Halloween Food Ideas:
Pumpkin in the Shell

Looking for fun Halloween food ideas? You'll want to try Pumpkin in the Shell.

This delicious pumpkin dish cooks in its own shell. The whole pumpkin can be brought to the table as an edible centerpiece!

This easy Halloween recipe uses simple ingredients and takes only minutes to put together. It needs to bake for about 2 hours, though, so be sure to allow yourself lots of time.

The consistency of the cooked pumpkin may vary. That's OK! If it's fairly liquid, serve it in bowls and call it a soup. If it's pretty firm, scoop it onto plates and call it a side dish. Either way, it's delicious - and fun!

This isn't the fastest of my Halloween food ideas, but the extra time is worth it!

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • canned evaporated milk
    • French bread
    • salt
    • pepper

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • butter
    • onions
    • Cheddar cheese

Buy these fresh ingredients

  • a small pumpkin

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a sharp knife
    • a large spoon for scooping out the pumpkin
    • a cutting board
    • a large baking dish or roasting pan
    • a can opener
    • a cheese grater
    • aluminum foil
    • a fork

    The recipe

    1 small pumpkin (about 8 inches/20 cm in diameter)

    1 Tbsp/15 mL butter

    1/4 cup/60 mL finely minced onion

    1 can (13 oz/370 mL) evaporated milk

    2 slices French bread cubed

    1/2 tsp/2 mL salt

    1/4 tsp/1 mL pepper

    1/2 cup/125 mL grated Cheddar cheese

    Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.

    Cut off the top of the pumpkin as though you were planning to make a jack-o-lantern.
    Set the lid aside.

    Scoop out the seeds and the pulp.
    Scrape most of the stringiness from the sides.

    Rub the inside of the pumpkin with the butter.

    Place the pumpkin in a large baking dish or roasting pan.

    Put the onion, evaporated milk, bread cubes, salt, pepper and cheese into the pumpkin.

    Cover the hole with aluminum foil and then replace the lid.

    Bake until the pumpkin is tender but not falling apart (about 2 hours).

    To test for tenderness, remove the lid and foil and poke the inside of the pumpkin with a fork.

    When your pumpkin is ready, use a large spoon to scrape the soft flesh from the sides and bottom.
    Stir gently to mix.
    Serve hot.


    • Use any firm bread in place of the French bread. Try sourdough, rye, or your favorite.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Try using another cheese in place of the Cheddar. How about Swiss, or mozzarella?

    • Add some spices. I wonder how a bit of nutmeg would taste? Or some allspice? Basil? Thyme?

    • Experiment with adding different flavorings. How about a shot of Worcestershire sauce? Some tamari? Garlic? Use your imagination!


    • Get the kids to scoop out the seeds!

    • Save the pumpkin seeds and roast them to eat later as a snack!

    Menu suggestion

    Serve this dish with

    If you enjoy this recipe, you may also like these other Halloween food ideas: