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Recipes with Casey: Fall Chili Stuffed Sweet Pumpkin

Thanksgiving is nearly here which means tables filled with fall and winter signature dishes. The turkey may be the traditional centerpiece, but from there every household has some slight variations when it comes to sides and desserts. Instead of making your contribution to the meal one of the typical plates (stuffing, cranberry sauce, pie) try out this recipe for a rice pilaf and chili stuffed sweet pumpkin. Every bite is filled with flavor and the presentation makes for a unique Thanksgiving.

Sweet chili-filled pumpkin.

Chili Filled Sweet Pumpkin


  • 1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can spicy black beans
  • 1 can pinto or red beans’
  • Chicken stock
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • Red, yellow, and orange peppers
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1.5 tbsp.
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Small to medium organic sweet pumpkin
  • Wild rice or gluten free brown rice pilaf, unseasoned
  • Olive oil
  • Brown rice flour (gluten-free)


  • Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and turn on low heat.
  • Dice half of a large yellow onion, add to pan.
  • Mince three cloves of garlic, add to pan.
  • Dice 2 small or 1 large jalapeño pepper (for less spice remove seeds) and add to pan.
  • Turn heat to medium and add ground turkey to pan. Break up turkey with a wooden spoon while browning.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Add cinnamon depending on how sweet you would like, between 1-4 tsp.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Dice red, yellow, and orange peppers, add to pan. If you would like a spicier dish add more diced jalapeños.
  • Add just enough chicken stock to cover all of the meat.
  • Cover and turn down heat slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cut the top off your pumpkin using a serrated knife and scoop out all seeds and loose flesh.
  • Add a little bit of water to the inside and sprinkle brown sugar.
  • Replace top and put into the oven in an appropriately sized baking dish, preferably metal rather than glass.
  • Your pumpkin will stay in the oven for at least 30 minutes before stuffing, coming out around the same time your rice is done.
  • Follow directions on rice pilaf packaging (cook time: 20-40 min). If you are using plain brown or wild rice you can use the chicken stock for a little extra flavor.
  • Empty the contents of your chili pan into a large pot and place on medium heat.
  • Add corn, black beans, and pinto beans.
  • Add (about 2 tsp.) chili powder, pinch of salt and pepper and garlic powder. For a sweeter chili add more cinnamon.
  • Recover, turn heat between medium and low, and allow chili to simmer for 10-15 min.
  • Add brown rice flower to desired thickness, stir and recover.
  • After at least 30 minutes (can be longer depending on the size of your pumpkin and rice cook time) remove pumpkin from oven and drain any remaining liquid.
  • Add a pinch of ground cinnamon or 1 whole cinnamon stick to the bottom of the pumpkin.
  • Fill pumpkin 1/4 of the way with rice on bottom and the remainder with chili on top.
  • Replace lid and cook for 30 min at 350.
  • Remove pumpkin from oven, remove lid and allow to cool at least 10 min before serving. Your pumpkin should be a slightly darker shade of orange, but not yet brown.
  • When serving, scrape the inside of the pumping to mix in pumpkin meat with the chili.

Note: The chili recipe will fill between 2-3 pumpkins depending on their size. Each pumpkin will feed about 2 people.

Like this recipe? Check out Casey’s Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes for more!

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