October 30, 2014
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The ingredients in this turkey pumpkin chili are simple, but the cozy flavor is out of this world. Cooked in one pot, it’s a recipe you’ll be making on repeat!
I mean, who doesn’t love a nice big bowl of hearty chili? And it gets even better by adding our favorite fall ingredient: pumpkin!
What Does Pumpkin Chili Taste Like?
Nothing about this recipe tastes like dessert or a sugary latte; pumpkin is a great pair with the classic chili spices and ingredients while adding a more robust flavor and richness.
By itself, canned pumpkin is pretty subtle and versatile, making it a healthy addition to savory dishes like this and baked goods.
Once you try and like this recipe, give my Creamy Pumpkin Pasta a go and see what you think. It’s practically the fall version of alfredo.
Pumpkin Chili Ingredients
For this chili recipe, you’ll need these items from the fridge and pantry:
- Onion: browned with the meat.
- Ground meat: make this batch with turkey or beef.
- Garlic: similar to onion in that it adds depth of flavor and aroma.
- Tomato sauce: classic chili ingredient.
- Pumpkin puree: makes the chili extra rich.
- Chili powder: for a little kick.
- Cumin: adds smokiness.
- Oregano: has a floral note.
- Salt: enhances all the other flavors.
The ingredients are simple, but the flavor is out of this world! Cooked to perfection in just one pot, this is going to be a recipe you’ll be making on repeat, I already know!
You can use beef or turkey, or make it completely vegetarian by omitting the meat and adding two extra cans of beans- the option is yours!
Check the recipe card for the ingredient amounts and detailed cooking directions!
Read Next: How to Freeze Chili for Later
How to Make Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Alright, let’s gather those ingredients and make some pumpkin chili!
- Chop an onion
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion until translucent.
- Brown the meat
Add the ground turkey, garlic, and seasonings to the onions and brown for 7 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula as you go.
- Stir it all together
Pour the tomato sauce and pumpkin puree into the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
- Dinner is ready!
Remove the chili from the heat and serve with your favorite toppings.
Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Chili
Believe it or not, I introduced this recipe on a whim, not knowing if my family would actually eat it. I thought, worst-case scenario, I’m stuck with a lot of delicious chili for lunch myself. Either way, it was a win-win, right?
Well, every member of my family ate it! And that is a miracle in itself! If you struggle with adding variety to your family’s meals, you know what I’m talking about.
How to Make this Recipe Ahead
If you like to work ahead and have this chili ready for an easy reheat-and-eat meal, prepare it as directed and allow it to cool down to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for three days.
You can also save space in the fridge by freezing the chili!
Transfer the cooled chili into heavy-duty bags and place them onto a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, remove the baking sheet, and stack the slabs in your freezer.
When your chili craving hits, defrost a bag or two overnight or in a cold water bath, and reheat it on the stove-top. Easy peasy. Grab more details on how to freeze and reheat chili in this post.
How to Serve Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Did you know I have an entire list dedicated to the best chili toppings and sides? Now you do, but since we’re here, let’s go over a few of the basics:
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese- obviously!
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Chunky Avocado Salsa
- Cornbread- you’ll find the best recipe in this post.
More Epic Chili Recipes
Pumpkin Chili isn’t the only one I have up my sleeve. Over the past few years, I’ve discovered a few more ways my family will eat chili. It’s a family -favorite now, and I’ll even send it in lunchboxes the next day, tucked safe and warm in a thermos!
Related: Top 5 Thermos Containers We’ve Tested
Here are our favorite chili recipes:
- Paleo Chili – This all meat and veggie chili is a long time family favorite, and after it went completely viral on the internet a few years ago, it became a favorite for lot of other families too!
- Slow Cooker No Bean Chili – The same tasty recipe as above, but with instructions to make it in the Crockpot
- Easy Chili Mac – Made in the Instant Pot this is the quickest chili recipe ever! And kids love the cheesy pasta that its is served with. So. Good.
- Chicken and Veggie Chili – This recipe is also paleo friendly and it’s totally kid approved too! This chili is a little bit brothier than the others versions listed above. Served with lime wedges and avocado chunks this chili is warm hearty and delicious!
- Chili Tacos – Perfect for using up the last bits of leftover chili!
Have you tried pumpkin chili before? How did your family like it?
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
- 2 cloves garlic minced (or grated)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 30 ounces canned tomato sauce (2 15-ounce cans)
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree fresh or canned
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it’s translucent.
- Add the turkey, garlic, and seasonings and brown for 7 minutes, making sure all of the meat is cooked through and broken up into smaller pieces.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and pumpkin puree. Bring the chili to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, let it sit for about 5 minutes, and serve.
I made this pumpkin chili recipe last weekend. It was amazing. I came back to print the recipe and save it to my kitchen binder. It’s a winner!
Made it tonight to eat during the week… but can’t stop eating it now. You know. Just to taste it. So good…..
I”m glad you like it Ilya! Save some for the week!
Should there be beans too? I don’t see in ingredients list but says add 2 “extra” cans for vegetarian
the beans are only if you want to make it vegetarian. sorry about the “extra” it’s been removed. Of course, you can add 1 can of beans to the original recipe if you like your chili with beans.
Around how many servings does it make?
Julie @ mamamash
Ok, I’m going to try this, but I’m a little scared, not gonna lie. Pumpkin? In CHILI? Will they take away my Texan card?
Ha! You really can’t taste it….it maybe adds a tiny bit of sweetness, maybe. Plus, you don’t have to tell anybody. ;)
Exactly! What they don’t know!
Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan)
I love pumpkin ANYTHING! Have to try this one!
You should, Bruce! It’s delicious!
Oh my that looks good! Love all things Pumpkin! Wait, that isn’t 100% true, I had a pumpkin pie flavored Jamba Juice once and it made me feel like barfing. TOO much pumpkin!
Ha! That DOES sound gross! This chili, however, was most definitely NOT gross!