Thick and flavorful, this pumpkin chili does not taste like pumpkin – but the pumpkin adds wonderful texture and of course makes this pumpkin chili very healthy..
The idea of pumpkin chili may sound suspicious, but it’s really, really good.
First, let me reassure you. Pumpkin chili is not sweet. It does not taste like pumpkin pie, and you actually can’t even taste the pumpkin as a separate flavor. Adding it simply results in a lovely, thick, very flavorful stew. Plus it’s very healthy!
I tried making pumpkin chili for the first time in October of last year. Cooking pumpkin recipes this time of year is a beloved tradition of mine, and I know I’m not alone in this. 🙂
I expected it to be a purely seasonal (not to mention experimental) recipe. But this chili turned out so well, that it is now my favorite chili recipe which I make throughout the winter (actually, throughout the year!). I even prefer it to my excellent no-bean chili. I think it’s richer and more flavorful.
If you can get the chopped tomatoes brand that I use – Pomi – do use it. It’s available at Whole Foods and on Amazon (see link in the recipe card below). And it should also be available in some supermarkets – my supermarket (Safeway in Northern California) carries it. I like to use this Italian brand because it’s thicker and sweeter than American canned diced tomatoes, and makes a noticeable difference in the outcome of recipes that rely on canned tomatoes.
As with all chilis, leftovers of this keto pumpkin chili are excellent and in fact it tastes even better the next day. You can keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. I simply reheat the leftovers, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 lbs. 85% lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium bell peppers, any color, finely chopped (8oz)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 (15 oz can) pumpkin puree
- 26 oz Pomi chopped tomatoes, or 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Prepare the seasoning mix: In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a very large, deep saucepan (I used a deep 14-inch skillet) over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the beef, the onion and the bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, breaking up the beef into smaller chunks, until beef is browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and the seasoning mix. Cook, stirring until well incorporated into the beef mixture, 1 minute.
- Add the pumpkin puree, the crushed tomatoes and the salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Serve, if desired, with a dollop of sour cream, guacamole, and/or grated cheddar.