I know that when most of you see the word “pumpkin” in a recipe title, you roll your eyes. I get it. Trust me, I do. But sometimes that ubiquitous squash just makes a recipe really special. This is one of those times. And really, we only get to abuse pumpkin for a couple months out of the year, so let’s make the most of it!
The addition of pumpkin in what is otherwise a fairly standard chili recipe adds a warmth and depth of flavor most chilis just can’t accomplish. I also think it makes it a bit more hearty.
You’ll need (makes 4-6 servings):
1 lb ground beef (I used grass-fed 85/15). If you want to keep it vegetarian, you could use beans instead — kidney or black would work best. You could also use beans in addition to the ground beef.
1 15-oz can pumpkin
42 oz diced tomato (fire-roasted works well). I used a 28-oz. can and a 14-oz. can.
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 large green pepper (or 2 small guys), chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp crushed red pepper (if you like spice)
1-2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the beef, onions, and peppers in olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot until the beef loses most of its pink. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add tomatoes, pumpkin, and all spices.
Simmer for as long as you can, but at least 20 minutes.