This turkey pumpkin chili is packed with nourishing ingredients and loads of flavor! It combines tasty ground turkey, soft pumpkin cubes, and a variety of beans in a tomato broth that is perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of spice.
If you love making a classic turkey chili or beef chili during fall and winter, I highly recommend adding this turkey pumpkin chili to your cooking rotation! It's very similar to a classic chili but uses pumpkin cubes in addition to beans and other vegetables.
Turkey Pumpkin Chili Ingredients
To make this turkey pumpkin chili, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Ground turkey: Use regular ground turkey for this recipe. If you can't find ground turkey, you can use ground chicken as a replacement.
- Pumpkin: I love to use Hokkaido pumpkin as I like its nutty flavor. But you can pick another type of edible pumpkin for this dish, especially if you have leftovers that need to be used.
- Bell pepper: Bell pepper is one of my favorite vegetables to add to chili. I recommend using yellow, orange, or green bell peppers for this turkey pumpkin chili.
- Beans: A combination of beans is perfect for this recipe! I recommend using one type of white beans (I often use cannellini beans or lima beans) and one type of dark beans (kidney beans and black beans are great!).
- Liquids: This recipe uses a combination of liquids to ensure that the chili has a flavorful and thick broth with delicious tomato chunks. You'll need canned crushed tomatoes, tomato passata, and chicken or vegetable broth. If the crushed tomatoes you use aren't overly watery, you can skip the tomato passata and use an additional can of crushed tomatoes.
- Aromatics: You'll need garlic, onion, and chili pepper to make this chili super flavorful and delicious.
- Spices: To season this turkey pumpkin chili, you'll need chili powder (the American spice blend, not ground chilies), paprika powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, and a small amount of curry powder to balance the flavors.
- Tomato paste: You'll also need tomato paste to intensify the flavor of the broth.
- Toppings (optional): If you want to make this chili extra delicious, feel free to use toppings such as cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, or tortilla chips.
How to make this turkey pumpkin chili
Sauté the aromatics. First, preheat some olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Then add the onion, garlic, and chili pepper and sauté until the onion turns translucent.
Cook the ground turkey and season. Next, add the ground turkey and cook until it's fully browned. Add the tomato paste, season with salt and pepper, and add all spices. Sauté shortly until fragrant.
Simmer. Now add all liquids, vegetables, and beans. Stir until combined. Then cover the pot and let everything simmer for 20 minutes.
Finish and serve. Check the chili and add more salt, pepper, or cayenne pepper if needed. Garnish the chili with toppings of your choice and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Make sure that you use chili powder (spice blend) and not ground chilies. Chili powder is usually a spice blend that uses ingredients like paprika powder, ground cumin, and ground chilies.
- Adjust the heat level to your taste. I'd say that this recipe is perfect for most people. It's not overly spicy but not mild either. So depending on your taste, adjust the heat level by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper and chili powder you use.
- Let the chili simmer so that it develops its flavor. I recommend letting it simmer for 20 minutes. If you have more time, feel free to let it simmer longer.
- Use fire-roasted tomatoes to make the chili extra delicious. Depending on where you live, they may not be available. But if you can find a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, definitely use them!
- Pick another type of protein for this chili. Any type of protein that is crumbly works with this recipe. You can use ground beef or ground chicken. And if you want to make this dish vegan, feel free to use crumbled tofu.
- Switch up the vegetables and beans. There are many different vegetables and beans that work really well in this dish. Another favorite of mine is frozen corn!
How to serve this turkey pumpkin chili
- Add some carbs to your meal. I love and recommend bread, pasta, or rice to make this dish more filling and satiating.
- Garnish your serving with your favorite toppings. Avocado cubes, sour cream, tortilla chips, chopped cilantro, and shredded cheese taste really great with any type of chili! Feel free to pick the ones you like and add them to your bowl of turkey pumpkin chili.
Frequently Asked Questions
I like to use Hokkaido pumpkin as it's tasty and very easy to use. But most types of edible pumpkin work for this recipe. It's really just a matter of your personal preferences.
I'd say that it's moderately spicy and just right for most people. If you prefer it spicier, feel free to add more cayenne pepper. To make this chili milder, skip the cayenne pepper and reduce the amount of chili powder if needed.
Yes, it does. This applies to a lot of sauces and stews that you can make. I find that 20 minutes is perfect to make it taste flavorful and delicious while getting dinner on the table quickly. But if you have some extra time, feel free to let it simmer for longer.
I recommend serving it with some bread and additional toppings such as avocado, sour cream, and tortilla chips. For additional information, I recommend checking out the post.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. This turkey pumpkin chili also freezes really well! So feel free to make a few extra servings and freeze them. You can store them in your freezer for up to 3 months.
More delicious and easy soups and stews
If you're looking for more soup and stew recipes that you can try, feel free to check out the following recipes. They are super delicious and very easy to make!
- Classic Beef Chili
- Sausage Lentil Soup
- White Bean and Kale Soup
- Mexican Chicken Soup
- White Bean Chicken Chili
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 chili pepper serrano pepper or jalapeño pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder American spice blend, not ground chili peppers
- ½ tablespoon paprika powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups tomato passata or another can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 14-ounce can kidney beans or black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can white beans such as cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups diced Hokkaido pumpkin or another pumpkin of your choice
- 1 yellow bell pepper diced
- toppings of your choice (optional) such as cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips
- Preheat some olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Then add all aromatics and sauté until the onion turns translucent.1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 yellow onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1 chili pepper
- Next, add the ground turkey and sauté until it is fully browned. Then add the tomato paste and all spices and sauté shortly until fragrant.1 pound ground turkey, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons chili powder, ½ tablespoon paprika powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon curry powder, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, salt and pepper
- Now add the liquids, beans, and vegetables. Stir until combined, cover the pot, and let everything simmer for 20 minutes.1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes, 1 ½ cups tomato passata, 1 ½ cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, 1 14-ounce can kidney beans or black beans, 1 14-ounce can white beans, 2 cups diced Hokkaido pumpkin, 1 yellow bell pepper
- Garnish the chili with toppings of your choice and enjoy!toppings of your choice (optional)