Comforting Pumpkin Chili is a perfect meal for the cold season. This beef chili is made with two types of beans, veggies, and a combination of fresh pumpkin and pumpkin puree.
As weather gets cooler, it’s time to pull out all our comfort food recipes out and start making soups, stews, and chili.
Chili is actually a year-long dish in my house. My kids absolutely love chili and I love that they eat it so well. Health benefits if chili are amazing. I’m sure every parent would love it if their kids ate chili every day.
Whether you make chili with turkey, beef, or pork, it will be loaded with protein, iron and fiber. Meat and legumes are wonderful sources of protein, iron, fiber, and vitamin B. Not to mention the veggies that you can pack into chili.
Every fall, I put a seasonal twist on my chili and use fresh pumpkin in my chili. It gives me a chance to not only add another healthy vegetable to chili, it also gives it a nice flavor twist.
How to make pumpkin chili:
Start by cutting pumpkin and other veggies. Use pie pumpkin (aka cooking pumpkin).
To cut pumpkin: pop the stem off with a large knife (knife always facing away from you) and cut pumpkin in half.
Scoop out seeds and membrane. I like to use an ice cream scoop because it easily scoops up the membrane.
Cut pumpkin halves in two and peel the tough skin off with a vegetable peeler.
You can not dice or slice pumpkin as you wish.
Dice onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes before starting to cook.
Remember to preheat your pot before adding oil and cooking vegetables.
Cook vegetables until softened and take them out of the pot.
Use the same pot to cook ground beef until browned.
Add veggies back into the pot and stir in remaining ingredients and seasoning.
Cover with a lid but leave a crack for steam to escape. Set heat to low and cook for about an hour. Remember to stir once in a while.
What beans to use in chili:
Beans and legumes are excellent sources of iron, fiber, protein, and B vitamins. I’ve used bean recipes for my kids to bring up their iron level often.
I also make sure to add beans and legumes into my diet since I have to eat gluten free and I need to increase my fiber intake.
No matter which beans you choose, you will get a rich source of these nutrients. Although, some beans are higher in one of these nutrients than others. For example, kidney beans and navy beans are excellent sources of iron, and navy beans and pinto beans are great sources of fiber.
Choose your beans according to your needs or likes. These are the beans that will go great in a beef chili:
If you like this pumpkin chili, you will love some more fall chili ideas:
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- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 oz garlic (4-6 cloves)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 12 oz diced pumpkin (half of a small (2.5 lbs) cooking pumpkin)
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup beef stock
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 15 oz can kidney beans
- 15 oz can white beans
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Start by cutting pumpkin and other veggies. To cut pumpkin: pop the stem off with a large knife (knife always facing away from you) and cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds and membrane. I like to use an ice cream scoop because it easily scoops up the membrane. Cut pumpkin halves in two and peel the tough skin off with a vegetable peeler.
- Dice pumpkin, onions, bell pepper, and tomatoes. Try to get the cuts as even as possible.
- Preheat the pot over medium heat and add oil.
- Add onions and saute until transparent.
- Add tomatoes, pumpkin, and bell peppers. Cook for a few minutes.
- Smash garlic, mince it and add it to the veggies. Stir and cook until veggies are softened.
- Take veggies out of the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, cook ground beef until browned, breaking up all the clumps. Season with some salt and pepper as it cooks.
- Add veggies back to the pot and stir.
- Increase heat to medium-high and stir in stock, pumpkin puree, tomato sauce and tomato paste.
- Strain most of the liquid from the beans and add them to the pot. Gently stir everything well. Bring to boil.
- Lower heat to low and stir in sugar, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Taste to check if more salt and spice is desired.
- Cover, leaving a small crack for steam to escape, and cook for about an hour. Remember to stir once in a while to ensure even cooking.
Janet E. Marshman says
This is a great alternative to chili. It adds additional texture and fall favor.
Glad you liked it, Janet!
This turned out absolutely amazing!! We went heavy on the pumpkin, peppers, and tomatoes, because I have way too much of these things coming out of my garden right now! We also added an extra can of beans. We added some hot pepper flakes we made from our spicy peppers this year. It was sweeter, more savory, and spicier than any chili recipe I’ve ever made! The pumpkin was killer! This is the only chili recipe I’ll make from now on! Wish I could post a pic!
Thank you, Claire! This comment has made my day, I am so glad you liked it!
Lisa Jesselson says
I absolutely loved this – I used a whole small pumpkin, and 3 different cans of beans, added a can of pickled red jalapeños, and a tablespoon of cinnamon – got huge wows from the family – it was even a thought to substitute a fall beer for the beef stock! Great recipe😊
Thanks, Lisa! I love that you made it your own and it turned out so well! I think the beer would be good too! 😉