Stuffed Pumpkin: Is it art or science?

What started out as a grand experiment with food more has turned into a combination of science and art for my parents, who joined a gourmet food club more than 15 years ago.

My dad says cooking is “science” because you take whatever is in season and mix it with spices and liquids to make something exciting for the taste buds. My mom says cooking is “art” because it’s all about presentation and eye appeal.

I believe their recipe for Stuffed Pumpkins is a perfect union of science and art!  Picture your table colorfully decorated with a bounty of gourds, pumpkins, bittersweet and acorns as the centerpiece; glasses of your favorite red, white or golden yellow beverage; napkins and silverware tied together with twine next to a solitary plate holding the main course, a pumpkin stuffed with a delicious blend of savory and crunch.

My parents agree that cooking gourmet doesn’t have to be difficult. The most difficult thing about this recipe is cutting the top off of the pumpkin. The rest is easy – especially the clean up as you just throw the shell away or toss into your compost pile.

Whether you make this fun dish for friends or family, be prepared for the “oohs” and “ahhs” as they experience both the presentation (art) and taste (science).

Mini Stuffed Pumpkins



  • 4 small pumpkins (approx 4”-5” high)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb. Hamburger
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 4 oz can mushrooms
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1.5 Cups Cooked Rice
  • 4 oz Can Chopped Water Chestnuts (optional)



  • Cut off tops of pumpkins and clean out seeds.
  • Sautee onions in oil until tender.
  • Add hamburger, soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, and soup.
  • Simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add cooked rice and water chestnuts.
  • Fill pumpkins and place on a foil lined cookie sheet.
  • Put tops on pumpkins.
  • Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.


From the kitchen of Amy Hild

Serves 4