Beanless paleo pumpkin chili made easily in your Instant Pot (or on your stove top!) This one-pot meal comes together quickly and is healthy comfort food at its finest!
When the weather begins to cool off, chili is one of the first comfort food meals I crave. You may have noticed this, since there is no shortage of chili recipes on this site!
I also crave winter squash, particularly butternut squash and pumpkin, once the fall hits, so for me it seems natural to combine these two forces (chili and winter squash) into one ultra amazing mega force.
There’s just nothing like a flavorful, meaty stew situation to soothe and warm the body. Of course, eating this pumpkin chili on the couch under a blanket with my much coveted fuzzy socks is one of my favorite dinner routines. Just me, my coziest, and my big ass bowl of chili.
Let’s talk flavor and texture. This chili is super thick and comforting with a classic chili flavor with a little fall twist. You get a hint of pumpkin, but it doesn’t taste overly pumpkin-y.
The pumpkin serves as a way of thickening the chili and making it extra comforting without the use of flour or beans.
What Type of Ground Beef Should I Use?:
I always use grass-fed beef because it contains more nutrients than grain-fed. Grass-fed beef is a great source of protein, iron, and contains a nice dose of omega-3 fats. An added bonus, is it tastes better than grain-fed beef (in my opinion). I use 85/15 beef, which makes this chili super flavorful. You can go with your preferred fat content if you’re looking to keep your fat intake low.
I source all of my beef from ButcherBox, which serves up grass-fed, grass-finished beef as well as heritage pork, organic chicken, and wild Alaskan salmon. In addition to the fact that the beef is never grain-fed, I love that there are no added hormones or antibiotics, the convenience factor (it’s delivered right to your door), and the fact that it’s affordable! It’s really just clean, great tasting beef! I simply place an order whenever I’m running low on animal protein to keep my freezer stocked.
ButcherBox often runs promotions and deals. For instance, all new customers receive 2 pounds of FREE GROUND BEEF in every single order for the entire duration of their subscription. That’s a lot of beef, friends! Check them out HERE!
Instant Pot v. Stove Top v. Crock Pot
I made this chili in my Instant Pot, which is the best decision I’ve made in weeks. Not only does the Instant Pot method take the same amount of preparation time as the stove top method, but the cook time is lightning quick (we’re talking 20 minutes), and it turns out crazy flavorful and the meat is SO TENDER!
So basically, the pumpkin chili tastes as though you have slow cooked it for 8 hours, when all you’ve done is Instant Potted it for 20 minutes.
Do you not own an Instant Pot? That’s totally cool. I have included instructions for both the stove top and the Instant Pot method in the recipe card to give you preparation options. You basically perform all the same steps, but allow the chili to simmer for 1 to 3 hours.
To prepare the recipe in your slow cooker, you can simply add every last ingredient to your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours, or you can pre-saute the vegetables and brown the meat in a separate skillet before adding everything to the slow cooker.
…And really what it comes down to is this chili just needs to be made regardless of the avenue, because: YUM.
For the meat portion of this recipe, I used one pound of grass-fed ground beef (I used ButcherBox) and one pound of ground turkey (I used Diestel). You can change up the type of meat you use depending on your preference and dietary needs.
I use organic canned pumpkin, but if you like roasting your own pumpkins, I highly support you using fresh!
Make sure you use a good quality chili powder, or you can make your own homemade blend! The chili powder is what gives this whole thing most of its pomp and circumstance.
I eat this paleo pumpkin chili with a dollop of store-bought coconut milk yogurt, which I find to be like delightful fairy creatures dancing on my tongue. You can absolutely top the chili with sour cream and cheese if the dairies do you well, avocado, crispy bacon, red onion, you name it…it’s your chili party and you’ll top how you want to.
As always, let’s discuss:
- If you can tolerate beans, add 2 cans of black beans (or 1 black, 1 pinto)
- Omit the red onion and garlic if you’re sensitive to FODMAPs
- Ramp up the pumpkin pie spice for a more explosive fall flavor experience.
- Add carrots and/or butternut squash for some more veggie action.
- Serve it up over quinoa, rice, or spaghetti squash (<- I LOVE CHILI OVER SPAGHETTI SQUASH) if you’re in desperate need of more carbohydrate.
- Are you sensitive to tomatoes? You can easily skip the diced tomatoes – simply add ½ cup of additional chicken broth.
- Feel like changing the pumpkin to butternut squash, roast and mash a small butternut squash and use it to replace the pumpkin.
Ready, set, chill!
Instant Pot Paleo Pumpkin Chili
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 small red onion diced (omit for Low-FODMAP)
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper cored and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic omit for Low-FODMAP
- 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 (15-ounce) cans pureed pumpkin
- 1 cup chicken bone broth
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp sea salt to taste
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Turn your Instant Pot on to Saute and add the oil. Wait for the Instant Pot to heat up for a minute or two then add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to sweat, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, pepper, and garlic and continue cooking another 2 minutes.
Add the ground beef and ground turkey and mix into the vegetables. Cook until the meat has browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and press the Chili function and set the time to 20 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to release for 10 to 15 minutes, or quick release with the vent.
Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!
Stove Top Instructions:
Follow the same instructions above using a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heated over medium on the stove top. Once the meat has browned and all ingredients are stirred in, cover, lower heat to low, and cook at a very gentle boil for 30 minutes to 3 hours.