Whether you’re football fan, a pumpkin-everything fan, or a simply cozy up on the couch with a warm bowl of chili fan, this pumpkin chili is your go-to easy meal this Fall!
Anyone who knows me well knows I get overwhelmed easily, especially when it comes to making a decision on food. I overthink everything. There’s always the dietitian side of my brain that is trying to think about what the healthiest option would be and then there’s the food-lover side that wants whatever tastes the best, regardless of how healthy it is. And if my decision also impacts others? Oh man, then the people-pleasing side of me gets all worked up trying to figure out what everyone else would want regardless of my preferences. In the end, I end up overly confused, stressed and unable to make a decision.
Chili is an overwhelming food. Yes, it is simple, but there are SO many ways to make it! And should it be spicy? tomatoey? meaty? slightly sweet? thick? thinner? green? white? red? it goes on and on. I’m sure many of you, like me, have tried countless chili recipes that progressively get more complicated only to later taste someone else’s chili that tastes just as good, if not better, than all the ones you’ve tried but with way fewer ingredients.
Keep it simple! In fact, my dad’s favorite chili recipe doesn’t even have a real recipe. He just throws a couple of cans of beans and jalapeños, some meat and tomatoes, a bottle of beer, then a few dashes of the standard seasonings: chili powder, cumin, salt. That’s all you really need. And I’ve tried this method. I’ve kept it simple and it was delicious! However, the can of pumpkin puree in the cabinet was just begging to be added to this chili. And it seemed wrong to have pumpkin without cinnamon. But other than those two minor changes, this really is a simple chili recipe made up mostly of standard pantry ingredients (except for the pumpkin).
I also had some fresh jalapeños in the fridge so I decided to dice one up and throw it in for a little extra heat. If you aren’t a spacey-food fan, I still recommend adding it as jalapeño and chill just go together in my mind. Just be sure to remove any seeds, as that’s where the majority of the heat will come from.
As for the pumpkin, please do not leave it out! Besides giving the chili the perfect chili-texture, it’s also jam-packed with beta-carotene (which gets converted to vitamin A in your body). Beta-carotene gives a boost to your immune system (very important with flu season just around the corner), keeps your eyes nice and healthy, and has be associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease. So grab up as much of those orange vegetables as you can 😉
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I recognize myself in your story, I overthink EVERYTHING! So it’s good to know I’m not the only one. Anyways, I am a big fan of the “throw everything in a pan and it will be delicious” method, it always seems to work! I’m glad this recipe soothes our overthinking 😉
Haha I’m so glad I’m not the only one out there like that 😉 Hope you like it if you give it a shot!
I love your use of pumpkin in this chili! This is proof that pumpkin tastes good in pretty much any recipe 😉
Thanks Hannah! And yes, I totally agree 😉