Warm Your Holidays with Hearty Pumpkin Stew: A Recipe for Seasonal Comfort

As the holiday season approaches, look no further than the humble pumpkin to elevate your holiday menu to a whole new level of coziness. When you’re craving something warm, comforting, and undeniably festive, make way for the savory star of the fall season: Pumpkin Stew.

Inspired by Yellowstone Country founder Hillary Folkvord’s fall tradition of picking pumpkins with her family at the Rocky Creek Farms Pumpkin Patch, this stew is not just a feast for the tastebuds but also a visual delight that captures the essence of the holiday spirit.

Cooked and then served in the pumpkin shell, this marvelous fall meal is a great way to incorporate some family fun in the kitchen, building excitement (and an appetite) while you work together to clean out the gourd guts. This delightful dish combines the earthy sweetness of pumpkin with a medley of seasonal flavors, creating a harmoniously nutritious entreé enjoyed by dinner guests of all ages. Carrots and celery add heartiness—perfect for your kids!—while garlic, thyme, and onions contribute layers of flavor. And while the recipe calls for one pound of beef, every Yellowstone Country native knows that no stew is complete without fresh elk meat.

Sure to impress your guests and your children, this pumpkin stew offers a true taste of autumn. Embrace the enchanting combination of pumpkin, spices, and a colorful medley of vegetables for a dish that embodies the spirit of togetherness and celebration. Shared with family and friends, this hearty stew is bound to become a cherished tradition, bringing joy and comfort to your festive gatherings for years to come. So, gather around, savor the aroma, and let the magic of Pumpkin Stew create lasting holiday memories. Cheers to a season filled with delicious warmth!


  • 1 lb beef, cut into cubes (or elk meat)
  • Olive oil
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1.5 cup beef bone broth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Pumpkin (10-12 pounds)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add in meat, cook until golden brown. About 2-3 minutes.
  3. In a large pot, add olive oil over medium heat. Add in garlic and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add in carrots and celery. Cook for another 10 minutes. Add in meat, tomato paste, chili flakes, red wine, thyme, salt and pepper.
  4. Add in beef bone broth. Save 1/2 cup for the roux. Bring to a boil then reduce heat.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup bone broth and arrowroot. This creates a thick roux. Add to pot and mix together.
  6. Prepare pumpkin: clean out all the inside of the pumpkin guts.
  7. Place pumpkin in a shallow sturdy baking pan. Spoon stew into pumpkin and replace the top of the pumpkin. Brush the outside of the pumpkin with olive oil. Bake at 400 for 1 hour.
  8. Serve stew from the pumpkin, scooping out a little pumpkin with each serving.
  9. Top with parsley.
  10. ENJOY!


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