This sweet and spicy Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili is a gameday winner and all-around crowd pleaser!
You heard that right, Slow-cooker Pumpkin Chili
There are about as many opinions about how chili is supposed to be made as there are hairs on your head. Some like it hot, some not. Some like beans, some prefer to leave them out. I, personally, like my chili really thick and meaty. I like the flavors to be complex with a little heat but not so much that I can’t feel my tongue. I also like it to be convenient and I love having leftovers for the next day – which if there is anything we can all agree upon when it comes to chili it’s probably those last two things – convenience and leftovers.
This Slow-cooker Pumpkin Chili is all that and more. What makes it particularly amazing is that you get to hide extra vegetables in it. In addition to the usual tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic there’s pumpkin – a great source of vitamin A, fiber and some healthy carbohydrates. Anytime I can hide extra vegetables in a dish I’m #winning at this mom thing.
My kids beg for this stuff because it’s only slightly spicy and the pumpkin makes it naturally sweet. It also packs well in a preheated thermos to send in their lunch boxes.
My Whole30 lifesaver
Whenever I do a Whole30 I make a double batch of this chili because I get really hungry (like man-sized appetite hungry) in the first week or two and nothing beats that hunger like a big bowl of meaty chili made with grass-fed ground beef and topped with creamy avocado. And it freezes beautifully so I portion it out into pint-sized mason jars and freeze for future meals when I need something Whole30-friendly and everyone else wants homemade pizza.
Weekday, gameday, whatever day
Three nearly indisputable things about slow-cookers and chili:
- Slow-cooker meals are perfect for weekdays because there are few things better than walking in the door after a long day at work to a hot meal waiting. Just add a salad and you’re set!
- Weekends are great for slow-cooking when you want to get out and play and have a meal to come home to. I’m famous for getting up super early on powder days to get something in the slow-cooker so we can ski all day without having to worry about making dinner. I’ll do whatever is takes to get in one more run.
- Chili and football are pretty much synonymous from what I hear (I am not a football fan whatsoever. Not even a little.) But I love a good tailgating party and chilly fall days and holding a bowl of warm and spicy chili up to my half-frozen face and taking a deep breath – inhaling the sweet smell of cinnamon, the spicy chili powder and the fresh lime and cilantro this Slow-cooker Pumpkin Chili has to offer.
Slow-cooker Pumpkin Chili is one of those foods that makes you want to just crawl into the bowl. Make you all warm and cozy on a blustery day!
Bonus: It’s Paleo, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Whole30-friendly and even better as leftovers so consider making a double batch
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil or pure beef tallow (such as Fatworks Pure Tallow)
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ pounds grass-fed ground beef or bison
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- ½ 6-oz. can tomato paste
- 1 14-oz. can pumpkin puree
- ½ - 1 cup chicken broth or water (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 1 ½ Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ - ¾ tsp. sea salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and saute the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until onions start to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the ground beef. Use a spatula or large spoon to break it up as it cooks. Cook until meat is nearly cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer meat mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir.
- Set heat to LOW and cook for 6-7 hours. Serve with desired toppings.
How do you like your chili? Spicy? With beans? From a can? (Kidding!) Tell us about in the comments below and get the conversation started
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