Chili, Soup

Pumpkin Turkey Chili – Comfort in a Bowl

October 21, 2012

We’ve run out of luck here in Vancouver – Fall is definitely upon us. We had a good run with a late summer this year – and this weekend was testament to that. Today it was raining, and then in was hailing. And now it is sunny and cold. Vancouver weather is still a mystery.

Chili has to be one of my all time favourite comfort foods. Chock full of vegetables, whatever you have on hand, spices and tomatoes (an Italian staple). Simple, warm, comforting. It is Fall in a bowl. And when Fall comes around, I like my foods in a bowl (Think: Soup, Chili, Oatmeal, Pasta) The goods.

This chill isn’t just like any other chili, it has earthy hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin paired with pumpkin puree for added thickness. The spices make for a rather aromatic Fall chili. Turkey and pumpkin naturally go together – like Thanksgiving. Since I’m not a coffee drinker (I know), I can’t go all crazy for the Pumpkin Spiced whatever at Starbucks – But I do go crazy for pumpkin spice anything. Especially food.

Pumpkin is also super nutritious – full of antioxidants, and carotenoids, so be sure to add it whenever you can to your food – trust me, no one would even notice!

I did say I wasn’t going to post anymore recipes with Pumpkin in them – but I didn’t even think about it when I was making this Saturday night. Usually when I think of pumpkin in a recipe, it’s the sweet kind. Like the Marbled Pumpkin Bundt Cake, or the Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, or even Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream.

But – Pumpkin can definitely be savoury. Adam and I loved this chili – I’ll definitely be keeping pumpkin on hand, for baking and for chili. I think Pumpkin Soup is also in the future.

This weekend was an absolutely fabulously slow weekend – The days seemed to drag on, which was much needed after two weeks spent observing in an Elementary school. Friday night we stayed in, Saturday we went to our favourite three year old’s birthday (I can say this because we don’t know any other three year olds at the moment, so he’s allowed to be the favourite) and then made some chili. This morning we went to the gym (much overdue this week) and then stayed in. I managed to photograph three recipes – so the blog will have lots of action this week! (also much overdue).

I also love veggie chili – if you’re a vegetarian just omit the ground turkey, it’s just as satisfying.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 red or orange peppers
  • handful – approx. 10 mushrooms
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 large cans (946 ml) plum tomatoes
  • 1 package ground turkey
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cumin
  • chili spices
  • black pepper
  1. In large pot on medium-low, saute diced onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground turkey and continue to sauté until almost completely cooked – another 5-7 minutes.
  3. Chop up all remaining vegetables, and add to the pot.
  4. In a blender, add the cans of tomato and pulse until slightly blended. Pour into pot, and turn up to medium heat.
  5. Add the rinsed and drained can of black beans (can also use kidney)
  6. Add two cups of Pumpkin Puree, and stir to incorporate.
  7. Add as much spice as you like, I like a spicier chili, but you can add more cinnamon and nutmeg to even it out. The cumin adds a deeper flavour, and the cinnamon actually brings out the chili spice – Don’t worry about it actually tasting like cinnamon, just a couple dashes will do.
  8. Turn chili to medium-low, and let simmer for an hour or so, until the vegetables are tender.
Optional: Serve with sour cream, diced avocado, and chopped green onions.



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  • Reply Britta October 22, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    THIS LOOKS AWESOME. In fact, you inspired me to buy all the ingredients today and make it! It really does sound like comfort in a bowl 🙂 oh boy, I am not sure if I am ready for all the crazy BC weather in January… ahh!

    • Reply Alicia October 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      Thanks! I love chili, usually I have all ingredients on hand for it, cans of tomatoes and beans in the cupboard, some veggies in the fridge, and meat (or no meat, I make a lot of veggie chili too!) easy weeknight dinner to throw together.

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