All of the flavors of chili with a few special ingredients make this Pumpkin Chili recipe addictive! All you have to do is throw the ingredients in your slow cooker for a quick but comforting meal.
All I have to say is WOW! This recipe actually came about last week when I was planning to make chili and then realized that I had NO tomato products! 🙁 I usually have some tomatoes that my mom has put up or I get THIS kind from Tropical Tradition. Wouldn’t you know it, the night I needed tomatoes the most, I had none! But what I did have was LOTS of pumpkin!
At first I just added the pumpkin and cooked it like a normal chili. When it was done, I ate a bowl with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese and I was in love. I couldn’t believe it didn’t really need tomatoes. There wasn’t a real strong taste of pumpkin but it had all of the chili spices that I loved and of course all of the yummy veggies! I then took a container of chili out of the slow cooker for my neighbor to try and then added cinnamon and a little extra sweetener to the rest. OMG, we have a winner, it was delicious! I made it again a few days later to make sure I had my ratios of veggies and spices right and I decided to add some tomato paste at the very end… What was Perfect was now divine! 🙂 So savory or sweet (with cinnamon), this chili will be your new go-to recipe!
Tips for make this Chili your own
- If you are hesitant about adding the cinnamon, you can simply wait till the end and add it, 1/2 tsp. at a time. If you just want to omit the cinnamon all together, it will still taste delicious! If omitting the cinnamon, be sure to serve with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and even a dollop of sour cream.
- Use whatever veggies you have on hand. I had zucchini (2 different kinds), yellow squash and a weird looking squash I don’t even know the name of and it all got added to the pot! Add a few chopped jalapenos if you really like heat! If you want to add harder squash like butternut, be sure to cut the squash into smaller pieces so that it will cook quicker.
- Can’t have tomatoes?? The tomato paste is not essential to this chili tasting delicious even though it does add a layer of flavor to the recipe. It can be omitted if there are dietary restrictions or if you are out in the pantry, no big deal!
- I think the key to chili is tasting it and adjusting certain ingredients, in this case cinnamon, sweetness and salt, until you have it to your exact liking. If you follow my recipe to a T you should have a pretty darn good bowl to eat and share with others but feel free to add more of a certain spice to make it your own.
- Make sure you taste for salt before serving. A little salt goes a long way to bringing out the flavors of the chili.
- This recipe can also be cooked on top of the stove but I love anything you can throw in the slow cooker. Be sure to check out THIS post if you are interested in learning more about the slow cooker I have and why I chose it! (One thing I really love about it is that I can brown the meat in the pan!) My slow cooker also cooks things pretty fast on high heat so you may have to adjust the time according to your individual pot.
Looking for more Slow Cooker meals? Check out this post with over 1 months worth!
Be sure to make a few batches and put them in small bowls in the freezer. That is what I did with the 2nd batch I made but I ended up eating them before they even made it to the freezer! Perfect to give to a friend who needs a pick me up or when you need a quick meal! What are your favorite recipes to freeze for a rainy (or lazy) day? Please share in the comments below!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and thanks for sharing! ~Melissa
Makes about 10 cups
- 1 lb. ground meat (grass-fed beef, ground turkey or even chicken)
- 2-1/2 lbs. of cut veggies such as bell pepper, zucchini, squash (all types), onions and carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 5 tbsp. chili seasoning
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt or sea salt
- 1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (start with 1 tsp.)
- 1-1/2 cups mashed pumpkin
- Sweeten to taste (I used 1/8 tsp. Stevia Select and 1 tbsp. honey)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- Hot Sauce (optional)
Brown meat either in a large pot or slow cooker (only if your slow cooker can be used on the stove top). Once meat is almost cooked, add the cut veggies, chili seasoning, 1/4 tsp. salt, cinnamon, pumpkin, sweetener and tomato paste. Stir well.
Cook in slow cooker on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours or cover and cook on stove top on low for 45-60 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Before serving, stir and taste for salt, cinnamon and sweetness and adjust if needed for your taste. If you desire extra salt and chili seasoning, sprinkle with a little Cajun House Seasoning or even hot sauce.
- Nutrition is based on using 2-1/2 lbs of squash (for ease of calculation). Feel free to visit http://caloriecount.about.com/ to calculate the exact nutrition profile based on the ingredients you use.
- 125 Calories, 4 grams Fat, 8.5 grams Total Carbs, 2 grams Fiber, 6.5 grams Net Carbs, 15 grams Protein per cup.