Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

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 😉

Note: To up the pumpkin-ante, you could serve this with pumpkin cornbread (two of my favorites here and here). However, we had some homemade sourdough to use up so we used that instead. 

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

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!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chili, Healthy, Pumpkin, Turkey
Servings: 8
Calories: 370kcal
Author: The Healthy Toast


  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 jalapeños I used one strangely-large jalapeño, minced with seeds removed for a milder chili and with seeds to make this nice and spicy
  • 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 cans of beans rinsed (I like to use a variety of white, black, or pinto beans)
  • 1 8- oz can corn
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 28- oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup sodium-free organic chicken broth
  • Optional toppings jalapeño slices, Greek yogurt/sour cream, cheese


  • Place 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in large saucepan over high heat. Once heated, add in 3 cloves garlic (minced) and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Next, add in diced jalapeño(s) and sauté for another 1-2 minutes or until softened.
  • Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Then add in 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp thyme. Give it a good stir.
  • Finally, add in 2 cans beans, 1 8-oz can corn, 1 can pumpkin puree, 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, and 1 cup sodium-free organic chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened. Be sure to taste as you go and add a few extra dashes of the seasonings to your taste.
  • Once cooked, serve chili and top with optional jalapeño slices, cheese, plain Greek yogurt, or simply just dig in as is.


For 1/8 of recipe: 370 calories, 14g fat, 3g saturated fat, 50g carbohydrate, 28g fiber, 9g sugar,
25g protein
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

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  • Vivian | stayaliveandcooking AvatarVivian | stayaliveandcooking6 years ago

    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 😉

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast6 years ago

      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!

  • Hannah @CleanEatingVeggieGirl AvatarHannah @CleanEatingVeggieGirl6 years ago

    I love your use of pumpkin in this chili! This is proof that pumpkin tastes good in pretty much any recipe 😉

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast6 years ago

      Thanks Hannah! And yes, I totally agree 😉

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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