Simple One-Pot Pumpkin Chili

October 26, 2020

Who knew that the secret ingredient in chili was canned pumpkin?! The flavor it adds is super mild, but the body, texture, and depth of flavor it gives to the chili can’t be matched! 



If you’re one of those people who waits for fall all year you’re probably a pumpkin enthusiast like me. Pumpkin is often found in sweet dishes, but as a member of the squash family, it is equally versatile with savory flavors. I’ve utilized pumpkin purée for ease but if you have some extra pumpkins on hand from visits to the patch, go for the pumpkin triple threat! Add in some roasted pumpkin chunks and toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top (‘sugar’ or ‘pie’ pumpkins between 4-8 lbs are best for cooking). Chili is one of my top comfort foods and this pumpkin one is a great dish for the season as its festive but also healthy and filling.  


Fans of simplifying dinner rejoice! This recipe can be easily made in 45 minutes tops, so those who aren’t morning people won’t have to worry about setting a slow cooker before you go about the rest of your day. Aside from some minimal prep work for the produce, this recipe is accomplished all in one pot. Easy to make, easy to clean up. As the chili is on a low simmer for 20 minutes, it wouldn’t hurt to check on it every so often and give it a stir.


I love serving this hearty chili with a classic cornbread to round out the meal. The great thing about chili is that it can feed a crowd with minimal effort. Keep this recipe in mind for a football watch party, game night, or office potluck! This recipe can easily be made vegetarian or vegan with the omission of turkey and/or the cheese and sour cream. For a vegetarian/vegan preparation, consider adding some lentils, kidney beans, or pinto beans along with the black beans for some extra protein.

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Pumpkin Chili

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


My FAVORITE chili recipe. The addition of canned pumpkin is a festive touch that is the secret ingredient to the success of this recipe. The pumpkin flavor is super mild, but it add so much depth of flavor and great texture.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) black beans, drained

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 (14.ounce) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)

  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • Cheddar cheese, cilantro, and sour cream, for topping


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender.
  3. Stir in the turkey and spices cook until evenly browned.
  4. Add black beans, diced tomatoes, and pumpkin puree. Using the can from the pumpkin puree, add two cans (about 4 cups) of water to the chili mixture.Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  6. Just before serving, add lime juice and serve topped with cheddar cheese, cilantro, and sour cream.


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: chili, pumpkin


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