pumpkin turkey chili

6:06 PM

I've talked about the SPU Community Kitchen quite a few times on my blog. That's because A) I was involved with the organization for a year, and B) I got a WHOLE bunch of delicious recipes from it. We had a pretty extensive process choosing recipes. They had to be healthy and wholesome, inexpensive, and most importantly, easy to make. The volunteers (and I) searched for recipes, selected potential recipes and then tested the recipes, choosing the best ones. We then would scale them up for 25+ people and prepare them during our monthly kitchen nights. 

And the dishes we made during the kitchen were amazing! They were always a little different. Always had a twist to them. And that's what I liked the most. For example, we didn't just make simple cornbread, we made cornbread pudding (recipe here). One of our monthly kitchen theme's was chili cook off, and instead of traditional chili, we made all sorts of chilies, such as black bean espresso chili, cumin chili, and my favorite, pumpkin turkey chili. It was the definite favorite of most of the participants that night, especially mine. 

The pumpkin in this chili is what takes this dish to a whole other level. Though you can't really taste it, but the texture it gives the chili is superb. It becomes creamy and thick, and slightly sweet. It's also pretty cool knowing that there is pumpkin in the chili. It's high in vitamin A, potassium and other vitamins and minerals. It's also high in fiber. So along with the beans, the chili is a good source of dietary fiber! Pumpkin is also low in calories.

Using lean turkey instead of beef is another way to cut back on calories and fat. You can't even taste the difference because of all the spices. My husband even made a comment about it, saying that it tasted really good with turkey. Personally, I have never actually used beef in chili (so I don't really know how that tastes), because I am satisfied with the turkey. If you're a beef person, I encourage you to try replacing it with turkey. It can really make a difference in your health (a good one too!)

As you can see, pumpkin isn't only for desserts and lattes. It can easily be put into chilies and soups. Pumpkin also doesn't have to always be associated with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices. This chili recipe actually doesn't have any of that stuff, though if you're courageous you can definitely add some  ;) You are the boss of your cooking, after all. Now that it's fall and pumpkins are everywhere, go and try this recipe! You will not be disappointed! Click "read more" for more pictures as well as the awesome recipe! Enjoy! :)

Pumpkin Turkey Chili
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground or chopped white or dark meat turkey
  • One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin purée*
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne, optional
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Optional Toppings: Shredded Cheddar cheese; sour cream or plain Greek yogurt; fresh cilantro 
*NOTE: if you prefer, roast a halved and de-seeded fresh pumpkin or butternut squash in your oven at 350F for 50min and measure out 1¾ cup mashed.

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned (if turkey is already cooked, add at the end of the 30-minute cooking period (step 3).
  • Add tomatoes, pumpkin, broth, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans.
  • Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. (Add turkey if using pre-cooked turkey). Ladle chili into bowls and serve with topping(s) of choice.

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