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Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili


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Pumpkin Chili! Made with chunks of pumpkin, ground pork, black beans, a bottle of beer, and plenty of spices. Even better the next day.

Photography Credit:Aaron Hutcherson

Pumpkin and chili: two things we all crave every fall. This recipe combines them into one dish. It’s the best of both worlds!

The pumpkin provides some natural sweetness, which plays well with the different spices. If you aren’t able to find fresh pumpkin, then butternut squash, acorn squash, or any other hard squash would be good substitutes.

Video! How to Make Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili’s Secret Ingredient

I love using beer in my chili recipes because it adds a rich, earthy flavor and just enough bitterness to balance the richness of the finished dish. Since this is a pumpkin chili, I thought it only fitting to use a pumpkin beer in this recipe. There usually isn’t any real squash in pumpkin beer, but it has a mellow malty flavor and a spiciness that underscores the flavors in this chili really nicely.

However, you can really use whatever beer you have on hand; I recommend sticking with an amber beer or lager since those usually have a good balance of malty flavors with a light bitterness. (Avoid overly-bitter, hoppy beers for this recipe.)

A FAST AND EASY WEEKNIGHT CHILI

This chili only needs about 30 minutes of simmer on the stovetop before it’s ready. It also tastes even better reheated the next day, making it a great make-ahead meal for busy weeks.

And don’t forget to serve this pumpkin chili with your favorite accompaniments. Mine are tortilla chips and sour cream.

OTHER FAVORITE CHILI RECIPES!

  • Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili
  • Black Bean Turkey Chili
  • Pressure Cooker Ground Beef Chili
  • White Chicken Chili
  • Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Ingredients

  • Small 1-pound sugar or pie pumpkin, or other hard winter squash
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed and finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle pumpkin beer (or amber ale or lager)

Suggested toppings (to serve):

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Method

1 Prepare the pumpkin: Peel the skin from the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut away the stem, then cut the pumpkin into small bite-sized pieces. (See this guide to How to Peel A Butternut Squash; the steps are similar.)

2 Begin making the soup: Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the cut pumpkin, onion, jalapeños, garlic, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. (The pumpkin should be slightly soft around the edges, but probably won't be cooked through yet.)

Add the ground pork, breaking it up with a stiff spatula, and continue to cook until no longer raw, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, beer, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot.

3 Simmer the soup: Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin has cooked through and the flavors have had time to mingle, about 30 minutes.

Taste and add more salt or spices if needed. (If the chili tastes a little bland, add more spices; if the chili tastes a little bitter, add more salt.)

4 Serve: Divide among bowls and serve with your favorite chili toppings. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!


This Chili Recipe Has a Surprising Ingredient—Pumpkin

Blaine Moats

Is there any more perfect fall food than chili? It's hearty and filling, and its warmth is like a hug on a cold winter's day. You've probably had chili made with beans and ground meat—but have you tried pumpkin chili?

This fall recipe combines a full can of pumpkin along with classic chili ingredients like onion, ground beef, tomatoes, and canned beans. There are all the flavors and seasonings of traditional chili, along with the sweet flavor of pumpkin. And thanks to a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder and a can of diced green chiles, this chili also packs in the flavors of Mexican mole sauce. Pumpkin, mole, and spices like oregano and cilantro? This is one chili recipe everyone is bound to love.

The best part, though, might be that this pumpkin chili only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on prep time. After that, you can leave the chili to simmer on the stove until it reaches that thick, delicious consistency. As the cold weather sets in, this is one recipe you'll want to bookmark.

Nutrition: 265 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated), 450 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 23 g protein

Makes 6 servings


What is Pumpkin Chili?

  • Pumpkin chili is very similar to traditional chili recipes , but a can of pumpkin puree is added. The pumpkin flavor won’t be super noticeable but it adds a silky texture, beautiful color and a boost of Vitamins A & C, potassium and fiber. This version adds in ground turkey, but it can also be made vegetarian.

This recipe can be made on the stovetop, or in a crockpot or Instant Pot. On the stove, it will take under 30-minutes to make!


Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (4 ounce) can tomato sauce with garlic and onions
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat cook and stir the beef in the skillet until crumbly and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, garlic, and onion continue cooking until the beef has browned and the onion has softened and turned translucent. Add the green and red bell pepper and cook 5 minutes more.

While the beef is cooking, combine the kidney beans, black beans, Great Northern beans, tomato sauce, tomato sauce with garlic and onions, petite diced tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and pumpkin puree in a large slow cooker. Season with pumpkin pie spice, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir in the ground beef mixture.


What Does Pumpkin Chili Taste Like?

There are probably as many ways to answer that question as there are pumpkin chili recipes out there in the world (and trust me – there are actually a lot of ’em!).

Pumpkin is a terrific ingredient to work with because it nimbly adapts from sweet recipes (like those Thanksgiving pies) to savory dishes (like our 5-Minute Savory Pumpkin Hummus with Fresh Sage). So, if you can only imagine pumpkin in sweet things, the whole savory, pumpkin chili idea will be an epiphany for ya!

Just like with other chili recipes – pumpkin chilis can range from spicy or mild, they can be vegan or loaded with beef, and they can stick pretty close to traditional chili flavors, or they can take that unique pumpkin twist and run with it in all sorts of unexpected ways.

You’ll find that some recipes actually don’t even taste much like pumpkin at all. Take our Quick Stovetop Vegetarian Chili (the first one in the list below). Pumpkin puree forms the thick, rich, creamy base of the chili. But honestly, I’m not sure you’d ever guess there was pumpkin in there if you didn’t already know. With all the other veggies and spices taking center stage, the pumpkin is definitely just a supporting cast member.

On the flip side, if you peek a little further down our list, you’ll see other recipes that absolutely highlight pumpkin as the star.

Either way, they all leverage the creamy, buttery texture of pumpkin and also its big nutrition benefits. Pumpkin is very nutrient-dense and low in carbs, and it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants (like beta-carotene, a powerful carotenoid). You can read more about pumpkin nutrition HERE.

So, does pumpkin chili taste like pumpkin? Or does it taste like a regular chili? Depends which recipe you try. But even more likely – it’ll taste like something in between, wonderful and totally unique. (And just right to spoon up while wearing that favorite sweatshirt and comfy jammy pants!)


  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10-12 (1 heaping cup serving)
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Combining easy canned ingredients with a few fresh components, this vegetarian pumpkin chili is an easy and convenient one pan meal that will warm you up during colder months. Feel free to make substitutions based on what you enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion ( 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (remove seeds and ribs)*
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups (480ml) vegetable broth
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree*
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 heaping cup)*
  • optional: 1/2 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed*

Optional For Serving:

  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped red onion
  • sliced avocado

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 5 quart (or larger) pot or dutch oven. Add the onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño. Stir and cook for 5 minutes as the onion softens. Add garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, and onion powder. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients including black beans, if using.
  2. Place the lid on top, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with any optional toppings. I strongly suggest cilantro for a little fresh kick. Yum!

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Chili freezes wonderfully for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then heat in a large pot on medium heat for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Spiciness: This chili, as written, is mildly spicy. Feel free to adjust the chili powder based on your spice tolerance. You can leave out the jalapeño if desired. If removing some spice, however, keep in mind that some flavor will be lost. You can add a little more cumin, garlic, or onion powder in its place.
  3. Beans: You can use any beans you enjoy. I found the textures of pinto, kidney, and black beans perfect for this chili. You can use light or dark kidney beans, whichever you prefer. I added 1/2 of a can of black beans at the last minute. They’re optional, but very tasty in this dish. Chick peas would be great here, so feel free to make a swap.
  4. Pumpkin: I recommend using canned pumpkin puree over homemade in this recipe, though 2 cups of homemade would be fine in a pinch.
  5. Sweet Potato: Feel free to substitute peeled and diced butternut squash.
  6. Slow Cooker Instructions: Place all of the ingredients in a 5 quart or larger slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Keywords: chili, vegetarian

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Pumpkin Chili

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Pumpkin Chili is the ultimate Fall comfort food. Made in one pot with pumpkin puree, tomatoes, bell pepper, pumpkin spice, and ground beef.

Classic Beef Chili is one of those easy Dinner Recipes that’s perfect for weeknight meals, game days, or potlucks. This Pumpkin Chili recipe puts a festive twist on the traditional recipe that’s perfect for halloween or Thanksgiving.

PUMPKIN CHILI

Pumpkin recipes are always perfect to pull out in the Autumn. Whether it’s Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Pie, or this delicious Pumpkin Chili, they’re always crowd-pleasing recipes. While many pumpkin recipes are desserts, this one is great to serve for dinner. It’s hearty, and full of pumpkin spice and other warm spices that your whole family will love.

This gluten-free Pumpkin Chili is perfect for a weeknight meal. Along with being delicious, it’s also surprisingly easy to make. Once you’ve browned the meat and combined all the ingredients, all you have to do is let it simmer in the dutch oven until it’s ready to be served. For the ultimate Fall dinner serve it up with some homemade Cornbread and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Chili is also the perfect recipe to bring to a party or your next chili cook-off. The creamy, rich pumpkin will be an interesting change from the classic chili recipes. It still has the ground beef, beans, and tomato sauce you expect in chili, but the pumpkin and fall spices make it a fun, delicious, and festive dish.

MORE CHILI AND SOUP RECIPES

Turkey Chili

Tommy’s Chili (Copycat)

Butternut Squash Soup

Turkey Soup

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE

Although you can buy a can of pumpkin puree, if you have a fresh pumpkin, you can easily make your own pumpkin puree. It is, of course, more time consuming than buying your pumpkin, but making your own can be a fun Autumn activity.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half from the bottom to the stem. Don’t try to cut through the stem. Once the pumpkin is cut pull it apart.
  3. Remove the pumpkin seeds and stringy parts of the pumpkin with a knife.
  4. Season with salt and lay the pumpkin halves cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake until the pumpkin is softened. It should take about 50-60 minutes.
  5. Let the roasted pumpkin cool, then scoop out the soft inside and add it to your blender. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you may have to add it to the blender in batches. Turn on the blender until the pumpkin is pureed.
  6. Store the pumpkin puree in a jar and store it in the fridge or freezer. You can use it for this chili recipe, pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, or any number of fall-inspired pumpkin recipes.

VARIATIONS ON PUMPKIN CHILI

  • Pumpkin Turkey Chili: For a slightly more healthy pumpkin chili, try exchanging the ground beef for ground turkey. Brown the ground turkey the same way you do ground beef, and follow the rest of the recipe as usual. Pumpkin Turkey Chili will be slightly different, but just as delicious. You can also try using chicken, or sausage instead of ground turkey or beef.
  • Beans: Instead of just using black beans, can try adding white beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans to this Pumpkin Chili recipe.
  • Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili: To make this easy Pumpkin Chili vegetarian, you’ll just have to take the meat out of the recipe. Put in some extra beans to make sure the chili is still filling and full of protein.
  • Add-ins and toppings: This is a great recipe that you can add so many different mix-ins and delicious toppings to experiment the next time you make it. For more thick and creamy chili, add some Greek Yogurt, coconut milk, or heavy cream to the recipe. Try putting in nutmeg, green chiles, fire-roasted tomatoes, paprika, thyme, and cumin to add some flavor. For some sweetness sprinkle in a little bit of brown sugar or cinnamon-sugar. For toppings serve your chili with tortilla chips, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Pumpkin Soup: To make this Pumpkin Chili recipe thinner, and more like a pumpkin soup, you’ll need to add some chicken stock. To make Pumpkin Soup prep the vegetables and ground beef as usual. When you mix in the other ingredients add 4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable broth. Because of the broth, you’ll have more servings of pumpkin soup, but it won’t be as hearty as the chili recipe.

MORE WAYS TO MAKE PUMPKIN CHILI

Although this pumpkin recipe is easy to make in a dutch oven on the stovetop, you can also make it in a slow cooker or an instant pot. Whatever version works best with your schedule, it will turn out equally rich and flavorful.


Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Vegan Pumpkin Chili

This chili recipe is both vegetarian and vegan, meaning it’s got lots of beans and veggies in it. Below I’ll list out all of the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Red bell pepper
  • Chili powder (the American spice blend, not ground up chilies! See below for more details.)
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • Black pepper
  • Canned chopped tomatoes
  • Canned kidney beans
  • Canned black beans
  • Pumpkin puree

This may look like a long, overwhelming list of ingredients, but many of them –including the canned goods and spices — are pantry staples that require no preparation. The remaining vegetables you probably already have in your fridge or pantry!


Pumpkin Chili is Perfect for Fall

As the weather starts to cool down, it’s time for chili!! So, to start the chili season off, I thought why not marry it with pumpkin season.

Pumpkin Chili my friends, is extra hearty, delicious and rich in Vitamin A and C. Even if you’re not a fan of pumpkin, I think you’ll love this pumpkin chili.

There’s not a strong pumpkin flavor (I bet most people would never even guess pumpkin ), the canned solid pumpkin thickens the chili, giving it a subtly sweet, earthy undertone along with spices that will blow your mind.

I know once the calendar turns to September, the world is taken over by the orange-yellow fruit….or is it a vegetable? Either way, it’s pumpkin season, and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate! Pumpkin is full health benefits for our bodies, everyone should be eating it all year long. I’m game for that!!

A big pot of chili is hard to beat when you’re serving a crowd. It hits the spot and can be made ahead of time.

I made this chili recipe on the stovetop, but it could certainly be made in the slow cooker. Simply brown your meat before adding it to the slow cooker, and your house will smell amazing when your guests arrive.


Pumpkin Chili:

Yes, today we&rsquore making Pumpkin Chili. As you know, I love putting twists on classic recipes and this chili is just that. It&rsquos a fun and delicious way to try something new while having the comfort of something you enjoy.

It&rsquos also really easy to make. Chili is one of my favorites because essentially you just toss everything into a pot or slow cooker, let it hang out for an hour or more, and dinner is ready. Plus, if you make a large enough batch you&rsquoll have dinner for a few days.

Plus I love any excuse to use these adorable pumpkin bowls from Staub. They are a favorite of mine and SO PERFECT for this recipe!

I decided to make and share this recipe as I recently worked with Pillsbury. They have a new corn muffin mix which is so good and really easy to make! In fact, I&rsquoll be sharing that recipe with you too. It&rsquos for Pumpkin Corn Muffins. They pair wonderfully with this chili and you can make them in under 5 minutes of hands-on time. I will have that recipe up on the blog tomorrow. Stay tuned! (I&rsquoll be sure to update this post with a link once it&rsquos live.)

In the meantime, let&rsquos whip up some Pumpkin Chili!


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (cored, seeded and chopped )
  • 2 jalapeño peppers (seeded and finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic ( finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder )
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
  • 1 can kidney beans (Can choose other beans if desired.)

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.

2. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Add turkey and cook until browned.

4. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.



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