Pizza stuffed pumpkin: Small roasted pumpkins, stuffed with a tasty mixture of ground beef, pizza sauce and hot, melted cheese. Delicious!
Pizza stuffed pumpkin may sound suspicious, but it’s surprisingly good!
Savory pumpkin is good!
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.
Making pizza stuffed pumpkins when you’re out of peppers
The idea to make pizza stuffed pumpkin occurred to me one night because the original plan was to make pizza stuffed bell peppers. Alas, upon slicing the peppers, I discovered they were rotten inside. I did need to cook the ground beef though. And I had a couple of small pumpkins on the counter. That’s how the idea for this recipe was born.
My family was suspicious at first (can you blame them?). 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. I have made this dish a few more times since that first night, and it’s a big hit every time I make it.
Is this a healthy recipe?
Now, this is not a low-calorie dish by any means, but this is a complete meal and very nutritious. You could add a small green salad if you wish. But these pizza stuffed pumpkins are VERY filling, and contain fresh meat, dairy and a vegetable in one tasty package. I did add a few pepperoni slices to each pumpkin half, but this is purely optional, and you can certainly keep this dish healthier by not using processed meat.
Pizza Stuffed Pumpkin
- 2 small pumpkins, about 2 lb. each
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
- 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 pizza sauce, no sugar added
- 1/2 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.