~ These delicious Pumpkin Chili recipes are so easy, so healthy and so yummy on a cold night! From traditional chili flavors to more unique twists from vegan to loaded with lean beef and from stovetop to crock-pot to Instant Pot. Theres truly something here for everyone! ~
When the weather turns cold, is there anything cozier than a big, steaming pot of chili? Ok ok it would definitely be cozier if you dug into it while cuddled into your favorite sweatshirt and jammy pants. Maybe some fuzzy slippers and a crackling fire, too. Hey, why not?
And you know what else?
What makes any pot of chili instantly more cold-weather cozy?
Dont be surprised! When everyone starts lining up for pumpkin spice lattes and planning their Thanksgiving pumpkin pies, its time to take chili to the next level of comfort food bliss, too!
But wait. If youve never tried pumpkin chili before, you might be having a tough time envisioning what that could possibly be like. How does pumpkin make the leap from pumpkin breads and pumpkin muffins and pies and lattes into a chili pot??
Basically, you might be wondering what on earth it would taste like, and how youd go about making it. Lets start with taste (since thats really the most important thing, right?!?).
What Does Pumpkin Chili Taste Like?
There are probably as many ways to answer that question as there are pumpkin chili recipes out there in the world (and trust me there are actually a lot of em!).
Pumpkin is a terrific ingredient to work with because it nimbly adapts from sweet recipes (like those Thanksgiving pies) to savory dishes (like our 5-Minute Savory Pumpkin Hummus with Fresh Sage). So, if you can only imagine pumpkin in sweet things, the whole savory, pumpkin chili idea will be an epiphany for ya!
Just like with other chili recipes pumpkin chilis can range from spicy or mild, they can be vegan or loaded with beef, and they can stick pretty close to traditional chili flavors, or they can take that unique pumpkin twist and run with it in all sorts of unexpected ways.
So many possibilities!
Youll find that some recipes actually dont even taste much like pumpkin at all. Take our Quick Stovetop Vegetarian Chili (the first one in the list below).Pumpkin puree forms the thick, rich, creamy base of the chili. But honestly, Im not sure youd ever guess there was pumpkin in there if you didnt already know. With all the other veggies and spices taking center stage, the pumpkin is definitely just a supporting cast member.
On the flip side, if you peek a little further down our list, youll see other recipes that absolutely highlight pumpkin as the star.
Either way, they all leverage the creamy, buttery texture of pumpkin and also its big nutrition benefits. Pumpkin is very nutrient-dense and low in carbs, and its loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants (like beta-carotene, a powerful carotenoid). You can read more about pumpkin nutrition HERE.
So, does pumpkin chili taste like pumpkin? Or does it taste like a regular chili? Depends which recipe you try. But even more likely itll taste like something in between, wonderful and totally unique. (And just right to spoon up while wearing that favorite sweatshirt and comfy jammy pants!)
How Do You Make Chili with Pumpkin?
As youll see from the recipes in our list, most pumpkin chilis use pumpkin puree. Some will simply start with a store-bought can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!), and some will start with an actual, whole pumpkin that youll cook and puree.
But, some recipes feature big, gorgeous chunks of pumpkin, like the Quick & Easy Pumpkin Chili from Brian at Krumpli. That recipe is meant to absolutely showcase pumpkin in all its delicious glory, for when you crave an unmistakably wholesome vegetarian vibe.
Beyond all that, theres also the question of how you cook pumpkin chili. Ive tried to choose recipes here that fit into all the ways people typically make chili recipes on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or in an Instant Pot pressure cooker.
Its really up to you in terms of what fits into your schedule: whether you need the make-ahead convenience of a crock-pot, or you like the near-instant gratification of a pressure cooker, or you like to fill the house with the smell of a pot of chili, burbling away on the stove.
So, whatcha gonna do next where to begin? Which one to try first???
Pumpkin serves as the creamy base for this quick, incredibly delicious stovetop vegetarian chili recipe. It's ready in about30 minutes, and is made almost entirely with pantry staples! Its loaded with so much depth of flavor, and also with nutritional powerhouse ingredients. So fantastic, yet so easy! ~ Recipe from Shelley at Two Healthy Kitchens
Unlike the other recipes in our list (which use pumpkin puree), this unique version has gorgeous chunks of pumpkin, along with all the flavors you associate with agood ol tex mex chili. This spicy pumpkin chili will surprise and delight even the most committed of carnivores and may even win over a pumpkin skeptic! ~ Recipe from Brian at Krumpli
This chili has a double-dose of turkey, with bothlean ground turkey, and also sliced turkey (or chicken) breakfast sausages. The flavor profile gets a unique twist from pumpkin beer and a little barbecue sauce. A great make-ahead meal that tastes even better the next day! ~ Recipe from Karen at Soup Addict
The red lentils in this slow cooker chili soak up all of the flavors and help give this chili its wonderfully hearty texture. The pumpkin, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cloves add unexpected complexities, and jalapeo gives it all a nice little kick. ~ Recipe from Kare at Kitchen Treaty
Although this vegan, gluten-free chili includes lentils like the recipe above, that's pretty much where the similarities end. This version includes quinoa and black beans plus red pepper, carrots, and smoked paprika. Its a delicious and hearty plant-based chili loaded with veggies and plant protein! ~ Recipe from Kaleigh at Lively Table
This chili recipe is creamy, warm, and delicious! Its hearty and healthy and features a spice blend of cayenne, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon. And for you crock-pot lovers, the best part is that its made in the slow cooker you can either do it overnight or while youre at work! ~ Recipe from Emily at This Healthy Table
Beef, green peppers, diced green chiles, ground ancho chiles, green onions, and cilantro ... plus the unusual twist of black olives! Be sure to notice her suggestion to use low-fat beef in order to keep fat and calories in check. This tasty no-bean chili is low-carb, Whole 30 approved, and low glycemic. ~ Recipe from Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen
Featuring ground turkey and a combination of taco seasoning and pumpkin pie spice, plus lots of nutritious veggies. It all comes together so quickly and easily in your pressure cooker! Trim Healthy Mama friendly (THM E), low fat, gluten free, and rich in fiber. ~ Recipe from Nora at The Wholesome Recipe Box
But now, Ive got 11 more chili recipes to cuddle up with on blustery, cold nights. Maybe I need to buy some more comfy jammy pants to go with them!
Try one of these recipes today jammy pants optional but totally recommended!