Enjoy this easy stove top Pumpkin Chili with your favorite chili toppings like avocado, sour cream, and cheese for the coziest fall meal! This thick and hearty chili recipe is a delicious twist on traditional chili.
If you’re a longtime follower of The Roasted Root, you may be familiar with my infamous Instant Pot Paleo Pumpkin Chili recipe.
That recipe has been so well-loved over the years that I had to circle back to the concept and make a stove top version that includes beans.
This easy stove top pumpkin chili recipe can be whipped up at a moment’s notice and is ready in less than an hour.
While it may sound strange to add a squash that is typically used in sweet applications to a savory recipe, I assure you, it just works!
Pureed pumpkin adds a creamy texture, making the chili even heartier and cozier! I enjoy pumpkin chili recipes so much, I’ll make them regardless of the time of year.
Top it with your favorite toppings like grated cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, sour cream (or Greek yogurt) chopped red onions or green onions, avocado, chives, crispy bacon, etc.
For all those upcoming colder months of the year, this hearty pumpkin chili is gold!
Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for pumpkin chili.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Chili:
Avocado Oil: Used to sauté the vegetables and brown the meat, we need a good high-temperature cooking oil like avocado oil. Olive oil works here too.
Yellow Onion, Fresh Garlic, Bell Peppers, Carrots: This combination of vegetables brings bright, bold flavors with a hint of sweetness. Adjust the amount of onion and garlic according to your personal taste.
Ground Beef: Use 1 to 2 pounds of ground beef, selecting any fat content percentage you prefer.
You can stick with lean ground beef (90/10 or leaner) or do as I do and choose a fattier cut (80/20) for flavor. As is the case with all of my ground beef recipes, I use grass-fed ground beef for the higher amount of omega 3 fatty acids.
Pureed Pumpkin, Diced Tomatoes, Chicken Broth: The liquid portion of this easy chili recipe is canned pumpkin, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth.
I add a small amount of chicken broth because I like my chili recipes to be thick, but you can add more broth to reach your desired consistency.
The pureed pumpkin brings a thick heartiness to the chili with some natural sweetness. I wouldn’t say the chili tastes overly pumpkiny, as the flavor gets masked by the bold flavors of beef, chili powder, onion and garlic.
Black Beans: I love adding a can of black beans but you have all sorts of options here.
You can use up to 3 cans of any types of beans if you love a bean-centric chili, including kidney beans, chili beans, pinto beans, or garbanzo beans.
You can also omit the beans altogether if you aren’t into them. An extra can of beans brings more variety of texture and also adds to the heartiness.
Chili Powder, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Sea Salt: The seasonings for this easy pumpkin chili. Classic chili powder provides the iconic chili flavor, pumpkin pie spice reminds us we’re consuming something with pumpkin in it, and sea salt brings all the flavors together, creating a delicious flavorful chili.
- Add 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers or a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce if you enjoy spicy food. Chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper work too!
- Toss in a can of corn
- Replace the ground beef with any type of ground meat including ground turkey, ground chicken, ground sausage, or ground pork. You can also chop up 1.5 pounds of chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs to make chicken chili.
- You can roast a sugar pumpkin to make homemade pumpkin puree if your garden is having a marvelous pumpkin season.
- Use vegetable broth or beef broth instead of chicken broth.
- Swap out the red bell pepper for a green bell pepper.
- You can also use 1 cup of mashed sweet potato puree in place of pumpkin puree if you’d prefer. You can also use mashed or pureed butternut squash to make butternut squash chili.
Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients for this delicious pumpkin beef chili recipe, let’s make it!
How to Make Pumpkin Chili:
Heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat in a large thick-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chopped carrots, bell pepper, and garlic. Cover the pot and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
Scoot the vegetables off to one side of the pot to make room for the ground beef. Brown the ground beef and break it into small pieces with a spatula before mixing it in with the vegetables.
Stir in the pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, black beans, chicken broth, pure maple syrup, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt (the remaining ingredients) until well-incorporated.
Cover the pot and reduce to medium heat. Bring the chili to a boil and cook covered, stirring occasionally, for at least 15 minutes.
If you have the time, you can cook chili for one hour at a gentle simmer, making sure to stir it every once in a while.
Serve pumpkin chili with your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, grated cheese, chives, crispy chopped bacon, avocado, etc. For a complete meal, serve chili with Gluten-Free Cornbread slathered in butter and honey.
Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Just like regular chili, you can store this pumpkin beef chili recipe in the freezer for 4-6 months.
Pumpkin chili becomes even more flavorful the next day and the 3-4 days following preparation. For this reason, don’t be shy about making this recipe in advance of when you need it.
This savory pumpkin recipe is perfect for the whole family. Truthfully, I love this pumpkin chili recipe no matter the time of year!
The addition of pumpkin provides a subtle earthy flavor that when coupled with pumpkin spice makes you feel like you’re enjoying all the fall flavors in one bowl.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili:
If you prefer cooking in the slow cooker, here’s what you do. Sauté the onion, garlic, and beef in a skillet until the beef has browned.
Transfer this mixture in addition to the rest of the chili ingredients to your crock pot. Secure the lid and cook on High heat for 3 to 4 hours or Low heat for 5-6 hours.
I’ve had non-pumpkin lovers tell me they love this chili recipe because of how hearty it is in addition to the smooth texture.
The pumpkin flavor isn’t overly detectable due to the big flavors of the other ingredients, so the net result is that it adds thickness and a little sweetness.
So even if you’re not a fan of pumpkin, this simple meal may just be a game changer!
If you’re looking for more soup, stew and chili recipes, here are some of my top recipes!
More Healthy Soups, Stews, and Chili Recipes:
- Hearty Ground Turkey Soup with Vegetables
- Immunity-Boosting Turmeric Chicken Soup
- Chunky Tomato Basil Soup
- Crock Pot Beef Stew
- Whole30 Turkey Chili
The best pumpkin chili recipe, here we go!
Easy Pumpkin Chili
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion diced
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 (15-oz.) can pureed pumpkin
- 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-oz.) can black beans
- 1 to 3 cups chicken broth*
- 1 to 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or brown sugar optional
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp sea salt to taste
- Heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat in a large thick-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped carrots, bell pepper, and garlic. Cover the pot and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
- Scoot the vegetables off to one side of the pot to make room for the ground beef. Brown the ground beef and break it into small pieces with a spatula before mixing it in with the vegetables.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, black beans, chicken broth, pure maple syrup, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt (the remaining ingredients) until well-incorporated. Cover the pot and reduce to medium heat. Bring the chili to a boil and cook covered, stirring occasionally, for at least 15 minutes. If you have the time, you can cook chili for one hour at a gentle simmer, making sure to stir it every once in a while.
- Serve pumpkin chili with your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, grated cheese, chives, crispy chopped bacon, avocado, etc.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.