This pumpkin chili is easy to make on the stove top and takes about an hour to cook. But for an even easier option make pumpkin chili in the crockpot and have it when you get home from work. It's the perfect way to warm up on a cool evening.
Because we have someone in our family who can’t eat tomatoes, we had to lay off the chili for a while. Last fall, I had the idea to replace tomato sauce with pumpkin instead and voila we had pumpkin chili. At first, some were a bit skeptical about the flavor being like pumpkin pie, but it turns out it tastes almost exactly like traditional chili thanks to the beef broth and vinegar.
- Pumpkin - For this recipe you can used canned pumpkin puree or homemade, if you like to roast your own pumpkins. My son says freshly roasted pumpkins taste better in this chili, so you can decide for yourself. Just make sure to avoid pumpkin pie filling. We don't want any pumpkin spice flavor in this chili.
- Ground Beef - We always have beef and beans in our chili. If you dislike either, then feel free to leave them out. Make it vegetarian by omitting the beef and using vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
- Beans - I like to use a mix of beans in my chili. Typically I use one can each of kidney beans, black beans and chili beans (pinto). Bush's brand is gluten free and widely available.
- Beef Broth - The broth works with the pumpkin and vinegar to mimic the tomato sauce in traditional chili. Make sure to look for gluten free beef broth as this is an ingredient that frequently contains hidden gluten.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - The vinegar adds a little of the acidity that is missing from tomatoes.
- Onion, Green Pepper, Jalapeno and Garlic - All used for added flavor.
- Chili Powder - You can't have chili without chili powder.
See recipe card for ingredient list with quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Make it vegan - Simply replace the beef broth with vegetable broth and omit the ground beef. Or you can substitute a plant based meat for ground beef.
- Use ground turkey for a healthier option in this chili. Follow the directions as listed using turkey in place of ground beef.
- Make it less spicy - Just omit the jalapeno if you don't like spice. You could replace it with additional green pepper for more flavor.
- Add sweet potatoes for a little extra vegetable power. Simply cube your sweet potatoes and add them along with the onion so they get plenty of cook time.
How do you make pumpkin chili?
STEP 1: Brown ground beef in a large soup pot.
STEP 2: Remove the cooked beef, add the oil and onion to the pot and cook until translucent.
STEP 3: Add green pepper, jalapeno and garlic to the cooked onions. Cook 2-3 minutes.
STEP 4: Add the beef broth, chili powder, salt and pumpkin to the pot. Stir until well mixed.
STEP 5: Add the beans to the soup pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
STEP 6: Add the beef to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes uncovered to thicken the chili. Serve and enjoy!
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
If you prefer to make your chili in the crockpot, simply brown the ground beef and then add all the ingredients, including the cooked beef, to your slow cooker. Put the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. So easy!
Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for 4-5 days. This is one dish that really improves as leftovers. The longer it sits the more the flavors blend together.
This dish is also great stored in the freezer. Once cooled, move the chili to a freezer bag and lay out flat in your freezer. Store for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
More soups and stews:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Easy Pumpkin Chili (Gluten Free)
- 1 pound Ground Beef browned and drained
- 1 Cup Yellow Onion diced
- ½ Cup Green Pepper diced
- 1 Jalapeno diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic diced
- 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Cup Gluten Free Beef Broth
- 2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 15 ounces Can Pumpkin Puree not pie filling
- 15 ounces Can Chili Beans
- 15 ounces Can Black Beans
- 15 ounces Can Kidney Beans
- Add ground beef to a large soup pot. Cook over medium heat until browned.1 pound Ground Beef
- Pour olive oil into a large soup pot and heat over medium. Add the onions and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are translucent.1 Cup Yellow Onion, 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Add the green pepper, jalapeno and garlic. Continue to cook about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.½ Cup Green Pepper, 1 Jalapeno, 3 Cloves Garlic
- Add in the chili powder, salt, beef broth, vinegar and pumpkin. Stir well until it’s soupy and all the pumpkin has been mixed in.1 Tablespoon Chili Powder, 1 teaspoon Salt, 4 Cup Gluten Free Beef Broth, 2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar, 15 ounces Can Pumpkin Puree
- Add the beans and stir. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes. Stir about every 5 minutes to keep it from sticking to the pan.15 ounces Can Chili Beans, 15 ounces Can Black Beans, 15 ounces Can Kidney Beans
- Add the cooked ground beef. Continue to cook without the lid for another 10-15 minutes. It should thicken up a bit.
To prepare in a slow cooker
- Brown and drain your ground beef.
- Add all ingredients, including cooked beef, to your slow cooker.
- Cover with the lid and cook on high temperature for 4 hours or low temperature for 6 hours.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.