Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Recipes

No bean turkey pumpkin chili is a bowl of cozy made with turkey, pumpkin, and peppers. It’s gluten free, dairy free and perfect for cooler weather! Top it with avocado slices for a meal that’s perfect for the colder months!

Fall is a magical time in Chicago, where the streets turn crispy with different colored leaves under your feet and the golden sunshine glistens off the pumpkins lining cozy brownstones.

This delicious no bean chili with a pumpkin twist is perfect for cooler nights and crispy days that remind us all why we love fall so much. It’s a one pot recipe that can definitely be made in a slow cooker too.

I love topping a bowl with avocado, cilantro and Siete nacho tortilla chips if I’m being honest!

Nutrition Benefits of This Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Pumpkin turkey chili is packed with extra veggies like canned tomatoes, peppers, and my trick for even more nutrition is to add a cup of spinach once it’s done cooking or serve it in the halves of a pepper like I did!

You only need one pot to make this recipe and is high in protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals from all the added vegetables. Pumpkin is packed with nutrition like vitamin A, C, E and fiber — a true fall superfood that goes great in both sweet and savory meals!

I like to think of it as a healthier option for “comfort food” for fall.

Making the Most of Leftover Chili

What I also like about this no bean turkey pumpkin chili is that the leftovers taste even better than the first bowl. The flavors really “marinate” after a day, making it a great go-to for lunch or dinner for the next couple of days.

Plus, there’s nothing better than winding down after a long day and remembering that you already have dinner close to ready! Reheat it in a pot or the microwave and you’ll have dinner ready in less than 5 minutes.

Chicken Broth vs. Vegetable Broth

What I love about chili is that you can easily sub certain ingredients based on what you have on hand or your food preferences. I used a vegetable broth in this recipe, but you can easily swap it for a chicken broth for added protein and a slightly different flavor.

Ingredients for Ground Turkey Pumpkin Chili

This chili is made of simple ingredients and a lot of spices that give it flavor and a boost of nutrients.

  • ground turkey
  • pumpkin puree
  • canned tomatoes
  • bell pepper
  • vegetable broth
  • tomato paste
  • garlic
  • onion
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • cocoa powder
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • salt & pepper

How to Make this Turkey Chili Recipe

To make this chili you will need a big pot or a dutch oven. You’ll slowly add the ingredients in the order listed below, until they are all mixed together and have a chance to sit and build flavor.

If you prefer to use a slow cooker to make a delicious pot of this chili, that works too! I usually recommend cooking the ground turkey a bit before adding it to the cooker to make sure that it cooks all the way through. Then, you’ll add all of the ingredients at once, and the cook time will be a few hours depending on the heat setting you choose. Low heat settings are usually best for chili recipes.

What to Top Your Chili With & How to Serve It

Here I put the chili into a pepper, what I call a “pepperwich”, or “pepperwitch” if you’re making this in October! To learn about what a “pepperwich” actually is and how to make one yourself, be sure to check out my post on how to make a pepper sandwich!

I love adding avocado and red chili flakes, and enjoying it with some chips on the side.

pumpkin chili pepperwich with pumpkin turkey chili inside and tortilla chips on the side

Why You’ll Love This Fall Chili Recipe

  • It’s even better the next day for lunch! The flavors complement each other even more the next day! It’s great because you can cook it once and eat it at least twice!
  • This recipe can be made vegetarian by swapping the meat for 1 cup of quinoa.
  • This recipe freezes well. Can’t finish a whole batch yourself? No problem! Freeze the rest and reheat when you’re in the mood for chili.
No bean pumpkin turkey chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Warm up with a bowl of this healthy turkey pumpkin chili! It’s packed with protein and fiber and is made in one pot for easy clean up! Get creative with fun healthy toppings like greens, avocado or yogurt. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 -5 servings


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1⅓ pounds ground turkey
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper red, yellow, or orange, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 28- ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes with liquid
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • Optional Toppings:
  • high protein low sugar plain yogurt
  • sliced avocado
  • microgreens
  • cilantro
  • pumpkin seeds
  • hot sauce


  • Coat a large pot or Dutch oven with olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion softens.
  • Add the garlic, stir everything together, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the ground turkey and use a spatula to break up the meat as it cooks. Continue to cook about 6 to 7 minutes, until fully cooked.
  • Add pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, chili powder, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and stir.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Top with greens, avocado and more and enjoy!
  • Store in the fridge for up to a week. 


Make this chili vegetarian by substituting 2 cans of black beans for the turkey
Keyword pumpkin turkey chili; pumpkin chili



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