This Easy Turkey Pumpkin Chili recipe is made with pumpkin, sweet potatoes, beans and chipotle peppers for a quick and comforting healthy fall meal! (freezer friendly, gluten free)
Who’s ready for some healthy turkey pumpkin chili to kick off the fall season?!
It’s been fairly warm lately for this time of year, and getting into the fall spirit has not been easy. Scarves and sweaters usually signal fall for me, but the weather is not cooperating.
In an act of defiance, I actually wore a scarf and quickly realized it was a huge mistake once beads of sweat started running down my neck. It made me so sad.
Nevertheless, even though it doesn’t feel like fall outside, I’m determined to embrace the season in my little kitchen. Basically, what I’m saying is it’s time to bring on the pumpkin!
What better way to celebrate fall than with a healthy and satisfying turkey chili made with actual real pumpkin?! I used canned pumpkin puree since it’s easy to find at all grocery stores and it doesn’t require you to prepare a whole pumpkin from scratch.
I’ve actually done that once and it’s a lot of work. And you know what? I didn’t taste any difference in the homemade vs. store-bought stuff!
So unless you really enjoy preparing pumpkins for cooking, I say just go with a can of 100% pure pumpkin.
Why I Love This Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- It’s the perfect comfort food for fall – warm and filling with just a bit of spice.
- This recipe uses turkey and veggies to give regular chili a healthy twist!
- It’s freezer friendly! Just let the turkey cool completely then store in a freezer-safe bag or container.
Because you know how much I love Mexican food, I added some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the chili for a bit of heat. I just couldn’t help myself.
The chipotle compliments the sweetness of the pumpkin and sweet potatoes without making the turkey chili too spicy. This recipe only calls for 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, but if you’re like me and can handle the heat, I recommend adding 2 chipotles.
However, if you’re very sensitive to spicy food, you can just omit the chipotle pepper all together and have a kid-friendly turkey pumpkin chili instead.
Don’t get pumpkin pie filling instead of pure canned pumpkin! Otherwise this recipe will taste more like a meaty dessert – yuck.
- Don’t have any ground turkey on hand? Try ground chicken or beef instead!
- Use a can of diced tomatoes with jalapeños to add another kick of heat to this dish.
- If you’re not partial to sweet potatoes, you can try a winter squash like butternut or kabocha!
Freezing and Reheating
To freeze, simply let the chili cool completely and place it in freezer-friendly storage bags or containers. Remove as much air from the bags/containers as possible and freeze until ready to eat.
To reheat, simply defrost it in the microwave and heat it up until it’s hot.
- 1 pound ground turkey (or ground chicken)
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons chili powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 quart chicken broth (about 4 cups)
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
- 2 large sweet potatoes, diced into small cubes
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (If you prefer lots of spice, start with this amount and add more, to taste.)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pinch salt and black pepper
- for serving: cilantro, limes, avocados
- In a large bowl, mix together ground turkey, 1 tablespoon chili powder, ground ginger, salt and cumin.
- Heat a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the ground turkey mixture and cook for about 10 minutes, until meat is cooked through, crumbled and browned.
- Transfer cooked meat to a large bowl and set aside.
- Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to dutch oven and add in onion. Cook for about 5 minutes on until translucent and soft. Add in garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Transfer cooked meat back to dutch oven and add chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, white beans, pumpkin puree, sweet potatoes, chipotle pepper, remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder, oregano, salt and black pepper.
- Mix together and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook another 15 minutes.
- Serve with chopped cilantro, fresh limes and avocados.