Make This Easy Pumpkin Chili for a Perfect Fall Day

It’s cooling off outside which means it’s time for comforting dishes that leave us full and content. This easy, autumn-flavored pumpkin chili will leave you wanting more. For those of you already looking at the ingredients, I can hear you asking, What is chili without beans? Believe it or not, this is still a hardy meal and tastes great – yet leaves everyone feeling a bit more comfortable after the meal than if it had those flatulence-inducing legumes in it. Hey, I’m just calling it as it is. 

Here’s the recipe. 


1 pound ground beef or ground turkey 
1 cup diced bell peppers 
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or ½ teaspoon asafoetida) 
2 15 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes 
1 15 oz. can pumpkin 
3 tablespoons dried chives (or 1 cup diced onions) 
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika 
1 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
2 teaspoons chili powder  
1 teaspoon salt 


Brown the ground meat. When the meat is almost browed, add the bell peppers and garlic for several minutes. Add tomatoes, pumpkin and spices and stir well. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for at least 20 minutes (and up to 45 minutes). The longer it cooks, the better the flavor.


  • A rocker knife or potato masher works well when ground meat is difficult to break up into pieces. I typically use a rocker knife to cut up the meat while it’s still in the package before transferring it to the pan.  

  • I use an automatic can opener to open the cans. 


  • I buy fresh bell peppers and have my personal care attendant dice them and place the peppers in a zipper bag in the freezer. (My first – and only – attempt at cutting a bell pepper took over 45 minutes!) 


  • Asafoetida, or Ming powder, is a great substitute for garlic if you have a sensitive stomach. You can buy asafoetida at a local Indian store (or on Amazon, of course). But the Indian market is much more fun! 


  • Using dried green chives is an easy substitute for onions. The chives stay fresh by storing them in a plastic, air-tight container with a flip-top lid. If you prefer onions, buy diced frozen onions from the freezer section at your grocery.  

  • Refrigerate the leftovers and freeze a portion, too. On days when I don’t have the energy to cook, it’s easy to defrost and warm up the chili for an easy, but healthy meal 

Don’t let mobility prevent you from eat healthy meals. With a few modifications and adaptive devices, give cooking a try.  


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