Meaty Monday – Pumpkin Chili

Need a fast, easy chili recipe? This pumpkin chili can be taken from the frozen meat, to the table in about 35 – 40 minutes.

I am horrible at making menus for the week. I tend to decide at the last minute what we should eat that meal. I know life would be easier if I could plan and shop ahead, but old habits are hard to break!

I love this recipe, because it is healthy, and fast. There is no shame in using canned or frozen ingredients! Keeping extra canned and frozen ingredients on hand works well when you live in areas where the winters make running to the grocery store impossible at times.

We are pig farmers, and have a lot of pork on hand, so I use ground pork for this recipe. Feel free to use whatever ground meat you have on hand. Since I am usually a last minute cook, I thaw my ground pork in the microwave. While I’m thawing the meat, I start to cook the onions in olive oil. My eyes run like a river when I cut onions, so I use Ore-Ida frozen chopped onions. I measure out the correct amount, and toss them in the pot frozen. No need to thaw before use! To make things easier, I measure out the spices and bouillon into a small ramekin or bowl while the onions are cooking.

After the onions are cooked down, add the ground meat, and brown it until it is cooked thoroughly. Add the diced tomatoes, pumpkin, black beans, and vegetable stock, stirring to combine. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, pepper and beef bouillon over the top, then stir in until the chili is mixed well. At this point, give the chili a taste and see if you need to add salt. I typically leave the salt out, and it is just fine.

Bring the chili to a simmer, and let it cook for 20 minutes. If you are thinking ahead, you can put this in a slow cooker on low for a few hours.  To serve, ladle the chili into bowls, and top with a bit of shredded cheese. If I have a mix on hand, I’ll whip up some honey cornbread to go with it.

Here’s the recipe:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic (I like to use garlic powder, adding it with the other spices)

1 pound ground pork

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 can pumpkin puree

1 ½ Tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon granulated beef bouillon

Salt to taste

1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 cup vegetable stock (can use more if you like your chili more soupy)

Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic until tender.

Stir in the pork, and cook until evenly brown.

Mix in tomatoes, pumpkin and black beans.

Stir in beef bouillon and vegetable stock.

Season with chili powder, cumin, pepper, and salt.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or put in slow cooker.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese over top if desired.

Serves 6

Carolyn Cares Pumpkin Chili

Author: Carolyn Olson

I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. In 1988, I married my best friend, and moved to the farm. Jonathan and I have three daughters, and will soon have a son-in-law! I love life on the farm, and wouldn't trade it for anything!

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