Pumpkin Chili

This hearty pumpkin chili is the perfect meal for those cool fall evenings. Packed with ground beef, fresh veggies and spices, this healthy chili feels like a big hug in a bowl!

a bowl of chili topped with feta, avocado and fresh cilantro.

It’s that time of year when all I’m craving are those cozy, soul warming meals. This one-pot pumpkin chili is hearty, nutritious and incorporates a fall favourite, pumpkin! 

Now I know pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice aren’t ingredients typically used in chili, but it just works perfectly here. Trust me on this one! It makes the sauce a little more rich with a subtle sweetness that balances out the rest of the spices. Pumpkin puree is also loaded with nutrients and fibre, so it’s a win-win! Just make sure that you’re buying pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. I’ve tried this recipe with both homemade pumpkin puree and canned puree, and found that both work well here. 

Pumpkin chili recipe ingredients 

This pumpkin chili is packed with delicious and nutritious ingredients. Here’s what you need to make it: 
 
  • yellow onion 
  • ground beef (preferably grass-fed & finished) 
  • garlic 
  • jalapeno (optional)
  • bell pepper
  • chili powder 
  • smoked paprika
  • cumin
  • pumpkin pie spice 
  • pumpkin puree
  • beef bone broth or low sodium broth 
  • canned tomatoes (whole or diced) 
  • canned black beans
  • olive or avocado oil 

How to make the perfect pumpkin chili 

Step One: Heat some oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for around 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. 

Step Two: Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Drain off any excess fat, if needed. 

Step Three: Add garlic, jalapeño, spices, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.

Step Four: Add remaining ingredients and bring the chili to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. If it becomes too thick, you can add some more broth or water to thin it out. 

Step Five: Near the end of cooking, taste and adjust salt or seasonings to your liking. Add to a bowl and top with your favourite toppings! 

What to serve with your chili 

  • toasted sourdough, cornbread or tortilla chips 
  • a starch like quinoa or rice 
  • sour cream or unsweetened greek yogurt 
  • shredded cheese or feta 
  • jalapeños
  • cilantro, parsley or green onion
  • avocado

Pumpkin Chili

Recipe by Emily MaudeCourse: Dinner, Lunch
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 
Total time

1

hour 

10

minutes

This hearty pumpkin chili is the perfect meal for those cool fall evenings. Packed with ground beef, fresh veggies and spices, this healthy chili feels like a big hug in a bowl!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed & grass-finished)

  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 jalapeño, diced, with seeds and ribs removed (optional)

  • 1 large bell pepper, diced

  • 2-3 tbsp mild chili powder

  • 1 tsp each smoked paprika, ground cumin and pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup beef bone broth or low sodium broth, plus more as needed

  • 1 28oz can whole tomatoes, chopped or hand crushed, with the juice

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Directions

  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for around 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
  • Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Drain off the excess fat, if needed.
  • Add garlic, jalapeño (if using), bell pepper, spices, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chili becomes too thick, add additional broth or water.
  • Near the end of cooking, taste and adjust salt or seasonings to your liking.
  • Add to bowls and top with your favourite toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you don't have whole canned tomatoes, you can also used diced. I find the taste of whole canned tomatoes a lot more flavourful, so prefer to use them instead!

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