Turkey Pumpkin Chili

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on October 10, 2010

There are fewer things that I love more than an over flowing bowl of chili on a Sunday night.

Or Thursday.

Or even Monday for lunch.

Ahhh, who am I kidding, I’ll take it any day. I’m easy like that.

This recipe is not your ordinary chili. Oh no, it’s extra special. You see, it has a secret ingredient.

No, not these beauties. Although they are gorgeous aren’t they?

Cooking Chili

Nope, the extra special ingredient is pumpkin. I bet you didn’t guess that. Or maybe you did, since last week I proclaimed October cooking with pumpkin month. Remember these Pumpkin Pie Muffins? Save those for dessert. If you have any room left.

Now, I know it’s weird, pumpkin in chili. What is a sweet, creamy ingredient doing in a spicy dish like chili? I’ll tell you what. It’s rocking it.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Actually, the pumpkin isn’t a distinct flavor. Which in my book is okay. What it does add is a creamy, subtly sweet flavor. And an extra serving of veggies. Which is perfect if you have a picky toddler. Or husband. Or neighbor who likes to stop by just as you are eating dinner and invite themselves to a bowl of the best-smelling chili. Or something like that.

It’s a great meal for a cool autumn evening {or in our case, a HOT autumn evening as it’s been in the 80’s all weekend long}, while watching a football or two.


Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped pepper (I used a combination of red and yellow)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree {not pumpkin pie filling}
  • 1 (15 oz) can red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-3 cups tomato juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons chili seasoning {I make this ahead of time and keep it in the spice rack for easy access}
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Spray a skillet with non-stick spray. Over medium heat cook the ground turkey and chopped onion. until the turkey is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
  2. In a slow cooker, add the cooked turkey and onion, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, pumpkin puree and beans. Add 1-3 cups of tomato juice, depending on how thick you like your chili. Stir in chili seasoning.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or hight for 3-4 hours, until the veggies are tender.
  4. Top sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese and serve with your favorite crusty French bread.

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

Meal Plan


Monday: Pesto chicken tortellini soup {Mom Advice}
Tuesday: Homemade veggie burgers
Homemade hot pockets
Thursday: Chicken quesidillas on the grill
Homemade pizza on beer battered crust and homemade sauce. {AllRecipes.com}
Saturday: Celebrating my nephews first birthday – cake for dinner!
Leftover soup



What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?


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1 Kiyah October 11, 2010 at 1:30 am

This sounds great. I wonder if pureed butternut squash would work just as well? I can’t get my hands on proper pumpkins- as we think of them- here. My most recent favorite pumpkin recipe is adapted from 101cookbooks.com- a roasted pumpkin and pearl onion salad served tossed with warm brown rice, drizzled with a dressing made from sunflower seeds and topped with chopped cilantro. It’s delish (even my 19 month old will eat it).

As for chili, it certainly ranks high on my ‘favorites’ list- both to make and eat. Lately, I’ve been adding uncooked quinoa to mine (at the end of cooking), especially if I make it without meat. It adds great flavor, bulk, texture and of course packs a punch nutritionally.

Thanks for sharing.

2 Allison October 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I think butternut squash would work well. I used it in place of pumpkin in a recipe last week and it was a success.

That pumpkin salad sound divine!

3 Molly@Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce October 11, 2010 at 7:52 am

I am a huge fan of pumpkin in anything. I think it’s sweet creamy texture would be a great addition to chili. In fact, I am wondering if I could cube it instead of putting it in from a can, although that would allow my kids to pick it out.

4 Allison October 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I bet you could cub it, but I won’t know how well it would hold up. The pumpkin might just end up blending in anyway. But it would still be tasty!

5 Vanderbilt Wife October 11, 2010 at 8:39 am

I’ve had a similar turkey pumpkin chili–YUM! Are those your red pepper pictures? They are gorgeous!!

6 Allison October 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Yup, I took those photos.

7 Vanderbilt Wife October 11, 2010 at 8:42 am

PS My favorite pumpkin recipe is PUMPKIN COOKIES! I also like pumpkin polenta, but my hubby won’t touch it, sadly. (He’s weird.)

8 Allison October 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I love pumpkin cookies. I have a recipe too that I’m sharing next week.

9 Sheena October 11, 2010 at 9:43 am

I have to try that turkey pumpkin chili. It sounds so good and I love trying pumpkin in new things. I have had a few flops though so my husband is now cautious with the pumpkin experiments i make :)

10 Allison October 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Don’t even tell him it’s in the chili. He will never know. Just tell him after he gobbled it up.

11 Andrea October 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

I’m very intrigued. Usually my turkey chili comes from a can (oops) and my muffins from a box mix (double oops) but maybe I can make this happen? Otherwise what about tossing some pumpkin puree into the crockpot WITH a can of turkey chili? Yes? No? maybe not … 😉 Hope you enjoyed!

12 Allison October 13, 2010 at 6:18 pm

It’s worth a try. You might need some extra tomato juice to thin it out. Let me know how it works.

13 Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD! October 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I love the idea of “sneaking” this in on my family for an extra serving of veggies! Thanks for sharing!!!

14 Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD! October 11, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I think my favorite pumpkin recipe would have to be the one I posted today about Pumpkin Swirled Brownies…they are so moist!

15 Allison October 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Pumpkin swirled brownies? Yes please!

16 Kim @ Cheap Chic Home October 12, 2010 at 6:51 am

What a great idea. I’m always up for trying new chili variations and an extra serving of vegetables is always good in my book.

17 Brenda October 12, 2010 at 9:35 am

This recipe sounds SO interesting! I love finding ways to make my food more nutritious and this would certainly do that. I’ll have to try this when our COOL fall weather comes.

18 amber October 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I knew you had a pumpkin chili recipe. I’m going to make this for dinner. I’ll let you know how it goes…

19 City Mom October 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I just came back to let you know that i just finished eating the Turkey Pumpkin Chili. It has to be the best chili I have ever had. I’ve eaten and made a lot of chili. It’s one of my favourite foods.

I told my husband what I was making us for dinner and he thought it sounded a bit odd. He didn’t think it sounded right together. Well guess what? He loved it! My 3 year old loved it too!

Thanks for sharing!

20 Ann Kroeker January 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I am so totally trying this. I just made chili last week, but this is another one I’m copying down to try. Pumpkin. In chili. I love that.

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