Pumpkin Chili

8 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Pumpkin Chili is the ultimate fall comfort food. One pot in 30 minutes with pumpkin puree, tomatoes, bell pepper, spices, and ground beef.

Classic Beef Chili is one of those easy Dinner Recipes that’s perfect for weeknight meals, game days, or potlucks. This Pumpkin Chili recipe puts a festive twist on the traditional recipe that’s perfect for halloween or Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Chili in orange pot


Pumpkin recipes are always perfect to pull out in the Autumn. Whether it’s Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Pie, or this delicious Pumpkin Chili, they’re always crowd-pleasing recipes. While many pumpkin recipes are desserts, this one is great to serve for dinner. It’s hearty, and full of pumpkin spice and other warm spices that your whole family will love.

This gluten-free Pumpkin Chili is perfect for a weeknight meal. Along with being delicious, it’s also surprisingly easy to make. Once you’ve browned the meat and combined all the ingredients, all you have to do is let it simmer in the dutch oven until it’s ready to be served. For the ultimate Fall dinner serve it up with some homemade Cornbread and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Chili is also the perfect recipe to bring to a party or your next chili cook-off. The creamy, rich pumpkin will be an interesting change from the classic chili recipes. It still has the ground beef, beans, and tomato sauce you expect in chili, but the pumpkin and fall spices make it a fun, delicious, and festive dish.



Although you can buy a can of pumpkin puree, if you have a fresh pumpkin, you can easily make your own pumpkin puree. It is, of course, more time consuming than buying your pumpkin, but making your own can be a fun Autumn activity.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half from the bottom to the stem. Don’t try to cut through the stem. Once the pumpkin is cut pull it apart.
  3. Remove the pumpkin seeds and stringy parts of the pumpkin with a knife.
  4. Season with salt and lay the pumpkin halves cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake until the pumpkin is softened. It should take about 50-60 minutes.
  5. Let the roasted pumpkin cool, then scoop out the soft inside and add it to your blender. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you may have to add it to the blender in batches. Turn on the blender until the pumpkin is pureed.
  6. Store the pumpkin puree in a jar and store it in the fridge or freezer. You can use it for this chili recipe, pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, or any number of fall-inspired pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Chili in wooden bowl


  • Pumpkin Turkey Chili: For a slightly more healthy pumpkin chili, try exchanging the ground beef for ground turkey. Brown the ground turkey the same way you do ground beef, and follow the rest of the recipe as usual. Pumpkin Turkey Chili will be slightly different, but just as delicious. You can also try using chicken, or sausage instead of ground turkey or beef.
  • Beans: Instead of just using black beans, can try adding white beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans to this Pumpkin Chili recipe.
  • Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili: To make this easy Pumpkin Chili vegetarian, you’ll just have to take the meat out of the recipe. Put in some extra beans to make sure the chili is still filling and full of protein.
  • Add-ins and toppings: This is a great recipe that you can add so many different mix-ins and delicious toppings to experiment the next time you make it. For more thick and creamy chili, add some Greek Yogurt, coconut milk, or heavy cream to the recipe. Try putting in nutmeg, green chiles, fire-roasted tomatoes, paprika, thyme, and cumin to add some flavor. For some sweetness sprinkle in a little bit of brown sugar or cinnamon-sugar. For toppings serve your chili with tortilla chips, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Pumpkin Soup: To make this Pumpkin Chili recipe thinner, and more like a pumpkin soup, you’ll need to add some chicken stock. To make Pumpkin Soup prep the vegetables and ground beef as usual. When you mix in the other ingredients add 4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable broth. Because of the broth, you’ll have more servings of pumpkin soup, but it won’t be as hearty as the chili recipe.


Although this pumpkin recipe is easy to make in a dutch oven on the stovetop, you can also make it in a slow cooker or an instant pot. Whatever version works best with your schedule, it will turn out equally rich and flavorful.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili:

  1. Add extra-virgin olive oil to a skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add the ground beef, celery, onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic. Cook the meat and veggies until the ground beef is browned and the vegetables are tender. It should take about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the meat and vegetables to your slow cooker.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, pumpkin puree, sugar, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper, and black beans to the crock pot. Mix all the ingredients together.
  5. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Chili:

  1. Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add olive oil and brown the ground beef with the celery, onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir them together.
  3. Seal the instant pot and pressure cook for 12 minutes.
  4. Allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes, then flip the steam release valve to release the rest of the pressure.



  • Serve: Don’t keep your Chili recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If you make it in a slow cooker you can keep the crock pot on low heat to keep the chili out during a party.
  • Store: Let the chili cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container to store in the fridge. It will store well in the fridge for 3 days.
  • Freeze: Kept in a sealed container, you can freeze Pumpkin Chili for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop.

Pumpkin Chili with ladle

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Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili is the ultimate fall comfort food. One pot in 30 minutes with pumpkin puree, tomatoes, bell pepper, spices, and ground beef.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 stalks celery , finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion , finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper , finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 29 ounces tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 15 ounces black beans , rinsed and drained


  • In a Dutch oven, cook the first five ingredients over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, pumpkin, 1 tablespoon sugar, chili powder, pie spice, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.



Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 1024mg | Potassium: 1033mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 9639IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 5mg

Pumpkin Chili Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Pumpkin Chili collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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