Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

When the cold weather hits, all I want is a big bowl of warmth, usually in the form of chili. I don’t know what it is about chili but it literally warms the soul, perfect for weeknight dinners, gatherings with friends, a Sunday stove sitter, or for watching the game.

I went to a chili cook off in a little town along the Texas coast and I was surprised it was basically the same flavors and textures each and every spoonful. The one my girlfriends and I deemed the winner was only because it was slightly more spicy than the crowd. It made me crave some vegetables and other flavors for sure. Chili is so customizable too, add your favorite veggies, toppings, and meats. Which is what I did, I wanted more pumpkin so why not add it to our chili? This recipe is simple and delicious, mild for the littles but spiced enough to satisfy the most discerning chili lovers.

I might not be a native Texan but I know how to make a good bowl of chili, and yes it doesn’t have beans! (apparently beans are quite sacrilegious in my fair state, I used to love them in my chili but now they don’t sit well with me) This pot of chili also freezes easily, I like to portion it out for quick grab lunches for my husband and myself. I also have an option for my vegan and vegetarian peeps, just use your favorite beans in place of turkey. So easy and delicious!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

  • 1 large onion, large dice

  • 2 Tablespoons oil

  • 2 pounds ground turkey (substitute for rinsed beans if vegan or vegetarian)

  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 2 large cloves (1 Tablespoon) of garlic

  • 1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice

  • 1 can (15 oz) Rotel

  • 1 can (7 oz) diced green chiles

  • 1 can (15 oz) pureed pumpkin

  • 1 can (28 oz) red enchilada sauce

  • 2 bags frozen peppers, 3 color

  • 2 medium (3 cups) sweet potatoes, diced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

- Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat and add the onions, cook until translucent and little caramelized.

- Add the turkey and cook for a couple minutes while breaking it up, then add the spices. (Skip the turkey is making vegan) Cook the turkey through and the moisture has evaporated.

- Add the green chiles, Rotel, pumpkin, and enchilada sauce. Stir and simmer a couple minutes.

- Add the frozen peppers and diced sweet potatoes, stir. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. (If using beans, add them with the peppers and potatoes)

- Serve with your favorite toppings - green onions, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, vegan plain yogurt, red onion, etc.

The basics, it isn’t fancy but man is it good!

Onions get chopped and caramelized in a little oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Add the two pounds of turkey and get it cooking, after a couple minutes, add the spices and cook through, stirring occasionally.


This is ready for the easy part, opening cans and dumping them in. Your kitchen should be smelling pretty good now!

Green chiles, Rotel, can of pumpkin, and some red enchilada sauce. Essential and amazing.

Now it looks like chili, but this mama needs some vegetables in that pot!!!

Add a couple bags of frozen pepper strips, no need to thaw which makes it even easier. Then add some chopped sweet potato, butternut squash would also work.


Then let that baby simmer and get the taters soft. So good.

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