Pizza stuffed pumpkin: Small roasted pumpkins, stuffed with a tasty mixture of ground beef, pizza sauce and hot, melted cheese. Delicious!
Until I had dinner at a friend’s house, and she served the creamiest, most delicious mashed pumpkin. The dish was savory, and incredible. She generously shared the recipe with me, and ever since that fateful night, I know that savory pumpkin dishes can be very good.
It’s just that pumpkin is very versatile. It can take on sweet or savory flavors easily, and both are wonderful.
Tonight I decided to make pizza stuffed pumpkin. The idea occurred to me because the original plan was to make pizza stuffed bell peppers. Alas, upon slicing the peppers, I discovered they were rotten inside. The ground beef needed to be cooked though, and I did have a couple of small pumpkins on the counter. That’s how the idea for pizza stuffed pumpkin was born.
My family was suspicious at first, but upon tasting the dish, they immediately declared it not just “very tasty” but also “blog worthy,” which in our household is the biggest compliment a recipe could possibly get.
Now, this is not a low-calorie dish by any means, but this is a complete meal – you could add a small green salad if you wish, but these pizza stuffed pumpkins are VERY filling, and contain meat, dairy and a vegetable in one tasty package.
So here you go – an easy, delicious recipe for pizza stuffed pumpkin.
- 2 (about 2 lb. each) small pumpkins
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus extra for pumpkins
- ½ teaspoon black pepper plus extra for pumpkins
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup no sugar added pizza sauce
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wipe the pumpkins clean with a wet paper towel. Microwave each pumpkin for 2 minutes (1 minute on each side), to make them just a little softer and easier to cut.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the pumpkins in half. Scoop out the pulp and seeds, reserving the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Place the pumpkins, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
- While the pumpkins are baking, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer raw, stirring to break the meat up as it cooks, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano, then add the pizza sauce. Cook, stirring, 2 more minutes.
- Remove the filling from heat. When the pumpkins are ready, sprinkle them with a little kosher salt and black pepper, then stuff them with the filling. Sprinkle cheese on top. I also topped each pumpkin half with 4 pepperoni slices.
- Return the stuffed pumpkins to the oven. Bake just until heated through and cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes. Rest the pumpkins 5 minutes before serving.