The most badass pumpkin chili you’ve ever tasted

Okay, so two or three weeks ago, I signed myself up to compete in a chili cook-off tomorrow morning at my church. (It’s called Four Oaks Church and it’s a really fantastic place. It’s where I get to work with babies every week.) I have been wanting chili for ages, so this was a great excuse to cook up something really awesome.

I planned on making a preliminary pot early on in the week to share with my friends, then making another pot on Saturday just for the cook-off, but since my first attempt, which I made on Thursday, was a total flop, I ended up having to fly by the seat of my pants and hope that this recipe would be good enough, and my, oh my. It is way beyond good enough. 

I’m not one to really like my food spicy at all, but this recipe is so good, I don’t mind at all that it has a bit of a kick. The pumpkin adds a really satisfyingly sweet undertone to the recipe, but it’s not at all overwhelming. When I was looking for a good recipe, I came across a similar (but slightly more complicated) recipe that recommended sprinkling the chili with chocolate shavings before serving, so I thought I would try it with this recipe since chocolate and pumpkin go so fantastically well together (and because I can’t eat normal chili toppings like cheese and sour cream). I was so right! The chocolate really complements all the flavors. I can’t get enough of this stuff! (But, I can’t have too much or else there won’t be any left for tomorrow.) 

I found the recipe on The Pioneer Woman. (She has a lot of other tasty recipes which you should also check out. This is the first one of hers that I’ve made.) I modified the recipe slightly. Since I’m not really all that into super spicy foods, I halved the chili powder. Also, I thought 1 cup of pumpkin was a really odd amount to add, especially since it’s only about half a can. And where am I going to find a recipe for approximately half a can of pumpkin? So I just added the whole darn can. Once I put everything into the pot, I felt like it was a little thick, so I added just a little more beef broth, but I’m not sure how much. 

Tasty Kitchen’s Pumpkin Chili with Cocoa


  • 1-½ pound Ground Beef
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Chipotle Seasoning (Mrs Dash)
  • 1 can 28 Oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 can (19 Oz) Kidney Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 cup Beef Broth (or Water)
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 teaspoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cups Corn
  • 1 can Diced Green Chilies, 4 Oz Can
  • 1 pinch Salt And Pepper, to taste


Heat ground beef and onion in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat until meat has browned. Drain any excess fat. Add garlic, red pepper, cumin, chili and chipotle seasonings and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and heat medium-high until bubbly, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes.