Pumpkin-Turkey Chili

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Pumpkin-turkey chili makes chili night even more warming and filling.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili has pumpkin puree stirred right in, adding sweetness to this slow-cooked dish.

Over the weekend we celebrated Halloween, like many others across the country. My older son is a pro at this by now and spent the night racing from house to house with a few of his soccer buddies, while my other child was new to it all. Once he understood that he just had to knock on a door and look at the homeowners with his big blue eyes, he was all in, and amassed quite the haul.

Truth be told, the candy the kids get generally is ignored after the first few days. That goes for Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day candy as well — they’re just not that interested.

I’m not sure how I managed to make that happen, but I’ll take it and let my son donate his candy to the dentist. (He’s trading kids’ candy for money and then sending the candy to troops.)

All this is to say, Halloween is over, and for me that starts the real beginning of winter weather. Though temperatures don’t drop much here until January, I’m giddy over the ability to open our windows again and indulge in some warm bowls of slow-cooked soups and stews.

Chili is one of our family favorites, and with good reason. It’s easy to customize to account for differing taste buds, as well as offer toppings on the side.

My kids aren’t keen on too much spice of course, so this pumpkin-turkey chili is a great recipe for the whole family. By stirring in pumpkin puree, it brings down the spice level while adding richness and a bit of sweet flavor.

I used a mix of beans in this chili, which worked well. I think it would also be a hit with chickpeas instead and a bump of flavor from garam masala and turmeric in place of some of the chili powder.

Be sure to serve it up with some hearty bread, and stash away some leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes

Pumpkin-turkey chili makes chili night even more warming and filling.


  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup chopped green sweet pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup bottled chili sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 15-1/2 ounce cans mixed beans (black, pinto, and kidney), drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree


  1. In a large saucepan or with the stovetop setting on a slow cooker, cook ground turkey, sweet pepper, onion and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat until meat is brown and vegetables are just tender.
  2. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve topped with sour cream or Greek yogurt, if desired.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 608mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 7gSugar: 18gProtein: 28g

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