Last night Greg made my pumpkin-cocoa chili and two things struck home. 1. This chili is damn good and we need to make it more often. 2. This recipe needs to be archived somewhere other than a single piece of paper in a binder in my kitchen. Plus, you all might enjoy this chili, too. It’s super healthy, very filling, and tastes amazing. It’s also Weight Watchers friendly for the Simply Filling plan (which is why I developed this recipe in the first place). It’s made of good, whole foods and tastes great as leftovers. There’s really nothing not to love about my pumpkin-cocoa chili.
Here's a hearty dish to warm you up on a cold night! The cocoa powder and smoked paprika gives the chili a more complex, richer taste, as well as a wonderful color.
- 2 T. healthy oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. ground turkey, extra lean beef, or tofurky
- 1 30oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 15oz. can of pumpkin
- 1 15oz. can of tomato sauce
- 1 15oz. can of pinto beans, drained
- 1 15oz. can of black beans, drained
- 1 bag of frozen whole kernel corn
- 1 4 oz. can of diced green chiles (optional -- I don't use 'em)
- 8 oz. of chicken broth (half of a 15 oz. can)
- 1 T. cumin
- 1 t. smoked paprika
- 1 t. salt
- 1 T. cocoa powder
- 1/2 t. ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add ground meat and brown. Drain. Add the remaining ingredients and stir everything well. Bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook chili at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook the chili longer for more flavor. If the chili seems too thick, just add more broth or water to achieve desired consistency. Serve the chili over brown rice, couscous, or whole wheat pasta and top with cheese and/or sour cream (fat or no fat).
Makes plenty of leftovers, perfect for lunches.
Makes 10 servings (1 cup per serving).
Great source of vitamin A, thiamin, zinc, and copper!
We ate our pumpkin-cocoa chili over Barilla ProteinPLUS pasta, which is a multigrain pasta with chickpeas, lentils, and egg whites. In all the years I’ve been using it, my daughter has yet to notice it’s not “regular pasta,” and we all get 10g of protein per serving. Protein is a big deal for my daughter and I—we are sensitive to a lack of it, and strive daily to have enough. The pasta and chili together give us 28g of protein per serving, which is great!
By the way, totally off topic here — I just love my camera. Looks at these pretty shots it took with very little effort! I saw the chili on the table, said, “Ooh, I should take a photo and put the recipe on the blog,” got out the camera, and took pictures. There’s no fancy lighting, and in fact our dining room is “romantically” lit with just an overhead light on a dimmer switch. I didn’t fuss with the food or bowl or spoon or anything. Sure, it’s not as pretty as some food shots I’ve seen, but the food looks delicious, which is what I think really matters.
If you make the pumpkin-cocoa chili, please let me know what you think! And check out all of my other healthy recipes: cornbread, ham and cheese pizza, mashed potatoes, lasagna, breakfast casserole, oatmeal-banana cookies, mini crepes, chocolate frosty, banana pancakes, and protein balls.
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The pumpkin sounds so unexpected but it would add some great flavor! What a great recipe for Winter weeknights. My Husband would love it!
this seems really interesting. I never would have thought to add pumpkin into chili. I always thought of pumpkin as a sweet additive, but it would probably be really good in a savory dish as well.
This looks delicious. I would have never thought to put pumpkin in chili. Must be a great way to sneak in veggies to your family.
This looks and sounds amazing! What an interesting combination! And I have never tried chili on pasta before, that is really interesting to me, and I might have to see if my kids like it too.
This reminds me of Cincinnati chili. Have you heard of that? But, it looks really good and I always love chili in the cooler temps. ALthough now in Cleveland its like 60′. What is going on? haha
Terri Steffes says
My husband will love this. He loves adding cocoa to things with heavy spice. All about it. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve never considered this combo before but I love this idea and would definitely be a unique dish to try for the family!
Krystel @ Planning The Magic says
Yum I would love some of that. It looks so good. Have you also tried it with like Italian bread?
No, I haven’t tried it with Italian bread, but I’ll do that next time we have it!
I’ve never thought about putting pumpkin in chili, it would be a good way to get in something healthy!
It is a great way to get extra veggies in, and it adds more flavor!
Oh my gosh this sounds so delicious! The flavors of it all I can just imagine the smell! I definitely need to try this!
Thanks so much, Silvia! It does smell amazing. 🙂
Amanda Rosson says
Ooh this sounds delicious!! I love the idea of pumpkin in chili as well as having pumpkin outside of fall lol.
Thank you, Amanda! Pumpkin is great year round!
You had me at pumpkin! I just love how it flavors things. Forget fall…I’ll eat it all year long!
Chelsea Damon says
I’ve heard of putting cocoa powder in chili before! I’ve heard it helps to bring out the contrasting flavors.
This sound interesting and I love that you serve it over a bed of penne pasta. It looks delicious.
I found the secret of adding cocoa to chili from a friend 3 years ago and never looked back. It just gives chili such a richer deeper flavor!
Samantha Lee says
Wow, this is such an interesting recipe! And let’s be real, anything is served better over penne pasta. Looks delicious!
Omg can we say yum!!?! This chili looks absolutely delicious. Must give your recipe a try
Jessica Lawson says
Thanks so much for sharing I am getting a pretty good collection of recipes to try, my husband is going to start to think i’ve become domesticated
Barbara Ritzman says
Holy yum. This sounds delish, this is one combo I would of never thought of. I am going to make this dish.
What an interesting dish! I bet all of the flavors compliant each other really well!
Oh wow! This looks delicious! I love chili but I’ve never had a pumpkin chili before! I can’t wait to try it! I always make a ton of pumpkin dishes in the fall and I try to keep the pumpkin dishes coming throughout the year!
This sounds so interesting! I’ve never thought of using pumpkin and coco in my chili. I wonder if my kids would like it.
Courteney Noonan says
I’ve never tried anything with pumpkin in it before but this looks so yummy! I might give this recipe a try 🙂 thanks!
Reesa Lewandowski says
So I have used cocoa and I have used pumpkin in chili, but never both! What a delicious idea! We love chili, it’s a weekly staple since it makes so much!
Dawn McAlexander says
Hmmm…I have never heard of using pumpkin in chili before. It looks appetizing enough. I will have to try it myself and let you know.what I think.
Chili with pumpkin in it sounds super strange to me I have never heard of it. But the pictures you included actually look really good!
Krystle Cook says
This recipe looks so interesting. I never would have thought of these flavors together.
Robin Rue says
I am going to have to give this a try. Chili is one of our favorite meals in this house!
Keren Charles says
One of my favorite meals to make is chili. And I am always looking for ways to amp up my recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Pumpkin and Chili! I never in my wildest dreams would have thought to combine those together! Definitely have to give this a try asap!
Deborah Griffin says
Wow! I thought i was the only one using cocoa and pumpkin in my chili. I have not tried this with the cocoa and pumpkin, since I just started the pumpkin chili this past winter but I also like to add a dash of cinnamon for another layer of flavor. I must try your chili recipe comes next winter. Thanks
Aren’t cocoa and pumpkin in chili great? Good to hear I’m not the only one. 🙂
Agness of Run Agness Run says
Awesome combination of ingredients, Jennifer! This is a definitely worth trying dish!
Thank you, Agness!https://jennifermaker.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form