Pumpkin Chili

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

Yesterday felt like a chili kinda day.

It was raining ALL DAY LONG. I had a sugar pie pumpkin in my pantry, black beans and some defrosted beef, so I decided to throw together a pot of chili. It just felt like a chili kinda day.

Though not the prettiest thing I've ever made, this chili was delicious. I love the sweetness of pumpkin paired with the heartiness of ground beef. Topped with some yummy spices to give it a kick and some sliced avocados for freshness, this was a chili lover's grand-slam!

The pumpkin could easily be swapped for butternut squash or even carrots, and if you are looking for a vegan dish, the ground beef could be replaced with an extra can of beans (though I would change it up with a can of pinto beans or lentils). If you want a spicier option, you could replace the ground beef with sausage, giving it some exciting flavor!

Let me know what you think of this hearty dish below! Have a great day!


Makes about 4 large bowls or 6 smaller cups


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 sugar pie pumpkin, peeled with a vegetable peeler and then chopped into 1/2 inch cubes*- Click here for a how-to on peeling and chopping pumpkin.

  • 8-10 button mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound ground beef**

  • 2 cans black or pinto beans

  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups water (or more, depending on your desired soupiness of the chili)

  • Salt to taste



Cheese (I like cotija but cheddar or feta would be good!)


Toasted pepita seeds

Tortilla chips, crushed


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.

  • Add pumpkin, mushrooms, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper, cooking for 7 minutes, or until the outside of the pumpkin chunks just start to soften.

  • Add the ground beef to the pot, making sure to use your wooden spoon to break it into chunks. Cook for another 5-7 minutes until the beef is browned.

  • To the pot, add the beans, tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Leave simmering without a top for 30 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked through. Add salt to taste. (I used about 1 tablespoon, but start small)

  • Ladle chili into bowl and add toppings.

*If using butternut squash, use about a half a large squash or all of a small one.

**If using beans instead of beef, use 1 can of pinto beans or 1 1/2 cups lentils.

Meal Prepping Tip:

This meal is so easy to prep! Portion out the chili into glass containers. Portion out your toppings into smaller containers (you don't want to heat the toppings). When ready to eat, heat the chili and top with toppings! Perfect for a hearty lunch or dinner!

#winter #fall #glutenfree #dinner #lunch #soup

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