I know, I know…I disappeared once again and I’m not going to bore you with excuses (at least not right away). But, I return bearing a peace offering in the form of all things pumpkin. This pumpkin chili is amazing and I have no doubt in my mind I will turn orange after I am finished devouring it all.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili
1 can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of black beans
1 can of red kidney beans
1 cup of lentils (rinsed)
1 bell pepper, diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced into edible cubes
1 jalapeno, diced and seeded for desirable heat level
2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cinnamon
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil (for sautéing)
1 pound of ground turkey or beef
Sour cream or Greek yogurt
1. If you are going to add the ground turkey or beef you will need to brown the ground turkey/beef in a hot oiled pan before throwing in the crock pot.
2. Sautee onions, pepper, jalapeno in a hot oiled pan for a minute or so and then throw into your crock pot. I added about half of my spices to the pan to incorporate with the sautéed vegetables.
3. Add all other ingredients to crock pot (including the other half of the spices) and place the two bay leaves on top.
4. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
5. Remove the bay leaves and serve with whatever toppings you desire. A dollop of yogurt or sour cream and some shredded cheese would be really nice and can cut heat levels. We chose to stick with some sweet potato tortilla chips for dipping.
1. You can control the level of spice of your chili by how you dice your jalapeno. I diced it and sprinkled about half of the seeds into the sauté pan for some heat. I also like my food very spicy so I’m not sure adding jalapeno seeds and a hefty amount of cayenne is suitable for everyone.
2. I chose to make some ground turkey for this chili. If you have a mixed household (vegetarian/non-vegetarian) you can fully cook the meat on the stove top and simply add it to individual portions of chili. I also think that seitan or crumbled tempeh would be a fantastic meat supplement. Last, this chili has so much protein thanks to the two different kinds of beans and the lentils that meat or meat alternative shouldn’t be necessary, but I love how many options there are!
3. I used 2 cups of broth initially and at the time it was perfect. This morning when I portioned out some chili for lunch it was pretty dry (I’d say the lentils are to blame for this) so I simply poured some more broth over the chili and let it soak in until lunch time, after some re-heating it was as good as new. Just a friendly reminder that you may need to adjust your broth levels accordingly.
4. I cooked the chili on high for about 3.5 hours and it was great, though the sweet potato chunks I used were too large and some of them had not fully cooked through. Next time I would cut them into slightly smaller cubes and cook for the full 4 hours.
The beauty about chili is how versatile it really is. You can nix, sub or add about any vegetable or legume you desire to change this recipe up. This chili tastes like autumn in a bowl and it will warm you to the bone. Anthony and I took the dogs on a walk while the slow cooker did its thing and while we live in Florida, it was pretty cool. It was nice to come home to a hot meal.
I’m sorry for the 5 month disappearing act but I’ll save my excuse explanation for another post. In the meantime, go make some chili and enjoy the heck out of these cooler temperatures!