Pumpkin chili is hearty, comforting, filling, and perfect for a chilly fall day. The canned pumpkin puree gives chili a slightly sweet flavor while making it extra creamy. This recipe for pumpkin chili is easy to make and can be made on the stove in an hour or in the crockpot.
Why I love it:
- Stovetop or Crock Pot - I love that this recipe can easily be made on the stove to let the slow cooker do all the work!
- Thick and Silky Texture - The canned pumpkin puree gives the chili a thicker, smoother texture.
- Very Mild Pumpkin Flavor - Pumpkin puree has a super mild flavor so it takes on the flavors of the other classic chili ingredients.
Ingredients You'll Need to Make Pumpkin Chili:
I love that this pumpkin chili recipe uses all staple ingredients that are easy to find!
- Olive Oil - Used to cook the onions and beef. You can swap in another cooking oil of choice
- Ground Beef - You could also swap in ground turkey to make a
- Spices: Chili Powder, Cumin, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper
- Whole Tomatoes - Canned
- Tomato Paste
- Kidney Beans - You can use light or dark. I like to use one of each
- Canned Pumpkin Puree
- Beef Broth
- Adjust Broth Amount - Different brands of canned pumpkin puree have different moisture amounts. This will impact how much beef broth you need to add. It's also up to your preference of how thick you like your chili.
- Optional - Drain the Fat - Depending on your preferences, you can drain some or all of the fat after browning the ground beef. I like to remove some of it but still leaving a little behind for flavor.
- Make on the Stove or in a Crockpot! The recipe card includes instructions for both!
Frequently Asked Questions
Although there is an entire can of pumpkin puree in this chili recipe, it really doesn't have a strong pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin puree does give it a creamier, velvety texture that regular chili doesn't have. Pumpkin also packs some great health benefits like its high levels of vitamin C and beta carotene.
A Chili has tomatoes and meat that is simmered in other spices and ingredients. Chili powder is also a key spice that is used to add flavor.
You can use almost any type of beans in a chili recipe, but the most common are kidney, pinto, and black beans.
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating:
- Storage - Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezing - For longer storage, you can freeze the chili in freezer bags for up to 3 months. I recommend at least partially defrosting in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheating - You can reheat leftovers (chilled or frozen) in a pot on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
- Vegetarian or Vegan - To make this recipe vegan friendly, just omit the ground beef and instead add an extra can of beans or even some cooked lentils.
- Ground Turkey - Try swapping turkey for the beef for a lighter tasting chili.
- Spicy - As written, this recipe isn't spicy. But if you want some heat, try adding a little cayenne pepper or a diced jalapeño pepper (you can sauté it with the onion).
Chili Topping Ideas:
One of the best parts about a cozy bowl of chili is the toppings! Here are some of my favorites:
- Sour Cream - Plain Greek yogurt is a great swap!
- Shredded Cheese
- Crunchy Tortilla Strips
- Cooked and Crumbled Bacon
- Bread - Pick up a loaf of crusty bread at the store, make a batch of cornbread, or make a loaf of no-knead bread to pair with a big bowl
- Salad - For a soup/salad pairing, try a fall-inspired salad like this Brussels Sprout Salad with Pears, Apple Pecan Harvest Salad,
Other Pumpkin Recipes
- Pumpkin Baked Pasta - Canned pumpkin puree pairs with the sausage and sage to create an easy fall dinner. Best part? This baked pasta can be baked in the same skillet that you make the pumpkin sauce.
- Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats - Simple to make and let you control what your dog is eating. Just 4 ingredients – peanut butter, pumpkin, whole wheat flour, and eggs.
- Moist Pumpkin Bread with Streusel Topping - Moist, dense, and topped with a crispy streusel crumb topping that uses pumpkin pie spice. This recipe is easy to mix up (no electric mixer needed) and the perfect breakfast or afternoon treat in the Fall.
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Easy Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin chili is hearty, comforting, filling, and perfect for a chilly fall day. The canned pumpkin puree gives chili a slightly sweet flavor while making it extra creamy. It's such an easy recipe and can be made on the stove in an hour or in the slow cooker.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Chili, Soup
- Method: Stovetop, Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small to medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 28oz can whole tomatoes, use kitchen shears to cut up the tomatoes in the can
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
- 2 15oz cans red kidney beans, dark or light, drained and rinsed
- 1 15oz can beef broth, see note
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cook Beef and Onion - In a dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and add the ground beef and onion. Cook and brown the beef while crumbling and sauté the onions. Fully cook the beef and cook the onions until tender. If desired, you can drain some or all of the grease.
- Add Remaining Ingredients - Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, pumpkin puree, drained and rinsed beans, and spices. Add the beef broth, adjusting the amount as needed. I used the full can but if your pumpkin puree has a higher moisture content, then you may not need it all.
- Cook Chili - Bring to a simmer, cover, and lower the heat to maintain the simmer, but keep it from boiling. Simmer for 45 minutes, taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve - Serve with toppings of choice and enjoy!
- Cook Beef and Onion - In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the ground beef and onion. Cook and brown the beef while crumbling and sauté the onions. Fully cook the beef and cook the onions until tender. If desired, you can drain some or all of the grease.
- Add to Slow Cooker- Add the cooked beef and onions to a large slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients - tomatoes, tomato paste, pumpkin puree, drained and rinsed beans, and spices. Add the beef broth, adjusting the amount as needed. I used the full can but if your pumpkin puree has a higher moisture content, then you may not need it all.
- Cook Chili - Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Serve - Serve with toppings of choice and enjoy!
- Serving Size: ⅙ of recipe
- Calories: 379
- Sugar: 10.2 g
- Sodium: 752 mg
- Fat: 7.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 49.9 g
- Fiber: 15.1 g
- Protein: 32.9 g
- Cholesterol: 45.2 mg
Keywords: Easy Pumpkin Chili, Recipe for Pumpkin Chili