Thursday, October 20, 2011

Turkey Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

I adore a good fall meal. 

Chili is one of those great slow-cooker meals where you don’t have to do too much cooking to get it going. Brown the meat, brown the onions, toss the rest of the ingredients into the pot.

Well, this is another recipe like that, but it has a real twist to it, and it’s something fun to serve around Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I saw the recipe in the Los Angeles Times newspaper (Food section, which is fabulous) and thought, hmmm, pumpkin in chili? I'm not so sure, but then I thought about my homemade pumpkin soup and thought, yes, it might work. I'll have to experiment. 

The recipe in the Times had way too much green pepper for me. Green pepper just doesn't seem to like me. Never has. So I substituted yellow pepper (way gentler in flavor), and the result was delicious. You'll notice there are no "beans" in this chili. It's bean-less, but the pumpkin adds the bulk that just makes it so different and delicious. 

Thick soup, possibly. It worked well as a dinner, and my husband had it the next day on a hamburger bun like a sloppy Joe. Perfect! And I didn't have to do much at all. Brown the turkey, brown the onions and peppers. 

For fun on Halloween, consider giving your kids something other than pizza before they go door-to-door.

Did I mention the Cheddar cheese on top makes it? I'd add more the next time. Definitely more. :)




(serves 4 - 6)

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion (1 med.)
1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
2 cups pumpkin puree
2  tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon white or black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream


In saucepan, heat the oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic.  Stir until tender.  Pour mixture into the crockpot (or slow cooker).

Put the turkey in the skillet and brown well.  Add the turkey (do not drain) to the crockpot.

Add the tomatoes and pumpkin and spices to the crockpot.

Set on low and cook 4 to 5 hours.

Serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.

If you want, here's the link for last year's PUMPKIN SOUP WITH GRUYERE.

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  1. I'd have never thought of putting pumpkin with chili! But it sounds wonderful and easy. I like using turkey in this recipe, too.

  2. Pumpkin in chili? What an interesting idea. I love that it's made with ground turkey and in the crockpot, too. Nice for a cold day!

    ~ Krista

  3. Elizabeth and Krista, I thought the same thing. Pumpkin in chili, and I have to admit while putting it together I continued to think, where are the beans? LOL. I guess I could have added beans, but I wanted to stay pretty true to the recipe, and it really was yummy. And so easy.


  4. This is a very good idea for adding fiber and vitamins. I can see where it would nicely thicken the chili, too, without really altering the stronger flavors. Also agree with you on the green pepper. For me, it's a very strong flavor that sometimes takes over a dish. Good idea on the switch to yellow. Thanks for another wonderful recipe, Avery!

    ~ Cleo

  5. What a different idea and a terrific recipe, Avery. I can taste this now and can hardly wait to make it!

  6. Good afternoon, Avery!

    I have used pumpkin in my chili for quite awhile and we love it. It did surprise me at first that you don't detect the pumpkin flavor but now it is a must have ingredient!! We also never ever forget the cheese!!!


  7. Cleo and Nanc, I didn't think about that but you're right. Pumpkin is a "neutral" kind of flavor that you can add so many things to. And Nanc, you'd better not forget the cheese. LOL!

    Mary Jane, I'm glad you can taste it. Such a nice complement of flavors.

    BTW, everyone, our Krista is blogging at Killer Characters today. Rather, Aunt Faye from the Domestic Diva Mysteries is there making a, hmmm, appearance. [Aunt Faye is gone from this world...or is she?]