Do you need a delicious and creative way to use up some cans in your pantry? Look no further than this naturally dairy-free, gluten-free pumpkin chili. It’s been a chili cook-off winner at numerous events, and has a uniquely addictive flavor. It was originally submitted by Teresa to Allrecipes.com, but we’ve adapted it a little over the years.
Pumpkin Chili that’s a Family and Cook-Off Favorite
The pumpkin helps to thicken the chili just a bit, and adds a creamy texture with just a hint of pumpkin flavor. It’s enhanced by the warm spices. If you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can substitute 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice.
I’ve included a couple of options with this recipe. You can make the “sweet chili” version, my favorite with a hint of sweetness, or go completely savory. Each way is wonderful. And you can adjust the heat to taste, for a mild “family-friendly” chili or a kicked-up spicy chili.
Special Diet Notes: Pumpkin Chili
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free.
For vegan and plant-based pumpkin chili, omit the ground meat and use 2 cans of kidney beans and 2 cans of black beans.
- 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green or red bell pepper, diced
- 1 (46-ounce) can tomato juice or V-8 juice
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans or black beans, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 to 4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste (see Sugar Note below)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder, to taste
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- Salt, to taste
- Cook the ground meat in a large pot over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid.
- Stir in the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato or V-8 juice, diced tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin puree. Season the chili with the sugar, chili powder, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Let the chili simmer for 1 hour.
- Season the pumpkin chili with salt, to taste.