Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Have you broken out the pumpkin yet? October first is right around the corner, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to jump on the pumpkin train. Now I’m not talking pumpkin spice or pumpkin pie. I’m talking Turkey Pumpkin Chili. Pumpkin in my chili? Turkey in my chili? Are you kidding me? Nope, I’m being straight with you. Just try it, and I bet you will be an instant fan, too. But make sure you use pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling. Otherwise you will be in for an unpleasant surprise. The smoky chipotle peppers, cumin and chili powder, along with the savory pumpkin, transform this dish into an amazing fall chili. I love being able to have a little twist on the ordinary that is seasonal and healthier.  

My recipe does not call for beans, mainly because my husband and son aren’t big fans, but feel free to add them if you prefer. You can make this chili on the stove top or in the crock pot, which makes it an ideal (and seasonally perfect!) meal for Halloween. I know you might be skeptical of pumpkin in chili. I was, too. But since I encourage my kids to try new things all the time, it was time I took my own advice. And I’m so glad I did. This is some good eatin’.  

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Serves: 6
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey (extra lean)
  • 2 – 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 – 15 oz cans pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2-3 tablespoons cumin (depending on how much cumin you like)
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1½ cups frozen corn
  1. In a large dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in canola oil over medium heat until translucent. Add turkey and cook until meat is no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes, pumpkin, and spices. Add chipotle peppers if desired. Adjust seasonings if necessary (adding more chili powder or cumin to suite your taste).
  2. Cook on medium for 15 minutes to let flavors develop. Add corn and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with warm corn bread.
This can also be made in a crock pot. After step one, put cooked meat, garlic and onions in crockpot and add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours.


  1. Ursula says

    Can you please clarify what size can of chopped tomatoes and pumpkin puree I need to buy? I’d like to make this, but need size clarification.
    Thank you! LOVE all the recipes I’ve tried since I signed up!

  2. Cara says

    Hi, I just stumbled upon your recipe on Pinterest (through the Blissfully Delicious website), and it sounds delicious. Can you clarify a few things for me?

    If I were to make this in a crock pot, do I cook the tomatoes, pumpkin, and spices on the stove first? Also, do I have to cook the turkey, onions, and garlic first, or can I just throw everything into the crock pot?

    Also, do you have recipe for cornbread that you’d recommend I use with this?

    Thank you!

  3. Cara says

    I made this a couple of weeks ago–it was incredible and so, so easy! I cooked the turkey before adding it to the crock pot, and just let everything simmer on high for five hours (it smelled too good to wait the full eight hours). It’s only me and my fiance, so, after gorging ourselves, we froze our leftovers.

    I ended up making buttermilk cornbread muffins (I like my cornbread both savory and sweet and with corn in it), which were the perfect addition.

    Thanks for a great recipe–I’ll be sure to stop by your site again for more inspiration.

    • Lisa says

      What a perfect dinner to make extra and freeze! Love the sound of your cornbread muffins- I love savory and sweet together too :) Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Lenora says

    Thank you for the recipe! Made it last night and it was big hit. I followed the directions exactly and it came out perfect. Wonderful easy weeknight meal.

  5. Rosalie says

    This is currently in my crockpot and I can’t wait to dig in! :) I track calories and macros on MyFitnessPal and I was wondering if you had any idea what the nutritional info is on this? Thanks!

    • Lisa says

      Yummy! I hope you like it! Due to the nutritional info varying between brands, we don’t include that information! Sorry!

  6. Peg W says

    Have you ever tried cooked raw pumpkin? I have some left over from a stew cooked in a pumpkin shell and thought maybe I could put the pulp in my Vita-mix and get a smooth consistency. Thoughts?

    • Lisa says

      Hi Peg, I haven’t cooked with raw pumpkin so I can’t say for sure- but I would imagine that would work. Using the Vita-mix to get the smooth consistency would be great. Let me know how it turns out!

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