November 13, 2013 posted by Dre

pumpkin turkey chili {gluten-free!}

chilly? …warm up with some chili!

pumpkin turkey chili recipe

this pumpkin turkey chili is sweetly spiced to perfection and will warm you up from the inside out!

is there anything you love more than a hearty bowl of hot chili on a cool autumn day?  okay, yeah, i can think of a few things i love more than that… but chili is a kind of a big deal.  especially in texas.

while typing this, i found myself curious to know if any other states make as big of a deal about chili as they do in texas.  chili cook-offs are serious business here.  so in an attempt to provide you, my beloved readers, with some kind of perspective, i googled it.  upon typing “chili co-,” google auto-suggested “chili cook-off texas.”  although slightly creepy to think about, i’m quite sure google knows i’m in texas… so maybe it’s a regional auto-suggestion??  within a few clicks, i discover they have a chili appreciation society international along with an entire website designed to provide you information about all of the upcoming chili cook-offs… that just so happen to be all over texas. haha!

texans are a curious breed.  :)
one thing is for sure though… they put a lot of love into their chili!!

pumpkin turkey chili recipe

yes, this chili has lots of love in it… just for you!

this idea originated a few weeks ago when my husband notified me that you, my readers, haven’t gotten any healthy meal recipes lately.  (oh.em.geee. he’s right!! …and i’m so sorry!!)  let’s be honest… there’s never a shortage of sweets on this blog, but i could totally toss in a healthy dinner recipe for you more than once every few months!  are you okay with that?

we’ll start with this healthy, hearty, turkey chili.
created with the leftover pumpkin sitting in my fridge after making these gluten-free skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars.
yes, you’ll have leftover pumpkin to make them too!  :)

pumpkin turkey chili recipe

after the first attempt being a sickeningly sweet disaster (that my dear husband still ate), i caramelized the onion and then added the pumpkin before anything else so the flavors had a chance to meld… you’re going to love the way it turned out!  the pumpkin flavor is there but without the sweetness that reminds you of thanksgiving dessert.  it has a little bite to it at the end that leaves just a hint of sweet heat in your mouth.

you can eat this with crackers, low-sodium corn chips (carb-lovers unite!), or add a little extra protein by topping it off with some cheesy goodness!

oh yeah, and it’s gluten free!

pumpkin turkey chili {gluten-free!}

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 5 servins

Serving Size: ~1 cup

Calories per serving: 230

Fat per serving: 1.5 g fat, 28 g protein

pumpkin turkey chili {gluten-free!}


  • 1 tbsp oil (i used olive)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (i used red)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (may sub for 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 cup organic (canned) pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (14.5 oz)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne (optional...if you like it hotttt)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed & drained (15.25 oz)
  • 1 lb cooked ground turkey (i used extra lean)


  1. heat up oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. add your diced onion and stir frequently for about 5 min, until the onion begins to caramelize, then stir in your garlic cloves at the very end. (if you are using garlic powder instead of garlic cloves, wait and add the powder with all the other spices!)
  3. next, add in your pumpkin and mix it together with the onion and garlic for a quick minute... this will help the flavors meld together and tone down the sweetness of the pumpkin a bit!
  4. then add your water, tomatoes and paste, followed by all of the spices.
  5. stir together, bring to a boil (or right before it boils) and add beans and turkey.
  6. reduce heat to a medium low, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


freeze leftover chili or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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