Spicy Pumpkin and Turkey Chili

The addition of pumpkin to this chili not only makes it extra hearty but also adds a delicious sweetness that goes so well with all the spices. Try it with rice, over nachos, or with cornbread.
By Olivia Mesquita

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The great thing about chili is that there are so many different ways that I can eat it. I usually eat it over rice, but I could also eat it with tortilla chips, bread, corn bread… or I could even make some nachos with it! So it never gets boring. (Yes, that is me totally shamelessly excusing myself for making a huge pot of chili that could serve 10 people just for me and my husband!)

One of the reasons I love fall is because of all the food. I wish it would be fall all year long so I could stuff my face with chili, stews and soups. Oh, wouldn’t that be great?

The addition of pumpkin to this chili not only makes it extra hearty but also adds a delicious sweetness that goes so well with all the spices. And, as pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A and C, it makes this a very healthy dish. No, but seriously, pumpkin is so good for you that you should be eating it every day!

This recipe can be made on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. Just make sure that if you’re doing it in the slow cooker, that you sauté your vegetables and brown your meat before adding!!! If I have the time, though, I like to cook it on the stovetop. I simmer it for 1.5-2 hours and my whole apartment smells divine. Also, there’s something about watching a pot that makes me feel in control of the world!

Oh, I have to also mention that this recipe calls for a bottle of Pumpkin beer. The alcohol cooks off but I know that some of you might feel weird to serve something that has alcohol to a child, for example. So just substitute the alcohol for 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can totally still make this deliciousness! Just omit the meat and substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth. This chili is very nutritious even without the meat, as it has lots of good stuff in it.

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As you can see in my pictures, I served my chili inside a small pumpkin! (But I must confess I used canned pumpkin puree in the recipe. It saves me so much time!) I just cut open the pumpkin and scooped the inside out and used it as a bowl. However, a good variation of this recipe would be to roast your (clean) pumpkin bowls in the oven for 30 minutes! Don’t forget to brush the insides with olive oil and salt! Then you proceed to make the chili with the recipe below, but omitting the pumpkin puree. Fill the pumpkin bowls with the chili 3/4 of the way and pop them back in the oven for 30 more minutes. And then, when it’s time to eat, you just scoop a little of the pumpkin flesh every time you take a bite! :) It is delicious, but I still prefer to cook the pumpkin IN the chili because it makes the chili slightly thicker, which I love!

Oh, don’t forget the guest stars of this show: sour cream and cheddar cheese! Also, some sliced green onions if possible.

Spicy Pumpkin and Turkey Chili
 
The addition of pumpkin not only makes it hearty but also adds a sweetness to go with the spices. Try it with rice, over nachos, or with cornbread.
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1.3 lbs ground turkey (extra lean)
  • 6 small links (9oz) chicken maple sausage
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15.5oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 29oz can pumpkin purée
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 12 fl. Oz. bottle pumpkin beer
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea Salt and pepper to taste
To garnish:
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Green onions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Start by thinly slicing your sausages or taking it off the casing, if you can. Reserve with the ground turkey.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed pot, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté the garlic and the onion until translucent. Add the bell peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes. Reserve.
  3. In the same pot, add 2 more Tbsp of olive oil and brown the ground turkey and sausage. That should take about 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Once the meat is browned, add back the vegetables and then add the diced tomatoes, the pumpkin, the beans and all the spices. Add the pumpkin beer and the chicken broth and stir.
  5. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.
  6. Serve it with some grated cheddar cheese, some sliced green onions and a dollop of sour cream.
Notes
To make this recipe vegetarian, simply omit the meat and substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth!

Olivia Mesquita

Olivia Mesquita

Olivia is the writer, photographer and recipe developer behind Olivia's Cuisine. Born and raised in Brazil and currently living in NYC, she draws inspiration from her grandmother's recipes and is always looking for fun ways to feed her family (aka husband and dog!).

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