Leah Behr: My Secret-But-Not-So-Secret-Because-I'm-Sharing-It Chili Ingredient

My Secret-But-Not-So-Secret-Because-I'm-Sharing-It Chili Ingredient

Pumpkin! I know what you're thinking, it's not Fall. I know. But stay with me here.

I first discovered pumpkin chili back in Fall and loved the consistency so much I decided to keep it in regular rotation. I find that if you only add a few spoonfuls, you get a dreamy consistency without too much pumpkin flavor. But if you want a little more pumpkin punch, go ahead and add as much pureed pumpkin as your little heart desires.

What you need:

2 tsp EVOO
1 lb ground turkey or beef (your choice)
1 can Rotel Chili Fixin's
1 Jalepeno or Anaheim Pepper, diced (optional)
1 small onion, diced (I only use about half, then freeze the rest)
1 12 oz can pinto beans, drained
1 12 oz can kidney beans, drained
1 12 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp better than bouillon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
2 heaping spoonfuls pumpkin puree

What you need to do:

Pour 1/2 the olive oil in dutch oven or large pot, toss in meat and brown. When meat is browned, drain oil and set aside. Pour remaining olive oil in pot and cook the onions until translucent. Add meat back to pot, and add garlic powder, salt, chili powder & cumin. Add peppers (optional). Add Rotel, diced tomatoes, beans, broth and better than bouillon. Now scoop out two heaping spoonfuls of yummy pumpkin, and add to the pot. (You can add more or less to get the consistency and flavor you like. I like the consistency that two spoonfuls gives - there's no exact measurement here - but you can certainly add as much or as little as you like) Cook for 30 minutes and Enjoy.

Optional toppings: cheese, sour cream, chives, cilantro, fritos, corn bread


  1. I would have never thought to add pumpkin to my chili! I'll have to try this out!

    Sweet Southern Sparkle


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