0114
    Jun 11, 2018

    My Mom came across your recipe when it was first published. She has made this for our family every single year at Halloween. Though my mother is gone now I continue this tradition for my own family and friends every single year. This is not only delicious and worth all the effort. It is something to look forward too when you see those beautiful pumpkins come out and a memory to treasure for the rest of time. Thank you so much for the meal and memories.

  • jodimathena
    Jan 6, 2017

    No comment left

  • Summy
    Oct 2, 2016

    I have held onto this recipe since 1995, and never made it until now. Since I am cooking for one, I halved the recipe, with the exception of the canned tomatoes. I added a whole can of Italian tomatoes (because that is what I had on hand), added some fresh thyme that would have spoiled if I didn't use it, and for some strange reason I added about 1/2 tsp of Garam Marsala seasoning. (I am not one to improvise.) I cooked the stew, then put it in a small pumpkin, reserving any stew that didn't fit. I am so glad I finally made this after 21 years! Now, when my children and granddaughter come to visit, I know what I'm going to serve! So pretty, festive, and absolutely delicious.

  • nateswife05
    Oct 3, 2015

    This recipe was awesome!!!! I added butternut squash and a little more salt and pepper. It got done earlier than the whole 4 hour process. This was a hit,everyone loved it. It's definitely going to be our new fall tradition!!!!

  • Cedes2001
    Nov 1, 2014

    FABULOUS! It makes the pumpkin taste just like stew.

  • munge8
    Oct 30, 2014

    This was soooo good!!!

  • toh102214
    Oct 29, 2014

    I used this recipe when it first came out, for an event I catered. Everyone was thrilled as it made a spectacular presentation!

  • barbacoaboa
    Oct 26, 2014

    An excellent autumn meal for our family and our guests with a fun and seasonally-appropriate presentation. After reading other reviews, I also elected to reduce the cooking time to 1.5 hrs each in dutch oven and pumpkin. This worked out well for the vegetables, though I would have preferred the meat a little more tender. Speaking of veggies, I subbed turnips and a sweet potato for two of the three potatoes. I also deglazed the Dutch oven with a few glugs of red wine after browning the meat to add a bit of complexity. Have fun with this one. It seems to be rather forgiving.