Pumpkin Chili

Marisa Voorhees - Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Fall is in the air. The days are getting shorter…and cooler (finally!). The leaves are starting to change. And the holidays are whispering at us. It’s the time of year when nourishing, hearty, heart-warming foods are just what our bodies need. This is my favorite chili recipe – it’s like your pumpkin pie and chili had a party in your pot! And who doesn’t want that? It’s flavorful, rich, and a crowd pleaser. Make up one batch for you and/or your family, or double it for a potluck or holiday gathering.


Note: The chili pictured is topped with Daiya vegan pepper jack cheese and Tofutti dairy-free sour cream.)


What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken thighs (or breasts, if you prefer)*
  • 1 16 oz. jar salsa, roasted or chipotle flavors recommended
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 T brown sugar, packed
  • 1 15 oz can white beans, rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt, to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in chicken and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove chicken from pot and place in a bowl.
  4. Turn heat down to medium and cook the onions and garlic in the oil and chicken juices, stirring until the onions start to lighten in color, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the cumin, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg and brown sugar. Stir and cook 2 minutes.
  6. Place the chicken back in the pot, and add the beans, salsa, canned pumpkin and chicken broth.
  7. Stir to combine and cook over low heat, with lid on, 60-90 minutes, until the broth has thickened and the meat is falling off the bone, or can easily be shredded with a fork.
  8. Turn off the heat, shred the chicken in the chili and salt to taste.
  9. Put the lid back on and let rest on the burner, heat off, for about 15 minutes.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Cooking Notes:

  • While I suggest chicken above, this recipe is also delicious if made with beef or pulled pork. You can replace the chicken broth with beef broth if changing the meat.
  • Or, go the veggie route and dump in lots of chopped peppers, sliced carrots, and cubed sweetpotatoes. I would suggest veggie stock to replace the chicken broth.
  • This recipe is SUPER crock pot friendly. Just brown the meat, then add everything to the crockpot and let it cook on low for 7 hours.
  • To really up the protein power of this recipe, serve over cooked quinoa.
  • As written, this recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. Note: not all meat broths are naturally gluten-free, so read the label to make sure yours is if you want to keep it gluten-free.
  • To ensure it is also soy-free, check labels carefully to ensure your broth, salsa and beans are packed in soy-free ingredients.
  • Chili makes some of the best leftovers. This recipe will easily make 6-8 servings and is freezer-friendly.

If you’d like to see how this recipe is made, watch me here.

Yoga Sol Recipes - Marisa Voorhees