This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Cinderella had it right—it’s never a bad idea to bring pumpkin to a party! Arrive with this Pumpkin Chili in tow, and every person who tries it likely would bestow you a glass slipper to profess their love. Made with turkey, fresh vegetables, and a complex array of spices, this healthy chili recipe is pure magic.

Pumpkin chili in a bowl with chips

I don’t even mean that as a fantasy. This is one of the top chili recipes I’ve ever made (second only to my Blue Ribbon Chili from The Well Plated Cookbook — pick up a copy if you haven’t yet; you need it in your life!).

Don’t take this statement lightly. I have made a lot of chili.

I adore chili because it’s intrinsically comforting and warming. The flavors unfold further with every spoonful. Plus, when it’s made with hearty and healthy ingredients (which is how we cook our chili around here) chili makes for a deeply satisfying, all-in-one meal.

And since the different ingredients and flavor profiles one can give chili are basically endless, I never grow weary of it.

Pick a mood, you can find a chili to match!

Each is unique and well worth adding to your recipe repertoire.

At this particular moment though, as the leaves change colors and the air grows more crisp, this turkey pumpkin chili recipe hits the spot in a magical way.

Its warm fall flavors feel like a cozy blanket. Adding pumpkin gives the chili autumnal flair, but it’s not so distinctive that you won’t recognize it as the comforting chili you’re craving.

Two bowls of healthy pumpkin chili

Secrets to the Best Pumpkin Chili

The secret to phenomenal pumpkin chili is more than just adding pumpkin puree to a simmering pot. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Healthy without the Hassle. Using canned pumpkin (which is high in Vitamin A and antioxidants) is a sneaky way to incorporate more vegetables. The vegetable skeptic scouring the chili for chunky evidence won’t find any because the canned pumpkin puree blends right in.
  • Rich and Thick. The puree also adds hearty thickness. In our house, we love chili thick enough that our spoon will stand up in it, and this turkey pumpkin chili recipe passes that test with honors.
  • The Perfect Combination of Spices. The warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg pair perfectly with the pumpkin. This recipe is the first time I added nutmeg to chili, and I discovered that it gives the dish that special “sumpin’ sumpin’” extra. Chipotle chili powder offers a hint of heat and smokiness that makes a great one-two punch with the pumpkin’s natural sweetness.
  • A Well-Rounded Meal. I also added many other veggies in addition to pumpkin, since chili can be a great vehicle for nutritious vegetables without diluting that familiar, prevailing chili flavor. Pumpkin chili with peppers and sweet potatoes tastes hearty and comforting, while being healthier too.

Two bowls of chili with turkey and pumpkin

How to Make Pumpkin Chili

The Ingredients

  • Ground Turkey. A leaner choice that still packs protein and flavor into the chili. You also can make this pumpkin chili with chicken or with lean ground beef.
  • Sweet Potato. Its natural sweetness and added nutrition are wonderful additions.
  • Pumpkin Puree. Creates a thick texture and brings hidden nutrition to the chili.
  • Bell Peppers. Green and red bell peppers add beautiful color and nutrition.
  • Spices. With chipotle chili powder, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg, this chili is anything but bland. The spices give it deep, rich, and warming flavors that help make it memorable.
  • Pinto Beans. For extra filling protein and scrumptious creamy texture.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. Unlike regular canned tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes bring deep, smoky flavor to the chili.
  • Toppings. The options are endless! Sliced jalapeno, avocado, cilantro, red onion, and yogurt are all tasty choices.

The Directions

  1. Sauté the onion, potato, peppers, and garlic.
    Ground turkey and vegetables in a Dutch oven
  2. Stir in the turkey, salt, and pepper.
    Spices being added to a Dutch oven
  3. Add the remaining spices.
    Beans, pumpkin, turkey, and veggies in a Dutch oven
  4. Stir in the beans, pumpkin, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Serve with toppings, and ENJOY!
To Make this Chili in a Slow Cooker: For pumpkin chili in a slow cooker, brown the turkey on the stovetop first. Add the turkey and remaining chili ingredients into a 6-quart slow cooker, and stir. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 5-6 hours. (You may also want to check out this Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili).

Pumpkin Chili Variations

  • Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili. You can swap out the ground turkey for vegetarian meat crumbles or add two additional cans of beans (such as chickpeas, black beans, light or dark red kidney beans, or additional pinto beans). Use vegetable broth or water instead of chicken broth.
  • Pumpkin Chili with Chicken or Beef. You can also swap out the ground turkey for lean ground beef or ground chicken.

What to Serve With Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili in a Dutch oven

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate chili in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this chili in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze chili in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Even More of Our Favorite Chili Recipes

A bowl of turkey pumpkin chili with chips

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Dutch Oven. The perfect vessel for preparing pumpkin chili.
  • Ladle. Ideal for serving soup, chili, and stew.
  • Measuring Spoons. These are great for measuring out the spices for this recipe.

Pumpkin Chili

4.91 from 65 votes
A cozy and hearty turkey Pumpkin Chili with pepper, sweet potatoes, and a warm blend of spices. Easy, healthy recipe with rich flavor!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 large sweet potato cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 15-ounce can reduced sodium pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth or water
  • Sliced jalapeno avocado, chopped cilantro, red onion, and/or non-dairy plain yogurt, for serving


  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato, red and green bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft.
  • Add the turkey, salt, and pepper, and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often to break up the chunks.
  • Once the meat is browned, add the chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir and cook until very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the beans, pumpkin, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes in their juices, and 1 cup chicken broth (or water). Bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Let simmer, uncovered, until the chili thickens further, about 30 minutes, stirring every so often so that the chili does not stick to the bottom. If the chili becomes too thick, add additional broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
  • Toward the end of the cooking time, taste, and adjust the seasonings as desired. Add more chipotle chili powder for an extra smoky/spicy kick (be careful; a little goes a long way) and more salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot with desired toppings.


  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chili in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this chili in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze chili in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 33gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 62mgPotassium: 1054mgFiber: 8gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 14152IUVitamin C: 60mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 4mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.

Sign Me Up

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
Sign Up for FREE Weekly Meal Plans
Each includes a grocery list, budget, and 5 healthy dinners, helping you save time, save money, and live better!

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. I have never tasted nor made pumpkin chili. I made this tonight and it was great! A nice variation on chili (which is one of my favorite fall foods). I added about an extra 1/2 tsp of chili powder (I like spice) and chipotle hot sauce on my serving. This is definitely a keeper! 5 stars

    1. Hi Sarah! I haven’t tried this in a slow cooker myself, so it would be a complete experiment. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      1. I made this in a slow cooker yesterday and it turned out wonderful! This is definitely my new favorite soup. I browned the meat and then dumped everything in the slow cooker. It cooked about 6 hours on low.5 stars

  2. The best chilli I’ve had! So easy to make in the crock pot and full of flavour. I made it without the chipotle powder as I couldn’t find some and it was still tasty. A new staple in our house, thanks Erin!5 stars

  3. Loved this chili. Usually, I find turkey chili’s to be more like vegetable soups, but this recipe was spot on. It reminded me of my favorite “go to” beef chili. I love that the pumpkin and the sweet potato added sweetness and counterbalanced the acidity of the tomatoes, avoiding any added sugar in the recipe. Skip the beans to make it whole 30 compliant or skip the meat for a delicious vegetarian chili. This recipe is great as is or as a creative base. I will definitely make this again.5 stars

  4. This is absolutely delicious. I had a hard time getting my sweet potatoes to cook through. I didn’t want to over cook the veggies, which cooked faster than the sweet potato. I ended up simmering it for an extra 30 min. Any suggestions to about this next time?5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Mandy! Next time, you could try cutting your sweet potato pieces a little smaller or letting them cook a few minutes before you add the other vegetables. I hope this helps!

  5. Best chili ever – and loaded with nutrition. I did sub black beans, add a little extra chili powder, red pepper and chipotle pepper (spice). We like it hot.5 stars

  6. I didn’t tell my husband what was in this chili until we were eating it and he was saying how amazing it was. He couldn’t believe he was eating pumpkin! Usually I just throw ground meat, veggies and a can of “zesty” tomatoes in a pot with some chili powder and call it chili. This is the first time I actually followed a recipe and I’ll definitely be using it more often! The pumpkin and sweet potato really adds something special and makes it extra warm and fuzzy. The thickness makes it extra yummy with tortilla chips. Thanks for another delicious veggie filled meal!5 stars

  7. I made your Blue Ribbon Chili in the instant pot tonight and it was fabulous! I love the sweet potato addition. I’ll try this one next. The recipes are very similar so I’m sure it’ll be delishous!5 stars

  8. My family loves this recipe! My sister and I make this all the time, including today and we love it! It’s our favorite dinner to eat. It’s a perfect comfort food to have in the fall or winter. We serve it with Doritos, sour cream, cilantro, and cheddar cheese. It’s delicious! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  9. Hi Erin, I really want to try this chili but I can no longer tolerate the “heat” in most chili and other spicy dishes. If I leave out the chipotle chili powder will it tone down the heat yet still be tasty?

    1. Hi Connie, you will find that you will get heat from the chipotle chili powder and the chili powder. You might need to leave them both out. I have only tested and tasted the recipe as written so I am not able to say how it would taste without them.

  10. I rarely comment on recipes, but this one definitely deserves one. Hands down the best chili I’ve ever had! Even the kids ate seconds, which almost never happens.Will definitely be making this again soon :)5 stars

        1. Hi Jessica! It would likely work, I just haven’t tested this specific recipe out in the instant pot. My instant pot paleo chili is similar that you could use as a guide: If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

  11. Great recipe! I am counting calories- wondering how much a serving should be? 1 cup? I might have missed it :)5 stars

    1. Hi Abby! This makes 6 servings so it would be 1/6 of the chili. I have not measured it out in cups. Hope this helps!

  12. Made it, loved it, told a friend, made it again.

    I put it all in the crockpot on low for several hours as cooking dinner earlier in the day works best for our house.5 stars

  13. Very good chili, different from your typical chili, which is kind of nice to have a variety. I definitely had to play with the spices a little bit, I had added some ancho chili powder that I thought kind of enhanced the smokiness of the fire roasted tomatoes. I also added a little more cinnamon as well. But the end result was a very warm, slightly spicy, slightly smoky, sweet chili. I thought it was delicious!5 stars

  14. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS RECIPE ERIN! Seriously, my taste buds are so happy. It’s savory and mildly sweet, just the perfect combination of spices. I made the jalapeño cornbread in the side which is also amazing!! This will be my go-to recipe forever.5 stars

  15. I made this chili even though I was a little skeptical with pumpkin, but it’s the fall so why not?
    What a huge hit, best chili I ever had, thank you for the recipe!
    Making it again as soon as possible.5 stars

  16. Another recipe that Erin hit out of the park! I’m currently doing a round of whole30 but this will be my new go-to chili recipe. The pumpkin purée is such a treat in thickening the chili and giving it so much flavor. Loved it and didn’t even miss my sour cream/cheese/crackers.5 stars

    1. Hi Cathy! I’m confused because I see it on my end. The full recipe with the measurements was right above the area where you commented. There is also a “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page to get you there faster. Can you please double check? Thanks!

  17. I love everything pumpkin, but I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of this. I couldn’t be happier that I gave it a shot…and neither could my friends and coworkers! :) I don’t normally eat sweet potatoes but love them in this recipe. I’m thinking some zucchini would be an awesome addition, next time, too.5 stars

  18. This was really really good. And pretty easy to throw together on a work night. Loved that it uses a full can of pumpkin and sweet potatoes – both add a level of depth that some other pumpkin chili recipes lack. And just the right amount of heat, and not too many beans! Followed the recipe to a T and definitely making again.5 stars

  19. Love love this recipe! I’ve made it twice now and the first time I used beef, the second time I used elk and carrots vs sweet potatoes, bone broth both times. Adjusted the chili powder for my little ones – but It’s a hit every time!

    This will be a staple in our seasonal rotation, thank you!!5 stars

  20. This is hand’s down the best chili I have ever had. It’s so flavorful and has so much more depth than typical recipes. It will be a staple all year long. I follow the recipe exactly as is. No adjustments needed! Thank you!5 stars

  21. Holy moly this was so delicious! I used the slow cooker method. The taste is rich and the combination of sweet potatoes and pumpkin was perfect!5 stars

  22. This chili was absolutely delicious!! So filling, tasty, and felt like fall in a bowl! I will absolutely be making this again. I have MANY favorite recipes of Erin’s….but I think this might be my number one favorite recipe tried yet!5 stars

  23. This is my annual October go to! Friends & Family LOVE it! I cut the cinnamon in half and added kidney beans as well as the pinto beans, otherwise exactly as you wrote it! I serve it with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin tortilla chips & good old corn bread & fresh green citrus salad. FANTASTIC! A perfect fall or winter meal. Thanks for adding to my perfect meals!5 stars

  24. This was delicious . I loved all the veggies in it , including the full can of pumpkin . The spice was just right to me.
    Another great recipe by wellplated by Erin !5 stars

  25. My go to chili recipe! Love it! Quick question- do I drain the chili after the turkey is done cooking?5 stars