Falling for Comfort Food – Pumpkin Chili

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This transition to cooler weather means its time for all the warm foods I love – soup, stew and chili. And as someone who always has cold hands, it also means it’s my favorite time of—YES! holding a nice warm bowl of delicious yumyum food!

My favorite food to make is pumpkin chili. Now, while the combination of chili and pumpkin doesn’t seem like a workable combination, it makes a remarkable and brag-worthy dish.

I came across the recipe from my friend, but since I make it almost twice a month from September to March, I basically pass it off as mine (she doesn’t mind, I send her a card and tag her in my Instagram photos whenever I cook it).

Pumpkin chili takes awhile to cook, so time is the main factor when cooking; I would also advise doubling the spices or at least taste-gauging the seasoning as you cook. My friends and I like a bit more heat and garlic in our food so I typically add a bit more spices when I cook.

Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients (serves 8-10)
2 lbs ground chicken or turkey (if vegetarian/vegan either use a meat substitute or add more beans)
1 large diced onion
1 diced green pepper (feel free to add yellow and/or red peppers)
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
46 oz. tomato juice
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar (white sugar can be used, but brown sugar leans toward a richer taste)
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

Instructions
In a large pot over medium heat, brown chicken (or turkey)

Stir in onions and peppers and cook for 5 minutes

Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato juice and pumpkin puree

Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar (and additional seasoning you would like)

Simmer for 1 hour (or longer)

Garnish with a sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Post and photos by Dayna Brownfield.