Pumpkin Chicken Chili

I do realize I’m not the first to come up with the idea of creative a warm, fall chili that combines the flavors of chicken and pumpkin.  But this recipe is all mine, born out of necessity (as many of my recipes are) to use up a few key ingredients in the fridge.

Last week I briefly lamented my choice to purchase celery from Costco when my produce co-op bucket arrived with three additional bunches of celery.  Let’s just say… I’ve eaten a lot of celery the past few days.

I used celery in this chili last Thursday and LOVED it.  My only regret?  That I didn’t make enough for leftovers!  I also didn’t write the recipe down, which made me a little nervous.  But the flavor was so great, I tackled the project again today (five days later) so I could share it!

Pumpkin Chicken Chili


2 tablespoons coconut oil

8-10 stalks celery, diced

2 red onions, diced

8 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, and chopped

2 bell peppers (I used one orange and one yellow), diced

4-5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (This makes a LOT of chilli)

29 oz can pumpkin puree (I know, I know… fresh is wayyyy better)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1.5 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

generous handful chopped fresh cilantro (I used half of a bunch)

small handful chopped fresh basil

Avocado sliced for garnish (optional)


Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and celery and cook for several minutes, until very slightly softened.  Add garlic and bell pepper.  Let cook for several more minutes.  (I chopped my chicken while my veggies cooked.)  Add chicken to the pot, stir to combine, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add pumpkin, spices, salt and pepper.  Stir and cover again, reducing heat to low.  Cook for another 10 minutes.  (At this point you may want to taste it to see if you like the salt content or if you wish to add more.  If you want more “kick”, add some cayenne.)  Stir in fresh cilantro and basil just before serving.  Garnish with sliced avocado if desired.

I’m telling you, this chili is awesome.  Betcha can’t eat just one… bowl.

I’ve been a busy little blogger today.  Finally took the time to create a “recipe index” tab at the top of the screen.  I hope you like it… but I hope you like the chili more.



7 responses to “Pumpkin Chicken Chili

  1. This sounds (and looks) really good. We are a family that loves to make and eat chili. I think the spices in this will be a nice change of pace after all the Christmas celebration food. I love that you use a good amount of garlic!

  2. Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing

  3. Pingback: 49 of The Best Paleo Chili Recipes

  4. Fresh pumpkin is not usually better than canned. It’s the other way around. Finding a good quality pumpkin at the store is hard, since they’re grown for decoration not flavor, and all the cooking and blending… not worth it. Canned pumpkin quality is high, and consistent.

    • Fair enough! “Fresh” is arguably healthier, and smaller pumpkins tend to yield more flavor than large, decorative ones. But I agree that, for consistency, canned is the way to go!

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