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Healthy Fall Pumpkin Chili Recipe

It’s officially too cold in the mornings for The Littles to get away with their usual T-shirt and shorts getup. They’ve refused to don pants up until today. Their entire pants + hoodies collection has remained untouched for months. We do live in Minnesota where we wait until it snows to bring out the real clothes, so I kinda get it.

But still. When it’s 30F at the bus stop in the morning, I have to put my foot down.

Or charge a dollar every time they try to sneak out of the house with shorts on. I may get a little richer by wintertime. 

Thankfully, I don’t have to pull any silly stunts for the family to gobble up this Healthy Fall Pumpkin Chili.

Before you click off because you saw pumpkin chili, let me reassure you that it’s not nearly as weird as it sounds. (If you didn’t think it was weird in the first place, just ignore me right now.)

In truth, this chili tastes a lot like our all-time favorite hearty chili, but we’ve seasoned it up with fall flavors that subtly amp up the autumn vibes. Give it a go; you’ll be rewarded with comforting bowls of savory, satisfying chili that tastes extraordinary…

The pumpkin thing? You’ll barely taste it. Its main role in this recipe is to thicken the chili and provide an extra boost of nutrition.

The pumpkin flavor is so subtle, nobody actually ever guesses it when we play “guess the secret ingredient.” We highly recommend playing this game if you get a kick out of bewildering everyone.

We season up this chili some a bit of pumpkin pie spice, which is essentially just a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Just a teaspoon imparts a wonderfully delicate autumn flavor, without coming off strong at all. You’ll just have to trust us on this; after all, cinnamon is the reason this Butternut Squash Chili is so popular.

Then we add in all our usual players – plenty of garlic (yum) and onion, colorful veggies, black beans, and fire roasted tomatoes – sooo good. We use ground turkey in this pumpkin chili, but feel free to go with beef. You can even make it vegetarian and replace the meat with extra beans and bells.

Here’s to breaking out the hoodies, pants, and fall pumpkin chili.



  • 2 TB olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 7 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 TB chili powder

  • 1 TB ground cumin

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 tsp oregano

  • 2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 3 TB tomato paste

  • 2 green + 1 orange/yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) fire-roasted tomatoes, with juices

  • 3 cups chicken or turkey broth

  • 2 (14 oz each) cans black beans, rinsed well and drained

  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree

  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • shredded cheddar cheese for topping, optional


  • In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil until hot. Add onion and garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sugar, chili powder, cumin, pumpkin pie spice, oregano, and coriander. Stir to combine, 10 seconds.

  • Add ground turkey to pot and sprinkle 1 tsp salt over it; cook/stir to break up into small pieces. When turkey is cooked through, add tomato paste and stir 30 seconds.

  • Add bell peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes with juices, and broth. Scrape bottom of pan while stirring. Bring chili to a simmer; simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add beans and pumpkin puree. Bring chili back to a simmer for 15-20 min or until heated through. Remove from heat. Add additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve warm, with shredded cheddar cheese if desired.

Original post & recipe can be found here via Chew Out Loud.

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