I love playing with different combinations of flavors in chili, so in preparation for a ski weekend last year, I started combining some stuff I had around the house into a pot for a big bowl of chili to take with us. The result: pumpkin turkey chili. I shared it with a group of friends and they all asked for the recipe. I scrambled to write it all down before I forgot what I did, and I’ve ended up making it several times since. Every time, everyone loves it, so I figured it was time to share it here!
Even if you aren’t pumpkin-obsessed, hang with me. You don’t actually taste the pumpkin, it just adds to the consistency and overall flavor. In fact, my husband didn’t know it had pumpkin in it until he saw the recipe written down.
This makes plenty for a crowd, or plenty for leftovers — either way, a win!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- 1 green bell pepper
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 red onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ – 1 teaspoon himalayan sea salt (or to taste)
- Water, as needed, to achieve desired thickness
- Plain greek yogurt
- Chopped scallions/green onions
- Peel and dice sweet potato and dice peppers and onions into bite-sized pieces.
- Melt 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat and add diced sweet potatoes. Give them a good stir so that they get evenly coated in coconut oil.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until they start to brighten in color, about 5 minutes.
- Add the last 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to the pot and add diced peppers and red onion. Again stirring once well to get them all coated in a little oil.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies start to soften and the onions turn a bit translucent.
- Turn the heat down to low and cover for 5 minutes so that the veggies have time to soften and steam a bit.
- Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey, breaking up as you brown into bite-sized pieces.
- Uncover and add the spices and fresh garlic and stir to combine. Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes until the spices become fragrant.
- Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine. It will be thick!
- Add the canned tomatoes, pumpkin puree, black beans (rinsed and drained), and cooked turkey. Add water to achieve the thickness you like. I typically save a can from the tomatoes and fill it with water and slowly add it in until I like the consistency. If you like your chili super thick, skip the water.
- Let everything simmer for at least 30 minutes, or load it into a crock pot for several hours (even overnight). I think chili tastes better the longer it simmers.
- Season to taste with himalayan sea salt. I like to do this after all of the flavors have combined and I give it a taste. I always end up adding some to each bowl, but I prefer to control it this way.
- Serve with whatever toppings you like!
I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think!