Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Since the adults already dressed up this past weekend for Halloween, it was time for the kids to be their cute alter ego.

Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog movie says hello. My niece has been waiting all month long to wear her costume. Every time I saw her, she kept reminding me that she will be a princess for Halloween.


My nephew dressed up as Baby Shrek. Before dinner, I went over to my sister’s house and I had a chance to play with the little Shrek as he was getting ready to go out to go trick-or-treating. He is cute, I kept giving him kisses.

shrek costume

Chris and I had a low key night. We stayed home, relaxed and watched scary shows. We watched Paranormal State, Ghost Hunters Halloween Live show and part of Jeepers Creepers movie.

Chris loves to kid around and he really wanted to scare me. He even found some creepy videos on YouTube for us to watch. Some of them were really funny though, not at all scary.

I hope you had a fun Halloween night!


Even though we have glorious sunny days, it is getting more chilly in the morning and especially in the evenings. During mid-day, it still feels like summer though.

I don’t crave my usual salad for dinner anymore. Instead, I want some steamed vegetables, toasted bread and a hearty bowl of warm soup for dinner.

I found this chili recipe while I was looking for savory pumpkin recipes. I have been using pumpkin in my breakfast bowls and for baking, but I also wanted to use it in soups.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili sounds good and it was just what I was craving.


I like this chili a lot and I find it very filling.

Chris liked it too and he couldn’t even guess that there was pumpkin in it. Unless you mention it, I don’t think anyone will be able to detect the pumpkin. The pumpkin doesn’t change the chili flavor but adds plenty of volume and bulks up the mixture.

I read the recipe review suggestions and changed the recipe. I added more beans, added green chilies, cumin and smoked paprika. I also used my crock-pot instead of cooking it stove-top.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used frozen pre-chopped bell peppers)
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans (or red kidney beans)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce can) pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, green onions, shredded cheese, sour cream or plain greek yogurt
    Directions (if cooking on stove top)
    1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    2. Saute the onion, bell pepper, green chili and garlic until tender. Stir in the turkey, and cook until evenly brown. Drain, and mix in tomatoes and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, paprika, cumin, pepper, and salt.
    3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve topped with your toppings.

    Directions (if cooking in crock pot). This is the method I used.

  1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed saute pan and lightly spray with oil. Add turkey and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5-6 minutes. Then add to crock pot.


2.)  Add olive oil to the saute pan, then onions & garlic and saute for  3 – 4 minutes. Add cumin and saute for another minute.


3.) Add the onion mixture to crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients: beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, green chilies, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 6 hours.  Season to taste before serving.


I also made corn bread to serve with the chili. I used the same corn bread recipe used in the Tamale Pie recipe.


I don’t mind the cold weather too much, especially when I have this chili waiting for me at home.

Do you have a favorite chili recipe? Please share or link in your comments.


  1. I made chili this past weekend! So yummy and comforting 🙂 I didn’t use pumpkin but your recipe sounds delicious! I’ll have to try it. Check out my recipe: http://www.katieept.wordpress.com

  2. I love your neices Tiana costume! That Disney movie is super cute! Your nephew is adorable too! 🙂

    That pumpkin chili looks great! I am hesitant to use pumpkin in savory dishes because I tried once before and it was terrible. I’m willing to try this though cause you said you can’t taste the pumpkin 🙂

  3. The kiddos look SO cute! I will have our Halloween pictures up tomorrow. Love Halloween :). Pumpkin adds something spectacular to chili, doesn’t it?

  4. Your niece and nephew look SO cute! Love their costumes! How sweet!

    This chili I need to bookmark, I am loving it! I use my slowcooker a lot in the fall/winter!

    Happy Tuesday! xoxo

  5. Could those kids be any cuter?! The pumpkin chili looks great. I love experimenting with different chili recipes, so this one is being added to my recipe list!
    Hope your’e well, Lea!

  6. actorsdiet says:

    this sounds terrific! i don’t have a chili recipe that i use – usually just random stuff from the fridge!

  7. How cute is your niece and nephew?! OMG!!! We had a low key evening too!! Just had a nice dinner with the family, ate bad for you chocolates and sipped some wine. Then I came home and caught up with some real housewives of beverly hills online! Now, thats scary!! LOL


  8. This looks amazing. I know my Hubby and his friends would love this for their 49ner tailgate soon. 😀

  9. Funny…I added cumin too to the original recipe. Switched out the beans for wild rice and regular rice too. It is a pretty flexible recipe and you are right, no one guesses pumpkin is in it. Oh, and since we had a lot of green tomatoes I chopped them into it too.

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