Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili is a terrific way to enjoy the benefits of pumpkin throughout the year.
Why this recipe works
Not only does pumpkin add amazing flavor, but it’s also full of good for you with things like fiber, vitamins A and C, carotenoids, potassium, and zinc.
It's delicious and a terrific way to enjoy leftover pumpkin from the holidays.
My turkey pumpkin chili came out of a blogging recipe challenge where we remake other blogger’s recipes. (With their permission, of course!)
This pumpkin chili recipe is based on Allison of Sweet Flour’s Slow Cooker Pumpkin and Bean Chili.
Making slow cooker pumpkin chili
Pumpkin: I chose Allison’s crockpot pumpkin chili because I always have canned pumpkin in the pantry and love using it throughout the year. Pumpkin is not just for fall!
While I use it in desserts like Keto Pumpkin Mousse, I love using pumpkin puree in soup, curry, and chilis, too.
Ground meat: I turned this into a turkey pumpkin chili by using lean ground turkey instead of ground beef. You can use lean ground beef or ground venison if you wish.
Canned beans: This is a black bean and pumpkin chili, but I also used kidney beans. You can use your favorite varieties of canned beans – pinto, black, kidney, red, or one of the mixed cans.
Just make sure to give them a good rinse before adding the beans to your recipe. I like dumping all the cans of beans into a colander, and rinsing them off in the sink.
Make sure the beans drain well before adding them to your slow cooker.
If you like beans in your chili, check out Instant Pot Chili with Pumpkin.
Vegetables: Another change I made included using a red bell pepper instead of a green one as I find them kind of bitter.
If you have room in your crock-pot when making this turkey pumpkin chili recipe, then add a bag of frozen veggies like broccoli, okra, green beans, or cauliflower.
Adding extra vegetables to pumpkin crock pot recipes is a great way to sneak some wholesome fiber into your family’s diet. Plus, it creates more chili without much added calories or cost.
Broth: I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth as it’s lower in fat and calories.
Spices: I added ground chipotle chile pepper instead of cayenne pepper since that’s what I had in my spice rack.
If you’re ever in Chugwater, Wyoming, stop at the gas station off the freeway and pick up a jar of it!
Tips for making crock-pot pumpkin chili even better
An optional addition: I added a tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil. My husband brought a small bottle of this home from a trip to Germany and it makes pumpkin chili recipes super delectable.
It’s also wonderful to use in pumpkin and squash soups like Sweet Potato Soup with Figs.
It’s optional in this crockpot pumpkin chili recipe, so don’t worry about if you can’t find it.
Toppings: You can top this with a little bit of shredded cheese, some diced onions, chopped tomatoes, a spoonful of salsa, diced avocadoes, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, or for you dairy free folks – a dollop of Vegan Sour Cream.
Cleanup: For easy crock-pot cleanup, use slow cooker liners. They’re WONDERFUL. I love not having to scrub my slow cooker after cooking up a pot of pumpkin chili!
Can I freeze this slow cooker pumpkin recipe?
Yes! I like freezing chili in reusable food containers that you can freeze and microwave the pumpkin chili in after it thaws.
Or you can thaw it a little, pop it out of the container into a slow cooker, and then heat the pumpkin chili in the crock-pot.
Looking for more slow cooker recipes?
Try these easy crock-pot recipes:
● Zesty Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pound ground venison, turkey or lean beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can canned pumpkin puree
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil (optional)
- Cook onion, bell pepper, and ground meat over medium-high heat until meat is cooked through.
- Add salt and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add spices (chili powder through cumin) and mix thoroughly. Cook for 1 minute.
- Place onion, pepper, meat, garlic, and spice mixture into a slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
- Dish chili into bowls and top with a small dollop of no-fat sour cream or a large pinch of shredded cheese.
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Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 460mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 11gSugar: 6gProtein: 25g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Originally published March 12, 2012 and October 3, 2017. Updated with new pictures and information.