Pumpkin Chili

By Gina Caputo

Pumpkin Chili

Hands down the best chili I've ever made or ever eaten! Who knew?! I don't identify as a major pumpkin lover but it lends something really special to this spicy, protein rich chili that's perfect for a chilly night and makes amazing leftovers! The flavors just keep melding! It's also SUPER easy to make with most ingredients coming from your pantry! You can easily make it vegetarian by omitting the sausage and adding your favorite hot sauce!


  • 2 lb. ground spicy Italian sausage (can be chicken, turkey or pork or omit for vegetarian)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (if omitting spicy sausage to make this vegetarian)
  • Your favorite hot sauce or paste if omitting spicy sausage to make this vegetarian. If you’ve never tried gochujang, I recommend it for this recipe!
  • 1 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, small diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 15 oz. cans fire-roasted tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken bone broth or chicken broth  (use veggie broth if omitting sausage)
  • 1/2 cup chai tea concentrate (optional and reduce broth by 1/2 cup if using)
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds, plain Greek yogurt, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and avocado, for garnish


  1. In a large stew/soup pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, break into pieces, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a paper towel lined plate to drain. 
  2. Add oil to pot only if skipping step 1 to make this recipe vegetarian. Add the onion and bell peppers to the pot. Cook over medium, stirring, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. If you’re omitting the spicy sausage, add however much of your favorite hot sauce/paste you’d like to give it some kick. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the 2 cans of tomatoes, all 3 types of beans, pumpkin puree, broth and sausage, if using. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  5. Serve in big bowls and garnishing with roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), a dollop of Greek yogurt, shredded cheese if you’d like and diced avocado.

Adapted from a recipe by The Pioneer Woman.