This rich, savory Pumpkin Turkey Chili is an easy 30-minute meal that allows you to enjoy the flavors of the season even on busy weeknights! It’s healthy, filling, and tastes great topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and avocado!
When the brisk autumn air hits everyone runs to pumpkin chocolate chips cookies, pumpkin pie, and of course the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte. But while everyone’s in a hurry to enjoy a sweet pumpkin treat you can catch me whipping up savory pumpkin recipes such as this Turkey Pumpkin Chili!
To create the best Turkey Pumpkin Chili, I still start the traditional way, by sautéing up peppers, onions, and minced garlic. From there I pile in the protein by browning up ground turkey and then add in pumpkin puree to deliver up a dish of savory seasonal flavor!
Don’t worry, this rich, hearty pumpkin turkey chili still goes great with all your favorite chili toppings! Serve this up on game day or on a weekend surrounded by friends and family with a chili toppings bar to allow everyone to make their bowl of chili exactly how they like it!
Ingredients For Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- Chopped green bell pepper
- Chopped yellow bell pepper
- Diced onion
- Minced garlic
- Vegetable oil
- Ground turkey
- Pumpkin puree
- Diced tomatoes
- Drained black beans
- Chicken broth
- Chili powder
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
The star ingredient in this chili recipe is canned pumpkin puree! This easy ingredient may seem odd at first to add to a pot of chili, but you’ll be sold on the idea after your first spoonful!
Pumpkin puree adds a rich, earthy flavor to the chili with a slight hint of sweetness, yet it won’t be an overpowering pumpkin flavor.
This Easy Turkey Pumpkin Chili is absolutely delicious as is! However, it’s also a great recipe that you can easily tailor to your own taste buds.
If you like spicier chili you may want to add in cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, or crushed red pepper flakes. Though for a slightly sweet chili you can add in light brown sugar to taste!
Turkey Pumpkin Chili Substitutions and Variations
- Minced Garlic – Instead of using a fresh clove of minced garlic you can use 1/2 teaspoon of jarred minced garlic, garlic flakes, or garlic paste.
- Black Beans – Feel free to use dark red kidney beans, light or white kidney beans, also known as cannellini beans, in place of black beans. You can also do a combination of beans to add more variety to the chili!
- Chicken Broth – An equal amount of chicken stock can replace chicken broth. Chicken broth can also be replaced with vegetable broth or beef broth, but it will slightly alter the flavor of this recipe.
- Meat – Ground beef, ground chicken, or another ground meat substitute of your choice can replace the ground turkey.
- Looser Chili – To enjoy a looser chili, add in additional chicken broth until the chili reaches your desired consistency.
How To Make Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Step 1: Saute the chopped green bell pepper, chopped yellow pepper, diced onion, and minced garlic in vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Step 2: Add the ground turkey to the skillet and break it up using a spatula. Cook until the ground turkey has browned.
Step 3: Transfer the ground turkey mixture from the skillet to a large soup pot. Next, stir in the pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, drained black beans, chicken broth, chili powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
Step 4: Cover the pot with a lid and cook over medium-low heat.
Step 5: Serve bowls of the chili with delicious toppings of choice and enjoy!
Instructions For Slow Cooker Turkey Pumpkin Chili
To make Crockpot Turkey Pumpkin Chili, sauté the peppers, onion, and minced garlic in vegetable oil in a large skillet. Then add in the ground turkey and cook until browned.
Transfer the browned ground turkey mixture into the crockpot and then stir in the pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, drained black beans, chicken broth, chili powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
Cook the Turkey Pumpkin Chili in the crockpot on high for 2 to 4 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours.
How To Serve Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Enjoy this fall chili over spaghetti, white rice, in delicious bread bowls, or even over buns sloppy joe style. To keep it classic, you can enjoy a bowl of Turkey Chili with a side of buttery Classic Southern Buttermilk Cornbread!
I like to keep it simple and enjoy it as-is in a bowl loaded with lots of yummy toppings! We love finishing ours off with our favorite chili toppings such as:
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream or sneak in some more protein by using Greek yogurt instead!
- Avocado slices
- Corn chips or tortilla chips
- Saltine crackers or oyster crackers
- Green onions
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced fresh tomatoes
FAQs for Turkey Pumpkin Chili
How long does it take to simmer chili?
This turkey pumpkin chili recipe takes just 20 minutes to simmer! The short simmer time makes it a great, quick weekday meal that’s ready in no time!
Is chili better if it simmer longer?
The longer chili simmers the more time the flavors and spices can meld together, creating a more flavorful chili. However, the longer it simmers the thicker the chili consistency will become too.
Is turkey a high protein meat?
Yes, ground turkey is a high-protein, low-fat meat making this a healthy dish that packs in nutrients while keeping you full for longer!
How do you thicken chili?
Usually, chili can be thickened by simply simmering it for longer. However, if you need to thicken it more you can create a slurry by stirring 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.
Stir this cornstarch slurry into the chili and it should thicken it right up to achieve a thicker chili!
Is canned pumpkin puree the same as pumpkin pie filling?
No, canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling are not the same though there are typically found near each other in a grocery store. Pumpkin puree is only the flesh of the pumpkin that’s been pureed whereas pumpkin pie filling has added spices and sweeteners in it, creating a pie filling.
Storage Instructions For Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Once the chili has cooled it can be transferred into an airtight container or Ziploc bags with the excess air squeezed out of it. Store any leftover turkey pumpkin chili in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
- 15 ounces black beans drained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Add the green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, diced onion, minced garlic, and vegetable oil to a large skillet and saute until slightly softened over medium-high heat.
- Place the ground turkey in the skillet and break it up with a spatula. Cook until the turkey is browned.
- Add the bell pepper and turkey mixture to a large soup pot. Then add in the pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, drained black beans, chicken broth, chili powder, sea salt, and black pepper and combine.
- Cover the soup pot with a lid, then cook the chili over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. If desired, serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, or avocado. Enjoy!