Lisa’s Pumpkin Chili Recipe

I love pumpkin chili—and so do my friends and family! It has kind of sweet and spicy thing going on with the chili powder and unexpected flavor of pumpkin pie spice. I serve it with sour cream and some type of cornbread—usually corn casserole or pumpkin corn bread. SO GOOD. 

This recipe has been revised over the last 10 years. It’s very forgiving, so feel free to adapt to your preferences. The first pumpkin chili recipe I found called for ground beef, so try it that way if that’s your thing, but I much prefer it with chicken or turkey.

You’ll notice I use terms like “a little bit”, “a couple” and “about.” Sorry about that, but I rarely do exactly what a recipe says, so the fact that I’m writing this down is kind of a big deal. My friends will be impressed. Hope you enjoy it—we certainly do!

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup bell peppers (mixed colors or your favorite), chopped
1 lb boneless chicken or ground turkey

1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

(2) 16 oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup 

½ cup water
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can pumpkin purée
Chili pepper sauce to taste (I use the one from Trader Joe's)

Directions

  1. Sauté onion and peppers in a little bit of olive oil for a couple minutes.

  2. Add the uncooked meat and all spices/seasonings. Cook (stirring frequently) until meat it almost done. Note: if you decide to use already cooked chicken, add it later so it doesn’t become overcooked.

  3. Add tomatoes, soup, water, beans and pumpkin. Simmer for about an hour until flavors combine and it’s heated through.

  4. Add chili pepper sauce and additional salt (if needed) to taste.

  5. Serve with sour cream and corn bread.

It’s usually even better the next day, so don’t hesitate to make it the day before you plan to eat it. This recipe also works in a crockpot, but I always recommend sautéing onion, peppers, meat and spices FIRST. Then put that mixture into the crock pot with everything else. Combine well and let it do its thing.

Lisa Gipson is the managing editor of San Diego Family Magazine. She loves all things pumpkin, which is why we have a round-up of Pumpkiny Goodness

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