Pumpkin Chili


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1 (15 ounce) can plain, unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups canned crushed plum tomatoes and juices
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferable homemade
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

“Pumpkin Chili” sounds like an oddity – and yet it is easy, healthful, and so delicious!


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan until shimmering. Cook the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through and it is in small pieces. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain the meat and set aside.


In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat (if you use the same pan, wipe it clean). When hot, cook the onion, green pepper, and garlic for 5-6 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.


Return the meat to the pan along with the zucchini, squash, pumpkin puree, tomatoes, stock, pumpkin pie spice, cumin, chili powder, and about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender. Adjust the heat to maintain the simmer.


Add the kidney beans, stir the chili well, heat through, and serve.