Great Pumpkin Meatloaf

"Trick or Treat supper baked in a pumpkin. It is amazing how much less candy is gobbled up en route home on Halloween night if the kids start out with tummies happily full of nutritious food. To capture goblins attention before they go on their appointed rounds, serve Great Pumpkin Meatloaf. This fascinating jack-o'-lantern with a meatloaf inside will intrigue goblins, both young and old. Cut the jack-o'-lanterns in wedges and serve as a meat and vegetable in one. To accentuate the bland flavor of the pumpkin, the inside is spread with honey mustard before filling. The meatloaf mixture, enhanced with the zesty flavor of Worcestershire sauce is baked right inside the pumpkin. Complete this nourishing supper with oven roasted potatoes, celery sticks, cucumber slices, whole wheat dinner rolls and milk, plus a crispy apple for desert. This is not an "adult" dinner, but a pleasurable and fun meal for all that are young at heart. Almost any meatloaf recipe can be cooked in a pumpkin, so feel free to experiment. It's all about the presentation! Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the pumpkin and the meatloaf recipe used. (WW 6 points)"
photo by gold.klas photo by gold.klas
photo by gold.klas
photo by Kathy photo by Kathy
photo by gold.klas photo by gold.klas
photo by gold.klas photo by gold.klas
photo by gold.klas photo by gold.klas
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • Cut top from pumpkin in a zig zag design.
  • Remove seeds and stringy insides.
  • Place pumpkin in a baking pan; add about 1 inch of hot water.
  • Cover pumpkin and pan with foil.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F. for 45 minutes. (Or microwave for about 14 minutes.).
  • Season inside of pumpkin with salt and pepper; brush with honey mustard (or yellow mustard and sprinkle with brown sugar).
  • Combine egg, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, ground beef and bread crumbs; mix well.
  • Spoon into pumpkin shell, packing down lightly.
  • Return to oven and bake, uncovered, 45 to 60 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and the meatloaf is cooked. (The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees F.).
  • You may cook the "lid" of the pumpkin along with the meatloaf, however, watch it and remove when it is cooked and still looks attractive.
  • Remove and let rest for 5 -10 minutes.
  • Be creative with garnishes.
  • Cut into 6 wedges to serve.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. This is really good, and the presentation is great fun. It was pretty easy to put together too. I was a bit nervous about the amount of mustard it called for, but it turned out great. I used the right sized pumpkin, but it took closer to an hour and a half for the meatloaf to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. It could have been my oven, though.
  2. My husband had this as a regular fall meal growing up. We make it now and friends and family love it!!<br/>We hollow out pumpkin, make up the meatloaf mix (we add a little milk-keeps it moist) stuff the pumpkin put on the top and put in pan with water about 1 1/2" in bottom. It then cooks for 3 hours......take out and poke holes with long knife at the base of the pumpkin,but up into the meatloaf......fat with drain out. Take off top and cook for 1/2 more. Slice into wedges.
  3. I like trying new recipes in the fall that are baked in a pumpkin. This one intrigued me, and it while it was good, it didn't get rave reviews from everyone at our house. I liked coating the inside of the pumpkin with salt/pepper and mustard -- genius! I used a sweet/hot mustard and really liked the flavor it gave to the pumpkin. The meatloaf itself fell a little short for me, and I probably should have used my favorite meatloaf recipe. Like another reviewer, I had trouble with fat collecting on top of the meatloaf. Looking back, I think that occurred because the meatloaf mixture did not overflow the pumpkin (mine came to within an inch of the top, so the fat was stuck inside the cavity. If the meatloaf mixture overfills the cavity, then the fat rising to the top can bubble out and drain down the sides of the pumpkin.
  4. Excellent recipe! I did add some seasoning to the meat - 1 onion grated fine, Spike seasoning, Maggi and fresh ground pepper. It took longer to cook to the center of the meat, so I microwaved it for 2 minutes to fully cook it. We had it with mashed potatoes and gravy. My daughter was not fussy on the pumpkin, but I really liked it.
  5. I really liked this concept, but it definitely required longer cooking time than what the recipe calls for. I also found this recipe for meatloaf to be a bit blander than I like. The presentation was beautiful, but I would definitely stuff with another meatloaf recipe next time. Thanks for posting a great idea!


  1. I made this for dinner tonight and thought it turned out really well! I did have to substitute rolled oats for the bread crumbs since I forgot them at the store. My pumpkin was a little bigger than the one in the recipe so I just baked it a little longer. The wedges looked really neat on the dinner plates! I am pleased with this and will make it again! :)


The picture above is of my daughter and me, taken about 35 years after the photo she posted on her Zaar page (WeBees); I’m the one in the goofy hat in her picture and she’s the one on the left in my picture. Most of my pre-married life was spent in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area with all the wonderful produce, sea food and wines that the region offers. Five of my teenage years were spent in West Africa with my family (medical missionaries). On our way back to the US we traveled extensively throughout Europe and after marrying my Navy husband, we were moved to Asia. All this said because these travel experiences greatly influenced my interest in cooking and willingness to try new foods. I’ve been with Zaar for about two years and have enjoyed trying new recipes and learning about the person who posted it. There are some crazy, wonderful and talented people out there, not to mention knowledgeable and gracious. It’s been great fun participating in the “Tag” and “Swap” games. <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"><a href="¤t=tish3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Recipezaar Challenge 2008"></a><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=""> Like many other Zaarites, I’ve collected hundreds of cookbooks. My favorites are from places that I‘ve visited around the world as well as my first, given to me by my mother when I went off to college - “The Graham Kerr Cookbook” by the Galloping Gourmet. My oldest cookbook was given to me by my grandmother – “The Boston-School Cook Book” by Fannie Merritt Farmer circa 1896. I’m an Interior Designer but also taught Weight Watchers for about twenty years. It’s tough loving to cook and bake and still keep at a healthy weight!
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes