Pumpkin Turkey Chili

On Instagram I shared with you that I am a HUGE lover of all things pumpkin. I know that not everyone is and when Starbucks starts to roll out the PSL, there are those that seriously jump out of their pants excited and people that roll their eyes annoyed with the craze. Well, I hope to convert some haters with this recipe. It may even change the way you think about and use pumpkin! I was first introduced to pumpkin as a savory vegetable when I lived in New Zealand (cause if we are honest, in Canada, pumpkin is mostly commonly used in pie on Thanksgiving- which is delicious!). The Kiwi’s do not eat pumpkin in a sweet pie, but they eat it with potatoes, as a savory side dish. Most Kiwi’s I spoke to were shocked that we even ate pumpkin in sweet baking, while us Canadians were shocked that they have never tried it sweet! While there may still be the split opinion about pumpkin being sweet or savory, I like to eat it both ways!

Chili is one of my favorite fall supper dishes because it is easy, warm and leaves you feeling satisfied. There are thousands of recipes on how to make chili- some people like it spicy, or there are the sweet chili lovers, some want big vegetable chunks while others don’t want to know what vegetables are hiding in the ingredients. Well I want to add this recipe into your list of chili recipes. I love this recipe because it is filled with vegetables, has a hint of sweet because of the pumpkin but when you add your favorite hot sauce, brings the heat!

Now to share with you some of the nutritional information on the recipe because, well, that is what I do! Pumpkin fills this recipe with a hefty dose of vitamin A and C. The turkey is a great lean meat that gives lots of protein and by adding the lentils the protein gets jacked up a little more while adding the extra fiber. There is plenty of fiber in this recipe so be aware you may feel a little gassy or bloated after if you are not used to this amount of fiber but also know that it will leave you feeling full for a good amount of time. I love to use chili as a pre-game meal option, paired with a grain option like brown rice or a hearty bread. Give yourself plenty of time to digest (3-4 hrs) so you do not go into your game feeling weighed down.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili


1-2 tbsp canola oil (for browning)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 package of ground turkey

1 medium green pepper, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 540ml can diced tomatoes (no salt added)

1 398ml can tomato sauce (no salt added)

2-3 tbsp tomato paste (to taste)

1 14oz can pumpkin puree

1 540ml can lentils

1 cup water or chicken broth

2 ½ tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ground cumin


1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and saute the onions, garlic,

celery and peppers, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until onions start to soften.

2. Add the ground turkey. Use a spatula or large spoon to break it up as it cooks. Cook until meat is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

3. Add the seasonings and cook until fragrant- about 1 minute.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir until combined.

5. Cover and cook until boiling then drop down to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes to really let

the flavours come out. Top with avocado, hot sauce or cilantro and serve with a grainy bread, brown rice or baked potato and some raw veggies on the side.

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