A deliciously hearty turkey pumpkin chili that will have you coming for seconds and thirds. This warm chili is the perfect way to cozy up on cold nights.
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I am back with another savory recipe (and another pumpkin recipe!) for us to chow down on. This is another one of my favorite comfort foods that I make often because it is also really healthy. I started making this chilii back in 2012 when I got the idea of putting pumpkin puree into my chili from Hungry Girl. I thought it was such a brilliant way to use pumpkin for seasonal spirit and more fiber.
To me, chili is one of the best healthy foods you can eat (if you are smart with your toppings) because it is just veggies and beans and meat cooked in more veggies (is it still okay for me to call tomatoes a vegetable, or should I call it a fruit or berry or whatever they are calling it these days?) The addition of pumpkin makes it even healthier and I use ground turkey as a lean protein. To keep things healthy, I usually top my chili with avocado and nonfat Greek yogurt, plus just a light sprinkling of cheese because…. cheese.
This turkey pumpkin chili is such a great way to get your kids to fill up on veggies because it is full of vegetables, but still tastes amazing. You don’t even realize that you are eating a ton of vegetables in each bowl. The spice here is just right. Enough just to tickle your tongue, but nothing that will have you gasping for water. If you are absolutely against spice, you can take out the crushed red peppers and half the chili spice in half. You still need some of it for its flavor, but it won’t impart enough spice for it to really bother you. I love using Hunt’s and RO*TEL sauce and diced tomatoes because they bring so much flavor to the table without me having to fuss over developing flavor in the tomato base. They’ve done that for you.
I cook my turkey, onion, and garlic before I add it to the slow cooker for the bring out the best flavors. You can skip this step and add everything right into the slow cooker if you want.
- 2 teaspoons chill powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 lbs ground turkey
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 24 oz can RO*TEL diced tomatoes with chilies
- 1 14oz can Hunt's diced tomatoes
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree
- 1 14oz red kidney beans
- 1 14oz black beans
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 2 small bell peppers finely diced
- Mix together the chill powder, sugar, cinnamon, paprika, ginger, crushed red pepper, cumin, and some salt and pepper (to taste). Set aside
- Heat a skillet on medium high and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add half of the spice mixture and heat until fragrant. Add in the turkey, onion, and garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent and the turkey is cooked.
- While the turkey is cooking, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, pumpkin puree, both types of beans, zucchini, bell peppers, and remaining spices to a slow cooker. Once the turkey is finished, add it to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 4 hours, or on high for 2 hours. If you decide to not precook the turkey, cook for 5 -6 hours on low, and 3 - 4 hours on high. Occasionally use a wooden spoon to break up the turkey as it cooks. Serve with your choice of toppings such as avocado, nonfat Greek yogurt, or cheese.
- If you do not want to use a slow cooker, you can add all of the ingredients to a large pot and cook on medium for about 30 minutes.
If you need help finding Hunt’s and RO*TEL products, and want to know where to look for fresh ingredients to add to your chili, here are a few handy photos for you!