Canned pumpkin and pumpkin spice put a festive twist on good ol’ classic chili! This Recipe for Pumpkin Chili is flavourful, hearty and incredibly comforting. Any time of year! Who said pumpkin is just for desserts?!
There are no beans in this recipe for Pumpkin Chili but don’t worry, you won’t miss ’em as it’s hearty and satisfying as it is. I promise. Sure, the pumpkin in it makes it super festive and perfect to enjoy all Fall long. Hint hint: It makes a great Thanksgiving appetizer or side dish! However, don’t let that stop you from enjoying it all throughout the Winter, too. And heck, this pumpkin chili is so dang good, I wouldn’t even judge you if you also vowed to sneak in a pot or two during the hot Summer months. After all, this is a recipe you’re gonna wanna keep making over and over again!
It’s no secret around here. I’m a biiiiiig Chili lovvvva. Like big, big. I grew up eating my mama’s famous Chili. You know, the one with the perfectly seasoned ground beef, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, onion, array of spices….simmering on the stove top alllll day long. You get the idea. And while I absolutely love the good old classics, especially when made by my mama, I also love putting my own little spin on them. And when any which holiday is near, I automatically have to throw that in, too. So, in other words, ANY CHILI MADE IN OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER AUTOMATICALLY HAS TO BE PUMPKIN THEMED, OK?? And just like that, this recipe for Pumpkin Chili was born.
Pumpkin may not be the first ingredient you would ever think of adding to chili. I mean, I know I probably wouldn’t have thought of it if I didn’t just go through seeing nothing but pumpkin everywhere from the grocery store to my Instagram Feed for the whole last two months. But, I’m not gonna lie, it’s a brilliant addition. Not only does it make this chili hearty and delicious, it compliments the other ingredients SO well that you don’t even need the beans!
The best part about this recipe for Pumpkin Chili is that it’s 100% Keto Friendly and can (no, WILL) be enjoyed by all!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE FOR PUMPKIN CHILI
You’ll notice some familiar ingredients that you’d normally use for regular Beef Chili. But, there are some new ones, too! Let’s talk about ’em in a bit more detail down below:
- Ground Turkey & Ground Beef: I love a combination of the two meats in this recipe for Pumpkin Chili. In the absence of beans, I think the two provide maximum flavour and make this chili as hearty as can be. However, you can use just one over the other, if you prefer. For a fun and creative twist, you can also try substituting ground chicken, pork, sirloin, bison, lamb, Mexican chorizo or Italian sausage instead, if desired.
- Mushrooms: A classic chili ingredient that makes this dish hearty and satisfying. The mushrooms provide an Earthy, herby taste to the pumpkin chili.
- Bell Peppers: Another classic chili ingredient. Adds flavour, texture and makes this recipe for pumpkin chili extra hearty. I used one yellow and one orange bell pepper for an extra pop of colour but you can use whatever colours you want.
- Onion and Garlic: Of course any good chili should start with a little bit of onions and garlic, am I right?! Adds flavour and texture to the chili.
- Diced Tomatoes: Another classic chili ingredient and really brings this dish together. The tomatoes form a sort of sauce that brings all the ingredients together as the chili simmers on the stove. I used regular canned diced tomatoes for convenience but you can always use a couple fresh tomatoes instead. PRO TIP: Don’t drain the tomatoes before adding them to the pot. The juices are just as much our friend in this recipe as the actual tomatoes.
- Beef Broth: Helps thin out the chili while adding flavour. You can use vegetable or bone broth instead, if you prefer.
- Bay Leaves: Adds another layer of flavour to the pumpkin chili. Also helps lighten up this hearty dish so you don’t feel so full after devouring a bowl (or three!)
- Olive Oil: Used to sautée the veggies and is not added directly to the chili. Adds flavour. You can use avocado oil or even coconut oil instead, if you prefer.
- Pumpkin Purée: One of the stars of the show in this recipe for Pumpkin Chili. It adds flavour, structure, texture and makes this chili deliciously hearty. I used canned pumpkin to save on time and for convenience but feel free to use fresh pumpkin, if you’re feeling adventurous. You’re going to need two cups of pumpkin purée for this recipe.
- Spices: I love a chili that is full of spices and therefore, full of flavour! This recipe for pumpkin chili has a combination of chili powder, paprika, cumin, turmeric, oregano, salt and pepper with the addition of one secret spice… You guessed it! Pumpkin spice! And let me tell you, it really (REALLY, REALLY!!!) takes this pumpkin chili to a whole other level. if you don’t want to use the exact combination of spices I used in this recipe for pumpkin chili, you can use a combination of whatever spices you have on hand or want to use. But please, don’t skip the pumpkin spice!
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN CHILI (KEY TIPS)
- Brown the meat in a hot skillet before adding it to the pot with the rest of the ingredients. This will maximize on flavour and like, I’m pretty sure it’s a crime to just add raw meat to a pot of anything…but that’s just me.
- Allow the pumpkin chili to simmer for at least 30 minutes to an hour before digging in. Honestly, as with most soup and stew recipes, chili is better the longer it sits and the more time the flavours have to mingle. If I have the time when cooking up this pumpkin chili recipe, I’ll even let it go for longer than an hour. It’s quite impossible to “overcook” chili. EXTRA TIP: If you end up having some leftover pumpkin chili, keep in mind that the flavours will develop more the longer it sits in the fridge (a helpful tip if deciding to add anything spicy).
- This recipe for pumpkin chili is not spicy if you follow it as is. So, if you’re into a bit of spice, feel free to add some! Cayenne pepper, chili flakes, hot peppers and hot sauce are all great options.
- Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves after cooking. I may or may not be speaking from experience and the BF didn’t enjoy it when one surprised him in a bite. Opps.
- Get creative with the toppings! That’s one of the best parts about chili… am I right?! You can customize this baby however you like. Some of my favourite ways is adding sliced jalapeños, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheeses, sliced avocado, chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, homemade gremolata, sliced green onions, crushed tortilla chips or homemade croutons (when I’m not doing Keto, lol).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you follow this recipe for pumpkin chili exactly as written, then no, you won’t find this chili spicy at all, especially if you like spicy food! Flavourful, heck yes, on SO many levels. But spicy, no. If you’re looking to add some heat to this pumpkin chili, try adding sliced hot peppers (both to the chili itself and on top), crushed chili flakes or cayenne pepper or a few squirts of hot sauce.
Leftover pumpkin chili should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. It’ll be good for up to a week and makes great leftovers!
Yes! This is a dish you can definitely make in advance. In fact, I usually say that chili tastes even better the next day! The longer the chili sits in the fridge, the more chance the flavours have to mingle and therefore, the more flavourful it will become.
When ready to serve/eat, simply bring to a simmer over a medium heat until heated through. Ladle into bowls, top with desired toppings and enjoy!
This pumpkin chili is hearty enough to be a main meal all on it’s own! However, if you’re looking to pair it with a little somethin’ somethin’, these are some good options: homemade garlic bread or croutons (if not on Keto, of course!), cauliflower mac and cheese, simple roasted veggies such as broccoli, tangy coleslaw or a delicious salad such as this kale caesar salad.
YES! I love freezing this chili for quick and easy lunches or dinners all Fall/Winter long! Simply allow the chili to cool completely then divide it out into desired portions (I love using these freezer safe soup containers or regular large ziploc freezer bags). It’ll be good in the freezer for up to 4 months. When ready to eat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat in a pot on the stove.
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 1 pound Ground Turkey
- 1 28 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 cups Pumpkin Purée
- 2 cups Beef Broth
- 1 227g package Mushrooms
- 2 Bell Peppers, diced, I used yellow and orange
- 1 Onion, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 tbsp Pumpkin Spice
- 1 tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- Optional Toppings: sliced jalapeños, diced avocado, shredded cheeses, sliced green onion, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, homemade croutons*, fresh gremolata*
- Add all the spices in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil. Once hot, add the ground beef and turkey. Cook, breaking up with the back of a spatula and stirring occasionally, until completely browned. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onions and bell peppers and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the mushrooms and cook an additional 5 or so minutes, until they're soft, stirring frequently.
- Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, an extra minute or so.
- Add the ground turkey and beef mixture back into the pot and stir to combine. Then add the mixed spices and stir until the meat is nicely coated. Cook a few minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes, pumpkin purée, bay leaves and beef broth and give it a good stir to combine everything.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes but up to an hour* Remove the bay leaves. Top with desired toppings, if any, and enjoy hot!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 648Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 1847mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 10gSugar: 12gProtein: 49g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
LOVE CHILI? TRY MY DELICIOUS CLASSIC BEEF CHILI NEXT!
LOOKING FOR MORE COMFORTING RECIPES THAT’LL KEEP YOU COZY ALL FALL & WINTER LONG? LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THESE