This hearty 30-minute pumpkin chili recipe is made with pure pumpkin, ground turkey, bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans and corn, simmered in a beautifully seasoned broth. Make this comforting chili for your next cozy fall meal!
I love a classic chili recipe, but my family also knows I’m all for it all different kinds of chili recipes! I’ve made butternut squash chili, lentil chili, and white bean chicken chili, but this time I’m making chili with pumpkin as an ingredient and it’s amazing.
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Best Pumpkin Chili With Ground Turkey
A big pot of hearty chili is a staple around here when the weather starts to change, but adding pumpkin flavor to the mix? That gives the pot of chili a whole new meaning!
Replacing the traditional tomato-y flavor that chili normally has with a thick pumpkin purée isn’t as pumpin-y as you’d think either. It’s a subtle addition that adds a rich creamy consistency as well as tons of nutrition.
During pumpkin season, we’re all about pumpkin recipes around here, and this is one savory pumpkin recipe that is going to knock your socks off! Top it with all of your favorite chili toppings just as you normally would.
- Diced Onion: I use white or yellow onion. We start the chili by cooking down the onions with the bell peppers to soften them up for maximum flavor.
- Bell Peppers: I use both yellow and green bell pepper to give it a nice balance. Use whatever color combination you’d like.
- Minced Garlic: Adding minced garlic is another aromatic that produces amazing flavor. Especially when paired with the onions!
- Oil: Using vegetable oil in this case is great because it’s a cost-effective oil that has a neutral flavor. If you prefer, use olive oil or avocado oil too.
- Ground Turkey: Ground turkey and pumpkin just scream fall don’t they? It’s lighter than ground beef, but just as meaty.
- Chicken Broth: Use homemade or store-bought broth.
- Black Beans: Drained and rinsed. You can’t have chili without beans!
- Corn: any canned corn is perfect or you can also use frozen corn.
- Pumpkin Puree: For simplicity, I use a can of pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!) but you can also make your own purée that would be great in this pumpkin chili.
- Diced Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes add the familiar tomato flavor and a bit of acidity.
- Seasoning: Chili powder, salt, and pepper.
- Optional Toppings: Cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, diced avocado, sliced greens onions
1. Use ground beef, ground chicken or even ground pork instead of ground turkey.
2. Use different types of beans like white beans, pinto beans, lentils or red kidney beans instead of black beans.
3. A combination of bell peppers not only tastes great but looks pretty too! Green, yellow, and red are essential to fall colors!
4. Add ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes for a spicier version. A dash of cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper would also be a great alternative.
5. A teaspoon or two of cumin would give the pumpkin chili a delicious earthy flavor and extra warmth. Traditional chili use cumin so this is a familiar seasoning.
6. You can add in a bit of butternut squash purée or mashed sweet potatoes in addition to the pumpkin for a slight variation in taste.
7. Make it vegetarian or vegan pumpkin chili by completely omitting the ground beef and using a vegan crumble or an extra can of beans for a meatless chili and use vegetable broth instead.
8. Add in a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice for even more warm fall flavor!
How to Make this Homemade Chili Recipe
This recipe comes together with 10 minutes of prep time and a total time of just 30 minutes, then dinner is served! Here’s how it’s done.
Step 1 – In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the chopped onion and bell peppers in oil over medium-high heat until they’re tender. Then add the garlic to sauté for another minute.
Step 2 – Add the ground meat and cook it until no longer pink and completely cooked through. Break it up into crumbles as it cooks. To do this, use a spatula or a meat masher if you have one.
Step 3 – Pour in the chicken broth, drained black beans and corn, canned pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, and seasoning. Cover the pot with the lid and cook on medium-low for 20 minutes.
Step 4 – Once it’s fully cooked and ready to serve, ladle out the chili into serving bowls and allow people to add their own toppings!
- Adjust the spice level to your liking by adding more or less chili powder. If you really want to kick it up a notch, diced jalapeno should do the trick.
- I do say you can use homemade pumpkin purée, however, my recommendation is to use canned pumpkin if you can. It’s thicker and has less water content, which means it won’t thin your chili.
- Turn this into a slow cooker pumpkin chili by dumping all the ingredients into the crock pot basin (the turkey should be browned ahead of time) and cooking on low for 6-8 hours.
Not very. The only source of heat comes from the chili powder and although it has a smoky kick to it, it’s not overpowering unless you decide to add more. As the recipe is written, it’s pretty mild.
Any additional heat added would be all up to you.
Like most other chili, leftover chili even better the next day. The longer it sits, the better chance the flavors have to blend. Keep any leftover chili in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
You can! For up to 2 months in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat it when you’re ready to serve it.
Easily reheat chili in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl or in a pot on the stove over medium heat until warmed to your liking!
- 1 cup onion diced
- ½ cup green bell pepper diced
- ½ cup yellow bell pepper diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 15 ounces black beans drained, 1 can
- 15 ounces corn drained, 1 can
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree 1 can
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes 1 can
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Optional Toppings: Cheddar cheese Sour cream, Cilantro, Diced Avocado
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, add the oil, diced bell peppers, onion, and sauté over medium-high heat until the veggies start to become tender. Then add in the minced garlic and saute for an additional minute.1 cup onion, ½ cup green bell pepper, ½ cup yellow bell pepper, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Add the ground turkey to the pot and cook it until completely cooked, breaking it up into small pieces with a spatula as it cooks.1 pound ground turkey
- Then add in the chicken broth, drained black beans and corn, pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, chili powder, salt and pepper and stir to combine.2 cups chicken broth, 15 ounces black beans, 15 ounces pumpkin puree, 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 15 ounces corn
- Cover the pot with a lid and cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes
- Serve topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced avocado and/ or chopped cilantro.Optional Toppings: Cheddar cheese
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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