Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili topped with chips, jalapeños and cheese, surrounded by pumpkins

It’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season, formerly known as Fall.  It seems like everywhere you look in the grocery store there’s pumpkin bread, pumpkin bisque, and even pumpkin ravioli!  My family especially loves Pumpkin Chili on a cool evening with a side of cornbread and football on the television!  Seasonal spices like cinnamon and nutmeg give it a delicious variation from traditional spicy tomato based chili.

Pumpkin Packs a Punch!

Pumpkin is more than just an autumnal vegetable.  It is a great source of fiber that’s packed with immune boosting vitamins C, E, Iron and Folate.  Pureed pumpkin brings a great texture to foods like baked goods and soups to make healthy foods appealing to even the pickiest eaters!  The fiber is also great for regularity in little kiddos that may have inconsistent bathroom habits.

Easy and Tasty!

Pumpkin Chili is packed with protein and produce and tastes oh so dreamy.  I like to make it earlier in the day and leave it cooking low and slow in the crockpot to allow the flavors to marry until dinner time.  I prefer ground turkey in this chili, but any ground meat will work deliciously!  Many of these vegetables can be found already chopped and prepared in the produce section of your grocery store to save you a bit of time.  The diced veggies, beans and ground meat are easy for little hands to grab and practice self feeding.  If you have a slow cooker with a saute feature, you can make the ground meat in your pot first and then add the rest of the ingredients, saving yourself from another dirty dish!  


Pumpkin Chili Recipe


  • 1 lb ground turkey (ground chicken, pork, or bison also taste delicious!)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil, separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, depending on desired thickness
  • Optional toppings: sliced jalapenos, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, minced red onion, plain greek yogurt, shredded mexican cheese


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp avocado oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add the salt, pepper, garlic, ground meat and onion, and cook until no longer pink and the onions are translucent.
  2. Remove the meat mixture from the pan onto a separate plate and add the sweet potatoes, bell peppers and additional oil to the pan.  Cook over medium heat or until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the meat mixture back to the pan, stirring in the rest of the spices.  Toss to coat.
  4. To the pot, add the broth, beans, pumpkin, and tomatoes with their juices.
  5. If serving within the hour, let soup simmer for about 30 minutes to allow for thickening and richer flavors.  Stir frequently to avoid burning.  Add more broth to thin out the chili to desired thickness.
  6. If keeping in the slow cooker, set to low for 6-8 hours.  Stir once an hour to avoid burning to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve with sweet jalapeno cornbread!
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