As I mentioned in my Easy Pumpkin Soup blog, I love adding pumpkin to a lot of different recipes. Last Halloween, being new in the neighborhood, I decided to invite our neighbors over to eat chili in our driveway before the trick-or-treating festivities. As I was getting ready to make the chili, I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to put pumpkin in the chili since it’s Halloween? So instead of a can of beans, which usually gets added to my chili, I decided to try a can of pumpkin. The result was a thicker, creamier chili with a subtle hint of cinnamon.
The only problem was that I told people it was pumpkin chili. Those who tried the chili first liked it. Those who I told it had pumpkin in it refused to try it! Maybe they thought pumpkin didn’t belong in chili, but based on mine and Nathan’s sometimes too honest opinion, I think they were wrong. AND you can’t really say you don’t like something until you’ve tried it, right?
So this year I’m going to make my usual chili with beans for the neighbors, but we’ll be enjoying this seasonal spin on an old favorite all throughout the fall.
This chili would also work beautifully for football watching. Make the chili up to 3 days in advance, and keep warm in a slow cooker for self-service during the game. Pair with cornbread muffins for a hearty meal.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up beef into small crumbles and stirring occasionally.
Add tomato paste, chili powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, pumpkin, and water, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.