Simple Pumpkin Chili

Fall is coming–the perfect time to have people over or take a meal to someone.

On Saturday, I made about 32 quarts of chili to feed the 10 young adults at church who had signed up for lunch. On Sunday, I served that chili to the 58 people who showed up. Yeah, it was the miraculous multiplying of the people so that we didn’t have 25 quarts left! Add some cornbread and brownies, and it was a party.

Following here is a more family-sized version of one of my favorite hospitality meals.

Pumpkin Chili

Makes 6-7 quarts to serve about 10 people.

  • 2 lbs ground meat (beef, bison, or turkey)
  • 2-3 chopped onions (TJ*–1 or 2 bags fresh chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped multi-colored peppers (TJ–1 bag roasted frozen)
  • 8-10 roasted ears of sweet corn (TJ–2 bags roasted frozen)
  • 16 oz can of chopped tomato
  • 24 oz pumpkin (NOT pie mix)
  • 1 quart broth (beef, chicken, pork)
  • 2 cans of kidney beans (no need to drain)
  • 1 TBSP cumin (or more)
  • Spice to your preference–chili powder, Frank’s hot sauce, smoked paprika, jalapenos, hatch chilis, etc.
  • Salt if needed.

Cook your meat down in your pan, drain about 3/4 of the grease off.

Add onions and Cumin to the meat and cook a few more minutes.

Add peppers and corn, and stir well.

Add tomato, pumpkin, and beans.

Add broth to the consistency you prefer, whether more like soup or like stew.

Let cook over low heat 1-2 hours, then taste for seasoning, and add more if you like, and cook on low another hour.

Possible Toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese, avocado, chopped white or green onions, crème fraiche or sour cream.

Recipe notes: This recipe is forgiving. Add more or less of anything, and it will be just fine. I usually make it with all pumpkin and no peppers or tomatoes. And if you have finicky eaters, don’t tell them the pumpkin is in there. No one will know unless you tell them. Shredded zucchini is fairly easy to hide in here, also! You can serve the chili over a scoop of rice or over a baked potato to make it go father. And if you have leftovers, it freezes well.

Cost Notes: Between Aldi and Trader Joes, the 32 quarts of chili cost $58.

*Trader Joe’s, of course!

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