Pumpkin Chili

1 Oct

I moved this summer, which was an exercise in soul-searching. How did I accumulate so much stuff? Did I really need the amazing individual cupcake maker I was given for Christmas two years ago? Just how, in God’s name, was this stuff going to fit into my new, much smaller apartment?

Soul searching aside, the move did force me to go through the binder full of torn-out magazine pages with recipes I’d been saving for a rainy day. It was funny to see the things I had held on to– there were literally hundreds of heavy, fancy-sounding meat dishes I must have ripped out back when I thought a great dinner party required breaking the bank and impossible-to-pronounce dishes. Most of those recipes didn’t make the cut, but it was a nice trip down memory lane that reunited me with awesome ditties like this pumpkin chili. I didn’t save the source, so I apologize for what is definitely recipe plagiarizing– but this is too good not to share!

Pumpkin Chili


  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef (optional, obvi)
  • 1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can (15 oz) light red kidney beans
  • 2 cans (28 oz total) pumpkin puree
  • 2 large cans (56 oz total) crushed or diced tomatoes (spend the extra $1 for the fire-roasted variety. It matters)
  • 4 c broth of your choice
  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 1 serrano or jalepeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • cilantro (chopped and to taste if fresh, 2 tsp if dried)


1. Add oil, meat and black pepper to large soup pot. Cook over med-high heat until browned. Add cumin, chili, onion, serrano/jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Cook until translucent. If not using meat, just cook spices and vegetables in oil until soft and fragrant.

2. Add dark and light red beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, broth,and cilantro (only if using dried). Bring soup to a boil and reduced to simmer. If using fresh cilantro, add it now and let chili simmer together for at least an hour, stirring from bottom every 10-15 minutes.

(Note: you can also make this in the crock pot, basically just by browning meat and/or spices and vegetables and then adding everything together in the crock pot. Cook for about 6 hours on low, or 4 hours on high. Just as above, add fresh cilantro with about an hour to go so it doesn’t get too stringy. I have found not everything fits in my crock pot and just reduce the broth to make it all fit.)

2 Responses to “Pumpkin Chili”


  1. Best of CuK | Cooking Up Kefi - December 10, 2013

    […] Pumpkin Chili […]

  2. Skyline Chili | Cooking Up Kefi - February 25, 2014

    […] and biscuits for the menu. BFKef demanded that we try something meatier and spicier than my go-to pumpkin chili, and I immediately thought of the friggin’ awesome chili I once made with the Cooking Club at […]

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