Pumpkin Chili

As promised, here is my almost famous pumkin chili recipe. Last fall one of my younger sisters asked me to make pumpkin curry, in a pumpkin. She wanted to eat it, but not to make it. She ended up having to cancel coming over to cook it with me and I decided that trying to make a pumpkin chili sounded so much better and it was!

This recipe makes a HUGE batch. If you have a fall potluck to go to, this should be your go to recipe, it serves about 20 people a decent bowl of chili. If you’re just in the mood for chili but don’t have 19 friends to share with, don’t worry, I’ve tested it, and this freezes and reheats perfectly in an airtight container. The first time I served it to the whole family, it had been in the freezer for a month. They had no idea, everyone wanted the recipe, and Dad even took it to a chili contest this year.

Unfortunately because it is a pumpkin chili, and uses a pumpkin beer, it’s a very seasonal item. Another reason freezing a bit for later is great. I have tried this same recipe with a summer golden ale, and while it was good, it was no where near as great. It became a solid chili instead of a fantastic one.
I like using the Uinta pumpkin ale, it comes out here in the Fall, is a local brewery and I try to take up any chance to shop local.

The pumpkin chili is pretty straight forward, but does like some simmering time, so get this started on a weekend, or in the afternoon to have ready for dinner.

I like to start by chopping all of my vegetables and peppers to set aside, while I brown the ground turkey and maple sausage, in the pot I’ll be cooking the chili in. While the meat is browning, I gather all my spices so they are measured and ready. Mise en place.


Once the meat is browned, I remove it from the pot and let the fat drain onto a papertowel, or into a glass jar to throw away later.

Then I add a little olive oil to the pot, and toss in the chopped vegetables. They will cook in the fond left from the meat and deglaze the pan with the olive oil and sweat from the produce.
Sauté the vegetables for 3-5 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the spices and some salt and pepper to the vegetables and sauté for about 2 minutes to let the spices toast and become fragrant.
Then, pour in the pumpkin ale.

After the ale, everything else gets mixed in. The tomatoes, pumpkin purée, chicken broth, beans, and browned meat.

Salt and pepper a bit, then simmer for 1.5-2 hours.


Top with sour cream, green onions, and sharp cheddar. Eat with a spoon, fork, tortilla chips, just probably not your hands.


Pumpkin Chili

Serves: 20
Prep: 25
Cook: 1.5-2 hours

  • 1lb Maple sausage
  • 1lb Ground turkey
  • 2tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Sweet onion, small dice
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 Orange bell pepper, small dice
  • 1/2 Medium serrano pepper, minced
  • 2tbsp Chile powder
  • 1tsp Oregano
  • 1tsp Cumin
  • 2tsp Brown sugar
  • 1/4tsp Cayanne
  • 1 Bottle pumpkin ale
  • 28oz Crushed tomatoes
  • 29oz Pumpkin purée
  • 1/2c Chicken broth
  • 1can White beans
  • 1can Dark kidney beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream for garnish
  • Green onion for garnish
  • Sharp cheddar for garnish

  1. Mise en place, dice and mince all vegetables and peppers, measure out all spices.
  2. Brown the ground turkey and maple sausage in the pot to be used for the chili, over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove and drain the browned meat.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium, add 2tbsp of olive oil and the vegetables and peppers to the pot. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until soft.
  5. Add the spices to the sautéed vegetables and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the bottle of pumpkin ale to the vegetables and mix well to remove fond and spices from the bottom and sides of the pot.
  7. Add tomatoes, pumpkin purée, chicken broth, beans, and meat to the pot. Stir well.
  8. Salt and pepper and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  9. Garnish with sour cream, green onions, and sharp cheddar.

*Freeze leftovers or excess in an airtight container for up to 90 days.*


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