Pumpkin Chili

7 Nov

Pumpkin Chili

Here’s a fun new way to serve chili this fall and winter.  And, um, to sneak veggies into your family’s diet…

Not that I am sneaky like that, of course.  No, I was very upfront about it.  “Pumpkin Chili” was up on the menu board, for all to see.  If the Big Guy never actually looks at that board (no, not a hot button topic; why do you ask?), well, that is his issue.

I couldn’t wait to try this Pumpkin Chili!  Basically, when September hits, I begin taking every possible opportunity to include pumpkin in my cooking and baking.  The pumpkin puree created a super-thick chili (so thick that I added almost half a cup of water before serving) – creamy rather than chunky.  Something new, eh?  I’ve never called chili “creamy” before.  This is a chili you can serve to folks who don’t enjoy a lot of spice.  The chipotle chilies, scraped empty of their seeds, lend just a nice depth and bit of tangy heat.  The smell when the cumin and cinnamon hit the pan together… heaven.  I was transported.

Oh, and a little more need-to-know information about those sneaky veggies?  Carrots and a yellow bell pepper.  Not your everyday chili, my friends.  Ground beef keeps it acceptable for meat-lovers.

Pumpkin Chili
from The Scrumptious Pumpkin (important note!  hers was drunken… check it out!)

1 pound 93% lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon tomato paste (buy the tube… you’ll thank yourself later)
1 cup pumpkin ale (or chicken broth)
15-ounce container pure pumpkin puree
15-ounce container diced tomatoes
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed and minced
15-ounce container black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Add the ground beef to a dutch oven or large stock pot and adjust heat to medium-high. Break up the meat into small pieces, and immediately add the minced garlic, diced onion, diced carrots, and diced bell pepper.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 7 minutes, or until the meat is nicely browned and the veggies are softened. Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the bay leaf, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, and tomato paste, and stir to combine.  Add the pumpkin ale (or chicken broth) and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan.  Allow the pumpkin ale or broth to cook and reduce for about 5 minutes.  Add the pumpkin purée and diced tomato.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the minced chipotle peppers, and stir to combine.  Partially cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and allow the chili to simmer gently for about 45 minutes.  Add the black beans, stir, and allow the chili to cook another 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Tasty topped with shredded mild cheddar, sour cream, and Saltines, of course!

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