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Pumpkin Chili Recipe

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pumpkin chili
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Now that fall is officially here, I’ve been making a lot more soups and stews. Whether they’re in the slow cooker, the stovetop, or cooking away in the Instant Pot, there are plenty of different options. This pumpkin chili makes a hearty weeknight meal and it’s packed with fall flavor (and nutrition!).

I originally created this pumpkin chili as a way to use up the 100-pound pumpkin we bought at the farmer’s market. My kids really enjoyed it, and I love that it’s packed with veggies. When my son was on the GAPS protocol to reverse his allergies, I just gave him some of the browned meat with broth and pumpkin. Tomatoes are nightshades so he couldn’t have those at the time.

We cook this on the stovetop, but it would also work in a crockpot.

How to Make Pumpkin Chili

It’s not that different than traditional chili, but it’s a tasty twist on a classic. I’ll often use spices like smoked paprika, ground cumin, and cayenne in my everyday chili. This pumpkin chili has some of the same flavors, but it also features cinnamon. It’s naturally gluten-free and dairy optional (just omit the cheese)

The optional hint of cinnamon adds a winter warmth, and the pumpkin sneaks in some added nutrition. If you don’t have fresh available then a can of pumpkin will work, or even butternut squash or sweet potato.

Ingredient Options

I like using ground beef, but you could also use ground chicken or ground turkey if preferred. And while most chili recipes rely heavily on beans, I omitted them here. If you prefer your chili with beans though, then feel free to add some to the recipe. Black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans are all good options.

Pumpkin Chili Toppings

Here are some topping ideas for your chili. My kids love choosing their own toppings to really customize their bowls!

Even if you aren’t a fan of pumpkin, I’d encourage you to try this recipe. It is simple, delicious, and definitely kid-approved at our house! It also reheats well the next day, since the flavors have had even more time to meld.

pumpkin chili

Pumpkin Chili Recipe

A hearty and delicious chili with a hint of pumpkin flavor (and all the added nutrients of delicious pumpkin!).
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Calories 130kcal
Author Katie Wells


12 cups


Optional toppings


  • In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium heat.
  • When the beef is almost completely cooked, add the onions and saute until soft.
  • Add the diced tomato and tomato sauce, pumpkin, broth, beans if using, and spices and stir to combine.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium-low or until heated through and flavors are incorporated.
  • Top with desired toppings and enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 624mg27%
Potassium 525mg15%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 7470IU149%
Vitamin C 32mg39%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Like any soup, toppings are optional, but they add freshness and fun. Plus my kids love that they can customize their chili!

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 Do you add pumpkin to any unusual dishes? Ever tried it in chili? Share below!


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


24 responses to “Pumpkin Chili Recipe”

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      You could try cooking the meat and onions on the stove, then add them with the other ingredients to your slow cooker and cook for about 5 hours on low. You may find you need a little more liquid this way, but let us know if you try it!

  1. Chelsea Avatar

    2 stars
    Two whole onions just turned it into onion stew. I would maybe try again with half an onion and other veggies or beans to mix it up a bit. Flavor was good though.

  2. Genevieve Avatar

    5 stars
    As I was making this, I was questioning how it would turn out because I was skeptical of how pumpkin would combine with savory stuff. But DAMN! This turned out amazing!!

  3. Beccs Avatar

    5 stars
    this was amazing! I use diced tomatoes and chipotle and it gave it the perfect kick to balance out the sweet. =) definately making it again!

  4. Megan Avatar

    5 stars
    Thanks for helping out a new wife!! This chili is healthy, delicious, and husband-approved 🙂

  5. Rebecca Avatar

    5 stars
    This pumpkin chili is so delicious! I just made this for my family for dinner tonight and everyone really liked it! I love the pumpkin flavor and spice! I actually subbed the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice and I will continue to do so! Thanks so much! We just started our grain free diet this week and I am enjoying all of your recipes!

    1. Jack Avatar

      4 stars
      I tweaked the receipe a bit, I added the spices after browning the bison continue stirring for 2 minutes….this really brings out the oils that are locked up in the spices, I also added a 2tsp of Oregano, Grandulated Garlic and a 1/2 tsp of Cumin, then the onion. After adding the balance of ingredients, I added a cup of ultra distilled vodka, this acts as a solvent that further extracts flavours from the spices and the tomato and pumpkin ( I learned this from a chef from Rome) Vodka has no real flavour of its own, and is used in many restaurants around the world…alcohol cooks of in just a few moments and adds a certain jenesequa to almost any sauce or soup.

  6. Christine Avatar

    Thanks for this recipe! 🙂 My question is how would you freeze it? Is it OK in plastic bags or with it being tomato (acid-y) based it must be in glass jars? Thanks!

  7. Jennifer Walsh Avatar
    Jennifer Walsh

    This recipe is awesome! The pumpkin is subtle as well as the cinnamon, a perfect blend! I added a very mild chili pepper from my garden and it was the perfect amount of spice and flavor. I’d like to experiment with adding bell peppers to this chili.

  8. Ryan Vogt Avatar
    Ryan Vogt

    Great recipe, tasted delicious, my only issue was the tablespoon of chilli powder made for one super spicy chilli, perhaps a revision to that could be considered, I barely finish my serving and my wife actually couldn’t eat hers after one bite.

    1. Mike Hardie Avatar
      Mike Hardie

      4 stars
      Really? I think it needs at least triple the chili powder as well as some spice added…

  9. Amanda Armagost Avatar
    Amanda Armagost

    This chili rocks! Even my SAD diet mother-in-law loves it! It’s especially good with sour cream on top.

  10. Terra Cox Avatar

    i had so much pumpkin, i started using pumpkin sauce instead of apple sauce in the muffin recipe. It worked great,.

  11. Cayla Willingham Avatar
    Cayla Willingham

    YES! I would add pumpkin to everything if I could. And if it was available year round. I’ve started making a chili with pumpkin and beets. Sounds weird but kids and husbands alike eat it and ask for more!

  12. Kesha Avatar

    I made this recipe last night, and it was delicious! The pumpkin flavor was too weird for my husband, who is very picky, but the fact that he made it three bites in was noteworthy. 🙂 I didn’t change a thing in the recipe (had to give it a fair shot as-is before modifying it), and it was just fine. The optional topping I didn’t include was green onions.

    This recipe will go on my meal rotation list for winter! It is so unbelievably easy and quick for such a healthy, hearty meal, and doesn’t dirty a lot of dishes. Thank you, Katie! I’m going to go eat some now and see if it’s even better the second day… 😀

    1. Kels Avatar

      I was wondering about the “2 bell peppers” in the ingredients list. I didn’t see in the instructions where to add the bell peppers. Are they ment to be in the chilli or as a topping?
      Excited to try this recipe! Thanks

  13. Sam Hopper Avatar
    Sam Hopper

    I’m so intrigued & excited to try this out. The only savory pumpkin I really have is in soup so this is a heartier 1 pot meal for me & my family. Thanks for sharing!

4.24 from 39 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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