Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef

Soups & Stews  |  Published Sep 21, 2022  |  Updated Sep 21, 2022  |  By Tawnie

a white bowl filled with chili made with beans and garnished with red onion, cheese, sour cream and avocado.

Don’t let Fall pass you by without making this Pumpkin Chili recipe. And I really mean it!! It’s Fall in a bowl and like a really big, cozy hug. Who’d want to pass that up?!

I love adding in unexpected ingredients to my recipes and the 100% pumpkin puree makes this chili recipe a game changer. Just make it once, and instead of talking about the football game around the dinner table, you’ll be raving about this Pumpkin Chili!

And if you’re not a fan of this recipe, try my spicy slow cooker chili or this butternut squash chili.

a white bowl filled with chili made with beans and garnished with red onion, cheese, cilantro, cornbread sour cream and avocado.

As the days and nights cool down, some of my favorite foods to cook are soups and comforting casseroles but one of my fall-favorites to cook is chili. I love adding in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and the slight sweetness and earthy flavors of pumpkin puree to create a hearty, thick, flavor-packed pumpkin chili.

You will love this recipe because…

  • The pumpkin puree adds a slightly sweet, earthy flavor
  • It uses tons of pantry staple ingredients and spices
  • Can be a seasonal recipe or better yet, a year round favorite
  • It is packed with the spicy heat of chili & cayenne and warmth from cinnamon & nutmeg
  • It’s rich, thick, comforting and made with the perfect combination of spices.
  • Made in one pot, fast and easy to make and will quickly become your go-to chili recipe

Ingredient Notes

ingredients needed to make chili in small white bowls.
  • Ground beef: I love this recipe best with ground beef for a more hearty vibe but feel free to use ground turkey, ground chicken or even ground pork. Leave the meat out completely and use a veggie broth for a vegetarian option.
  • Spices: cinnamon, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, nutmeg. These spices all add warmth and compliment the pumpkin flavor perfectly.
  • Diced Tomatoes: I like using the petite diced tomatoes, but you can also use the fire-roasted tomatoes for an added smoky flavor.
  • Beans: I’m using 3 types of beans to make this a hearty meal. The classic, dense kidney bean adds a meaty, sweet flavor. The black beans take on the rich flavors of the chili, and the pinto beans add the perfect creaminess to the chili.
  • Pumpkin puree: is nutritionally dense, and adds a creamy, slightly sweet, earthy flavor to the chili. Trust me though, even if you’re not a fan of pumpkin you won’t really even know the pumpkin is hiding in there! It’s a subtle flavor.
  • Broth: Using chicken broth helps tenderize the meat as it cooks in the chili along with adding a milder flavor to the chili. Use vegetable broth if preferred.
chili being made in a large blue dutch oven.

Step by Step Directions

This recipe doesn’t get easier (yay!) Made in one large soup pot or dutch oven and makes a big enough batch to have for a few days.

  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven and saute the veggies until fragrant, ~5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir occasionally, taste and adjust seasonings and garnish the chili with your favorite toppings (my ideas are below!)

Tips and Variations

  • Use ground turkey instead of beef or simply leave meat out for vegetarian option.
  • You can substitute beef broth, vegetable broth, or water for the chicken broth.
  • Add in lentils or more beans/different beans to make it heartier if you’re not using beef.
  • Don’t skip out on the sugar when adding in the seasonings. Adding a touch of sugar helps add sweetness to balance the rich, deep flavors of chili.
  • Be sure to allow the chili to simmer for at least 30 minutes, or longer if you can. Chili needs plenty of time for the flavors to meld and overall it’s the secret to ultra yummy chili.
  • If you like a thicker chili, I recommend only using 2 cups of broth. I always add 3 cups when I make it, but it’s all personal preference.
a white bowl filled with chili made with beans and garnished with red onion, cheese, cilantro, sour cream and avocado.

FAQ

What are the best toppings for chili?

I love fresh cilantro, diced red onion, cheddar cheese, avocado and sour cream. But the toppings are endless! Feta cheese, diced tomatoes and chips are a few other ideas.

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

Yes. Brown the ground beef first. Then add to your slow cooker with all of the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Can I freeze pumpkin chili?

Yes. Allow the chili to cool completely and store in an airtight storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight and heat on the stove or in the microwave.

How long does it last in the fridge?

Up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight storage container.

Can you really taste the pumpkin?

Pumpkin adds a subtle sweet, earthly flavor.  It is not overpowering, and most people wouldn’t even know that pumpkin is in the recipe.

a white bowl filled with chili made with beans and garnished with red onion, cheese, cilantro, sour cream and avocado.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!

a white bowl filled with chili made with beans and garnished with red onion, cheese, sour cream and avocado.
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Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef

This pumpkin chili is hearty, comforting, made with the perfect combination of cozy spices and is best served with all the toppings! (Hello sour cream, cheese and avocado!) And I know you're thinking it…does it actually taste like pumpkin?! It's subtle. You probably wouldn't even know it's in there, it simply adds a sweet, earthy flavor that I know you'll love.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 299kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 recipe chili seasoning*
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups for a thicker chili)
  • 2, 15 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1, 15 oz. can 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1, 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1, 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1, 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • garnish ideas: sour cream, cilantro, avocado, cheddar cheese, red onion, chips.

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers and saute the veggies until fragrant, ~5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds or until combined.
  • Add in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
  • Add in the chili seasonings and stir to combine.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients, bring the chili to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings and garnish the chili with your favorite toppings. Serve hot and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Chili seasoning recipe: 2 tsp. chili powder, 2 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cayenne, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg.
  • Storage: Up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight storage container. 
Find Kroll’s Korner on Instagram!Mention @krolls_korner or tag #krollskorner

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl (no topppings) | Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 1041mg | Fiber: 15g

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