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EASY Pumpkin Chili Recipe – I Heart Naptime


This simple pumpkin chili is comforting, filling and full of fall flavors. A savory pumpkin dish that you’ll want to enjoy all season long! 

I recently made a jar of my homemade chili seasoning to have on hand throughout the fall season. I typically use it make my favorite homemade chili recipe, but decided to add a pumpkin twist this time instead. It turned out so delicious!

pumpkin chili in white bowl

With fall around the corner, it’s time to commence making all the pumpkin recipes. Contrary to popular belief, pumpkin isn’t only for desserts. I love it in savory dishes as well, like this delicious pumpkin chili.

The pumpkin flavor doesn’t overpower the chili, it really just adds another depth of flavor, extra nutrients, color and silkiness to the texture. I do like adding a small bit of cinnamon to bring out just the right amount of fall spice. It’s a great meal to make for Halloween served with warm homemade cornbread. You could even serve it up in a hallowed pumpkin for a spooky effect!

pumpkin chili ingredients in blue pot

How to make pumpkin chili

  1. BROWN. Cook the beef, onion and peppers in a large saucepan over medium heat until the meat is browned and the onions are translucent. Drain any excess grease, then add the seasonings and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. MIX. Mix in the tomatoes, beans, pumpkin puree and brown sugar. Give it a taste and add any additional seasonings as desired (cinnamon, salt, pepper, etc.). Then pour in 1/2 cup hot water to lean down the consistency and mix well.
  3. SIMMER. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for 30 to 60 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more flavor it will have.

Favorite chili toppings

This pumpkin chili tastes astonishing served hot with any of the below toppings:

blue pot full of pumpkin chili

Variations

  • Use ground turkey or a combination of ground beef and turkey.
  • Use green, orange or yellow bell peppers. You can add a mixture as well.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (more to taste) if you’d like to really bring out the pumpkin flavor.
  • Simmer longer for better flavor. Sometimes I’ll make this in the afternoon and then transfer to the slow cooker and cook on low for a couple hours.
  • For a vegan version, skip the meat and add an extra can of beans.
  • Make in the slow cooker by browning the meat first and then adding everything else into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Freezing + reheating

FREEZE: Leftovers make a great freezer meal. Let the chili cool completely, then pour in a freezer bag or container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

REHEAT: Remove from freezer and thaw in microwave or in fridge overnight. Pour into a pot and cook over low heat until warm throughout.

Chili in white bowl on counter

More chili recipes to try:

Pumpkin Chili

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Keyword: pumpkin chili

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Simmer: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 341

This simple pumpkin chili is comforting, filling and full of fall flavors. A savory pumpkin dish that you’ll want to enjoy all season long! 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers (1 pepper)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chili seasoning mix (about 1 package)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 15 ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 15 ounce pumpkin puree
  • 2-3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional, more to taste)

Optional toppings: shredded cheese, tortilla strips, sour cream, cilantro

  • In a large saucepan over medium-heat, combine the ground beef, onion and bell peppers. Saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if needed. Add the seasonings and let cook an additional minute.

  • Add tomatoes, beans, pumpkin and brown sugar. Taste and add cinnamon as desired for extra flavor. Salt and pepper to taste. Add more chili seasoning if you’d like to take up the heat. Add up to 1/2 cup hot water to lean down.

  • Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-60 minutes (the longer the better).

  • Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Homemade chili seasoning:

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

 
Slow cooker: Follow instruction #1 and brown the meat. Then add everything else into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. 
To freeze: Allow chili to cool completely. Add to a zip top bag or freezer container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Reheating: Remove from freezer and place in fridge or microwave to thaw. Add to a pot and simmer over low heat until warm

Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1440mg | Potassium: 1228mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1505IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 7mg

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meet
Jamielyn Nye

Jamielyn Nye is the creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. She is also the author of the I Heart Naptime Cookbook. When she’s not creating in the kitchen, Jamielyn loves to chase her four small monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.


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