Looking To Make Your Chili Healthier? Check Out Pumpkin

Pumpkin Chili

September 11, 2013   20 Comments

Snack Girl posted this chili recipe with pumpkin last year and people are still talking about it. Yes, it was a hit.

Why add pumpkin to your chili?

It’s cheap, easy, and has 763% of your daily value of vitamin A in one cup (and only 83 calories). You can sneak a bunch of nutrition into food by adding pumpkin.

After creating a no bake pumpkin cookie and a pumpkin smoothie (see below), I decided to try a savory dish. This chili recipe below is the healthiest chili (with meat) that I have ever made. It boasts 28% of your daily value of iron, 45% of your daily value of vitamin C, and 293% of your daily value of vitamin A per serving.

This is like a nutritional "rock star" chili. I used ground turkey breast because it is low in saturated fat and beans, corn, and tomatoes to up the vegetable content.

I did think the flavor was nice, but missing the depth of a beef chili. I might sneak a wee bit of cheese on top of mine to make it taste a bit more luxurious. The pumpkin made it a great color and added a creaminess to the chili.

As we greet fall, it is time to stock up on cans of pumpkin.

What do you think? Did you try pumpkin chili?

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Pumpkin Chili Recipe

(makes 6 servings)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (such as canola, sunflower, etc.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb ground turkey breast meat
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon oregano
1 small can diced green chili peppers
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh
1 28 ounce can tomatoes
1 can cooked pumpkin
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat oil and add onion. When onion has softened add turkey and cook until cooked through (should look white). Add the rest of the ingredients and taste to adjust seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes and seve.

For one serving = 268 calories, 4.7 g fat, 32 g carbohydrates, 8.7 g sugar, 26.3 g protein, 10.2 g fiber, 399 mg sodium, 6 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
Want more recipes like this? Check out my book

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A Pumpkin Pie Smoothie For Fall

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Vegetarians often add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter for richness....

on September 11, 2013

I LOVE pumpkin chili. I sneak it in all the time. Thanks for the reminder!

on September 11, 2013

When you say "cooked pumpkin" is that the same as pumpkin puree??

And a side note - I cannot wait to make this!!!

on September 11, 2013

This is one of my favs. I also use turkey instead of beef and add red pepper to give it a boost.

on September 11, 2013

This looks delicious and I like one poster's idea of adding peanut butter. I never would have thought of that. Thanks for the great recipe and suggestions!

on September 11, 2013

HEY SG- Wait a day, the flavors will deepen and it will taste great :)

on September 11, 2013

I used to use ground turkey instead of beef when I first started WW. Then I discovered that a low-fat ground beef (96/4%) that I find at Target has the same points as turkey and better flavor. I will try adding pumpkin to my own healthy, low-fat chili recipe - never hurts to sneak in more veggies, especially for the grandkids :-) Been doing that for 40 years - amazing what healthy things you can hide in chili! Note that a 1/2 cup finely chopped steamed cauliflower added when I defrost and reheat a container extends the portion of chili without changing the flavor. Adding cauliflower when making the original recipe didn't work as well.

on September 11, 2013

What size can of pumpkin did you use?

on September 11, 2013

This seems like a great recipe; can't wait to try it! Two questions: What is the serving size- one cup? And, assume you use a 15-16 ounce can of pumpkin...thanks SG!

on September 11, 2013

I have a freezer full of beef (venison, etc) would it work ok with that instead of ground turkey?

on September 11, 2013

Besides a can of tomatoes, you can also add finely chopped sun dried tomatoes (idea from Jamie Oliver) for extra flavor and boost in healthy lycophene.

on September 11, 2013

The can of pumpkin is whatever size they come in - which I believe is 16 ounces. Don't worry too much if it is more or less. I did mean pumpkin puree

Use beef, venison, chicken, whatever - it will work.

Finally, the serving size here is one cup. Thanks for all of your questions!

on September 11, 2013

This recipe is fantastic!!!

on September 11, 2013

Pumpkin actually comes in 2 sizes-a large can for 29 oz. and a smaller size, probably half that size. I usually buy the large one as it is a better buy. So,I will use half of the large can. The recipe sounds great and I have everything on hand so am making this tomorrow. Thank you for this great recipe.

on September 11, 2013

I often use ground venison in chili, my daughter never knew! Great flavor from it. Love the pumpkin addition; I will try for sure. You can make great cookies or muffins with that leftover canned pumpkin if you get the big can.

on September 11, 2013

I use canned pumpkin in my chili, in a recipe rather like the one you have posted. I was wary at first, thinking that it might have a strong flavor, but it was delicious. I also sub pumpkin for tomato paste in my pasta sauce.

on September 12, 2013

Making this now, great recipe. I also added a dash of Worcestershire and 2T of dark cocoa. The cocoa adds a great taste and look.

on September 12, 2013

I made this chili recipe yesterday. I doubled the recipe and added ground up carrots, a jalapeno pepper ground up and red pepper flakes. It was not very hot but sure did taste good. I made a full crock pot full and I put most of it in the freezer. I also added some chicken broth as it was too thick.

on September 13, 2013

I made this last night. My kitchen smelled like fall! It was mighty tasty and made a lot, so I'll be having more tonight. Thanks for making my chili healthier.

on September 17, 2013

Hey Snack Girl! What would be the nutritional content if you took out the turkey?

on September 19, 2013

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