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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

Well it started off as this recipe that a friend shared with me, but I have this thing with recipes...I don't follow them really well. I hate measuring unless I really have to (like when you are baking, it's more of a science experiment than cooking, and measuring is a must). Plus I just really like to use things I already have on hand if I can instead of buying all new specific ingredients.

So here is what it became. I'll do my best to estimate amounts, but I'll be honest, I just kind of scooped and poured and shook until it looked right.

1lb ground beef (or sausage, or turkey, whatever sort of ground meat you want to use)
1 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1 large can of diced tomatoes DO NOT DRAIN (I used some of our own canned tomatoes, it was 1qt, with a lot of water)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can great northern beans
1 15 oz can kidney beans
Half of one large onion minced
1 Tablespoon of garlic
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon ginger

If you are using dried beans (like I did) you want to soak them the night before, so they have time to soften up a bit before you cook them. If you are using canned beans (like the recipe says) just throw them in when it's time.

1. brown the ground beef, drain the grease
2. dump everything into your crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. adjust seasoning as needed

That's it! I love crock pot cooking. Somewhere around hour 4, open the lid and just smell. That pumpkin and the pumpkin spices produce such a great fall smell. My kitchen was a wonderful place to be yesterday!

If you want, this could easily be made in a pot on your stove, that's how the other recipe has you do it, but I love the ease of making dinner in the morning and just forgetting about it until it's time to eat.


  1. mmmmm. that sounds delicious! I occasionally throw a sweet potato or two in my chili and I love it. And I just threw some pumpkin with chicken in my crockpot tonight and it was a hit. I will definitely be making this. mmmm.

  2. Oh I am going to have to try the sweet potato sometime! We love chili!

  3. Looks yummy! I have 5 or 6 pumpkins that are almost ripe. I definitely want to try this, with some pumpkin corn muffins!