I love pumpkin and don’t regret it. I love chilli in all its forms. (See my Homemade Chili recipe and the long list you have to choose from). It’s fitting that I combined these two fall passions. It’s easy to add pumpkin to chilli. It blends seamlessly with classic chilli, and it even feels lighter.


I’m sorry if you are looking at me sideways over the idea that pumpkin could be added to your chilli. The flavour difference between the two is subtle. The pumpkin makes chilli richer and more flavorful without making it too heavy. The pumpkin gives the chilli a subtle sweetness and an earthiness. I normally add brown sugar to my chilis, but I was able to skip it with the pumpkin. The pumpkin’s flavour isn’t too noticeable since I love to add lots of spices to my chilli.

This is the time to remind everyone that chilli should not be steamed until it has cooled on the stove. It is tempting to taste it right after adding everything to the pot. But that will not make it taste great. It takes time for the chilli to get its job done. The flavours and spices must be enlivened, and the spices must be able to bloom. Give it some time, and then you can taste it. Be patient!


You can make pumpkin chilli vegan or vegetarian in a matter of minutes. You can easily substitute the ground beef with beans, lentils, crumbled tempeh or another favourite ground beef substitute. The chilli seasoning, tomatoes, and other vegetables make this chilli taste great. You can easily substitute beef for it without sacrificing flavour.


You can substitute ground beef for another type of ground meat. Ground turkey is a popular choice for pumpkin chilli due to its lighter flavour. However, I think some Mexican chorizo would make a great. These smoky spices will go well with the pumpkin’s flavour.


As you can see, the recipe is only as spicy or mild as the chilli powder. While most chilli powders found in grocery stores are mild, some brands can be very spicy. If you are sensitive to heat, ensure you choose a mild chilli powder. 

You can add more heat by dicing a jalapeno to your pumpkin chilli and sauteing it with onions and garlic. Also, you can add chipotle powder or chipotle pepper to the chilli seasoning. You can also stir in some adobo sauce and dice it up. There are many options.


Pumpkin chilli is hearty but light and loaded with fibre and other nutrients. This is the perfect bowl of fall flavours, warm and cozy.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: Each 1.25 cup



  • 2 cloves of garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.28)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 lb. Ground beef ($5.35)
  • 1 15oz. 1 15oz.
  • 1 15oz. 1 15oz.
  • 1 15oz. 1 15oz.
  • 1 15oz. 1 15oz.
  • 1/2 6oz. can tomato paste (5 Tbsp) ($0.25)
  • 2 cups of water ($0.00


  • 1 Tbsp chili powder ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.05
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder ($0.03)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 teaspoon salt ($0.02)


  • Chop the garlic and dice up the onion. Combine the onion, garlic, and olive oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the garlic and onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Continue to cook the ground beef until it is browned.
  • Add the black beans (drained), kidney beans (drained), diced tomatoes with juices, pureed pumpkin, and water. Mix well.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and let the chilli come to a boil. Stir occasionally. Let the chilli simmer for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes of simmering, taste the chilli and adjust the salt. Serve the chilli hot with your favourite toppings, such as cheese, green onions, corn chips, and sour cream.


*You can either use a store-bought seasoning or your favourite mix of chilli herbs, spices and spices.

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