Savory and Spicy Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Imagine coming home to a warm, comforting bowl of chili on a crisp fall evening. Now imagine that chili with the added goodness of pumpkin. Can you taste it already? I certainly can, and that’s why I’m excited to share my pumpkin chili recipe with you.

This recipe was born out of my love for traditional chili and my desire to incorporate seasonal ingredients into my cooking. The addition of canned pumpkin brings a subtle sweetness and richness to the dish, while still allowing the savory flavors of cumin and chipotle salsa to shine through. Trust me, this is not your average chili recipe.

But don’t just take my word for it, give it a try yourself. Not only is this recipe full of flavor, but it’s also packed with health benefits. Pumpkin is not only high in fiber and vitamin A, but it also adds a unique texture to the dish that will keep you coming back for more.

So grab your apron and let’s get cooking. This pumpkin chili recipe is sure to be a fall favorite in your household.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin Chili

What’s not to love about a hearty and satisfying bowl of chili? And what if we told you that we’ve elevated this comfort classic by adding a secret ingredient – pumpkin? Yes, you heard it right. This pumpkin chili recipe is the perfect fusion of sweet and savory flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

One of the biggest reasons you’ll love this recipe is because of the nutritional value that pumpkin brings. Pumpkin is high in fiber, low in calories, and rich in Vitamin A – which boosts your immune system. It adds depth and richness to the dish while being a wholesome vegetable. The addition of pumpkin also makes this dish creamy without needing any cream, making it suitable for vegans or anyone who’s health-conscious.

Now let’s talk about flavor. The spices used in this pumpkin chili recipe are perfectly balanced making it an ideal blend of sweet and savory flavors. A little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg gives it an autumnal touch, while cumin brings a hint of smokiness to the dish. Add just enough spice with chipotle salsa, and voila – your taste buds will be in awe with the explosion of flavors!

Furthermore, this recipe is super easy to make. The prep time is minimal, and you can have dinner on your table in less than an hour! It can be made on a stovetop or even in a slow cooker for added convenience, which makes it perfect for busy weeknights.

In conclusion, there are countless reasons why you’ll love this pumpkin chili recipe. Whether you’re looking for a healthy meal option, a dish that’s loaded with flavor and spices or something that’s quick and easy to prepare – this recipe ticks all the boxes. So why not give it a try? You never know, it could soon become your go-to fall recipe!

Ingredient List


Here are the ingredients that you will need for this delicious pumpkin chili recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 green bell pepper diced

  • 1 red bell pepper diced

  • 1 medium pie pumpkin (or canned pumpkin if pie pumpkin is not available)

  • 1 pound of ground turkey or ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon of cumin

  • 1 teaspoon of paprika

  • ½ teaspoon of salt

  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth

  • 1 can of pinto beans

  • 1 jar of chipotle salsa

  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar

Please note that you can always adjust the amount of spices to match your preference.

The Recipe How-To

The Pumpkin Chili Recipe – A Hearty Meal to Warm Your Soul

Looking for a delicious and hearty chili recipe that will warm you up from the inside out? Look no further than this Turkey Pumpkin Chili! The combination of ground turkey, canned pumpkin, and a variety of spices make for a flavorful and comforting meal that’s perfect for cool fall evenings. So grab your apron, set aside some time and let’s get cooking with this pumpkin chili recipe!


To make this pumpkin chili recipe you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) canned pumpkin
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-step Instructions

Ready to start cooking? Here’s how to make turkey pumpkin chili step by step:

Step 1: Preparing Ingredients

Gather all the ingredients listed above. Chop the onion into small pieces. Dice the red and green bells peppers. Mince garlic cloves. Drain and rinse pinto beans.

Step 2: Saute Onions

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once heated, add half of the chopped onions and sauté until they are soft (around 5 minutes).

Step 3: Brown Ground Turkey

Add ground turkey into the pot along with sauteed onions(half of it) and brown until cooked through.

Step 4: Add remaining ingredients

Add remaining ingredients including minced garlic, diced bell peppers, canned pumpkin puree, drained pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir all the ingredients until they are fully combined.

Step 5: Cook on Medium Heat

Cook on medium heat until all the flavors have melded together; this typically takes about an hour. Make sure you stir occasionally.

Serving Suggestions

Now that your turkey pumpkin chili is ready to go, it’s time to add some finishing touches! Here are some ideas on how to serve this deliciously cozy meal:

  • Top each serving with grated cheddar cheese, crumbled feta cheese or sour cream.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread for crunch.
  • Pair with your favorite glass of red wine or beer.

This Turkey Pumpkin Chili is a healthy yet filling dish that features an autumn staple – Pumpkins!. With its delicious charm plus great taste, it will melt away all the stresses of

Substitutions and Variations

Making substitutions and variations to a recipe is often the mark of a culinary explorer, and this pumpkin chili recipe is no exception. Here are some tips on how to customize this recipe to suit your tastes:

– Vegetarian pumpkin chili: For a meatless version of this dish, simply omit the ground beef or turkey and add an extra can of pinto beans or some diced sweet potatoes for added substance. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

– Turkey pumpkin chili: Instead of using ground beef, you can substitute with ground turkey for a leaner version of this dish that still has all the same flavors.

– Spicier pumpkin chili: If you like your chili on the spicier side, add more chipotle salsa or sprinkle in some cayenne pepper during the sautéing step. You can also swap out the green bell pepper for a spicier pepper like jalapeño or serrano.

– Sweeter pumpkin chili: To add some sweetness to this dish, try adding a teaspoon of brown sugar or maple syrup while cooking. You can also sprinkle in some cinnamon or nutmeg for extra warmth.

– Slow cooker pumpkin chili: If you prefer to make this dish in a slow cooker, simply brown the ground beef or turkey and sauté the onions and peppers in a pan before transferring everything to your slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or until everything is tender and well combined.

These are just a few ways to customize this delicious recipe. Feel free to experiment with different combinations until you discover your perfect pumpkin chili!

Serving and Pairing

Once you’ve ladled up a steaming bowl of this delicious pumpkin chili, you might wonder what to pair it with. Look no further, as there are many options for serving and pairing this hearty, flavor-packed dish.

You can choose to serve the pumpkin chili on its own or pair it with toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, and cilantro. The creamy and tangy flavors of these toppings complement the warmth and spice of the chili perfectly.

Pairing this pumpkin chili recipe with sides like tortilla chips or cornbread will also enhance the overall experience. The crunchiness of the chips contrasts nicely with the soft texture of the chili, while the sweetness of cornbread balances out any heat in the dish.

If you’re looking to add some healthy sides to your meal, consider serving the pumpkin chili alongside roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes. These vegetables can help cut through any richness in the dish while adding some nutritional value.

To take your pairing game to the next level, consider serving this pumpkin chili recipe with a refreshing beverage. A cold beer or a crisp white wine can balance out any spice and complement the savory flavors of this hearty turkey pumpkin chili.

In summary, there are many options for serving and pairing this flavorful pumpkin chili recipe. Whether you choose to stick to classic toppings or throw in some adventurous sides and beverages, one thing is for sure: you’re in for a treat.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

If you’re not planning to serve your pumpkin chili right away, don’t worry! This hearty dish can be made ahead and stored easily for later enjoyment.

To make-ahead, prepare the entire recipe through step 4. Let the chili cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring occasionally until heated through.

Storing leftover pumpkin chili is just as easy. Simply transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store refrigerated for up to 4 days. When ready to enjoy again, reheat as mentioned above.

For those times when you need dinner in a hurry, consider reheating your pumpkin chili in a slow cooker. Place the chilled chili in a slow cooker and cook it on low heat for approximately 4-6 hours or until heated through. No need to stress about dinner when you have this delicious dish waiting for you in the fridge.

Remember that reheating can cause loss of flavor, so consider adding extra spices like cumin or chili powder before warming up your dish again. And if you’ve stored your chili with beans or vegetables that tend to become mushy upon reheating, you may want to add some fresh ones to your warmed-up dish for added texture.

Now that you know how to make-ahead, store and reheat your pumpkin chili perfectly every time – there’s no excuse not to whip up a batch or two of this hearty and comforting recipe!

Tips for Perfect Results

Cooking a pumpkin chili can be a bit challenging, especially if you are doing it for the first time. As an experienced culinary explorer, I have gathered useful tips to help you breeze through the cooking process and get the best results possible. Here are some of my tried and tested tips for making a perfect pumpkin chili.

1. Use fresh ingredients

Fresh ingredients are key to making the best pumpkin chili regardless of whether you’re using ground beef or turkey. Look out for good quality onions, bell peppers, and canned pumpkin when purchasing your ingredients.

2. Cook on low heat

Cooking your pumpkin chili on low heat is critical to achieving the best flavor. Low heat enables all the spices to blend and simmer into one perfect, savory mixture. Resist the temptation to increase the heat or cook on high as this could ruin the taste.

3. Allow enough time for simmering

Simmering is one of the essential steps in cooking a hearty turkey or vegetarian pumpkin chili recipe. Allow enough time for all the ingredients to meld together and create a rich and cozy flavor that will leave your family members asking for more.

4. Don’t skimp on spices

Spices like cumin, pepper, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and chili powder contribute a lot to the overall taste of your dish. This is why it’s essential not to skimp on them but instead use them in the recommended proportions for better outcomes.

5. Add Baking Soda

Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda before adding spices to help retain color in dishes with acidic components such as canned tomato puree that may cause grayish coloring or bitter taste.

By following these tips, you’ll undoubtedly create the perfect pumpkin chili that has been described by many as captivatingly delicious!


As I conclude this recipe article, I want to cover some of the most frequently asked questions about making pumpkin chili. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, these FAQs are important to understand to help you achieve the best results. So, let’s get started!

What secret ingredient will deepen the flavor of your chili?

Enhance the taste of your chili by incorporating some pureed pumpkin into your recipe. Simply mix it in after sautéing your onions and garlic, but before introducing any liquids. This will bring out a rich and delicious flavor in your meal, which nicely complements the spicy kick of chile peppers. Try it out and watch as your taste buds dance with delight!

What can you add to chili to make it less gassy?

Looking for a simple way to get rid of that uncomfortable gas and bloating after indulging in a bowl of chili? Look no further than your baking supplies. Baking soda, a natural antacid, can be added to your chili recipe to neutralize the acid in the dish, reducing its acidity and helping to release any pesky gas that may have built up in your stomach. Adding just a teaspoon of baking soda per serving can do the trick. Follow along for my tips on how to incorporate baking soda into your chili recipe.

What is the trick to good chili?

Exploring unconventional ingredients can elevate the flavors of our dishes to the next level. Take cocoa powder, for instance, it might not seem like the go-to ingredient when you’re preparing a spicy chili, but it can surprisingly enhance the taste of peppers. On the other hand, adding beer instead of regular water or stock can create a distinctly robust flavor. Coffee can also be used as a secret ingredient to enrich the taste and add depth to a dish. Finally, the warm and earthy notes of cinnamon can lend a unique and subtle taste to many meals. Let’s dive deeper into these ingredients and learn how to use them in our cooking.

What does adding brown sugar to chili do?

To take your chili game to the next level, don’t forget about the secret ingredient – brown sugar! This not-so-secret addition brings out a delightful sweetness in the chili that is sure to make it stand out. This Sweet and Spicy Chili lives up to its name by perfectly balancing sweet and spicy flavors.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this pumpkin chili recipe is a game-changer for anyone looking to impress their taste buds with a unique and hearty dish. With the perfect combination of spices, canned pumpkin, pinto beans, ground beef or turkey, and bell peppers, this chili offers a symphony of flavors that are sure to have you coming back for seconds.

Whether you’re making it for a cozy night at home or serving friends during the big game, this recipe is versatile enough to satisfy any occasion. The toppings are endless, from sour cream and cheese to avocado and cilantro. Plus, the leftovers make for an easy and delicious lunch the next day.

Overall, trust me when I say that this pumpkin chili recipe is not only satisfying but also healthy and easy to make. So go ahead and give it a try – your taste buds will thank you!

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili Recipe

This is terrific! I tasted this Chili at Trader Joe's today and I thought it was fantastic! I'm submitting the recipe here so I don't lose it, but also to give you an opportunity to make an interesting chili for your holiday parties..
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 521.8 kcal


  • 3 lbs angus ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can trader joe's canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 jar trader joe's chipotle salsa
  • 1 container trader joe's tomato & roasted red pepper soup
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  • In a large pan cook ground beef, onion, and bell pepper until meat is no longer pink.
  • Drain.
  • Add remaining ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or soda crackers.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 241gCalories: 521.8kcalCarbohydrates: 29.2gProtein: 41gFat: 26.3gSaturated Fat: 10.2gCholesterol: 115.7mgSodium: 696.4mgFiber: 9.6gSugar: 1.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours
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