A Spicy Perspective

Pumpkin Chili

A healthy gluten free Pumpkin Chili recipe your family will go nuts over!

Perfect Pumpkin Chili Recipe (Healthy and Gluten Free!) | ASpicyPerspective.com
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To me, fall is chili season. Even more so than winter. I love simmering big pots of traditional chili once the weather turns cold, to serve with fluffy cornbread.

However, when my classic chili hand has been overplayed, I turn to alternative chili recipes like…

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Chili Mac and Cheese

Best Turkey Chili 

Frito Chili Cheeseburgers

Nachos with Chili Con Carne

New Mexican Green Chili

Vegan Chili

Paleo White Chicken Chili

Awesome Pumpkin Chili Recipe (Healthy and Gluten Free!) | ASpicyPerspective.com

Last month, when we finally got a short break in the hot weather, I sat a heavy sauce pot out to start a large batch of chili for dinner. While I was pulling out cans of crushed tomatoes from the pantry, I noticed a couple large cans of pumpkin puree leftover from last year.

Tomatoes provide a tangy sweetness to chili. What would chili with earthy pumpkin puree taste like?

I had to know.

Love this Pumpkin Chili Recipe (Healthy and Gluten Free!) | ASpicyPerspective.com

I nixed the tomatoes and made an almost classic chili recipe with pumpkin puree.

It was amazing! Several bites in, my family couldn’t believe how rich and flavorful the Pumpkin Chili turned out.

In fact, we decided Pumpkin Chili might be our new go-to chili recipe.

Pumpkin Chili Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

Substituting pumpkin for tomatoes does several wonderful things…

  • It gives the chili a sweet rustic essence and deep flavor.
  • It provides a thicker luxurious texture.
  • It’s a fabulous platform for fall spices.
  • And it tastes great with pork or chicken, if you aren’t a beef lover.

The Best Pumpkin Chili Recipe (Healthy and Gluten Free!) | ASpicyPerspective.com

Usually I add beer to my traditional chili recipe to offer a deeper note.

In this Pumpkin Chili recipe, I carried on the fall flavors by pouring in apple hard cider instead. The apple undertones in the chili balance out the spice and make this chili recipe very hard to resist!

Heavenly Pumpkin Chili Recipe (Healthy and Gluten Free!) | ASpicyPerspective.com

In fact, if you don’t tell your friends and family what’s in the chili until after dinner, they might not even guess it’s pumpkin chili.

Instead, they’ll be wondering what made tonight’s chili so amazing… And when you are going to make it again!

Best Pumpkin Chili Recipe (Healthy and Gluten Free!) | ASpicyPerspective.com

More Chili Recipes We Love!

Pork Chili Verde

Best Beer Chili

Chorizo Chili

Healthy Chicken Chili

Perfect Pumpkin Chili Recipe (Healthy and Gluten Free!) | ASpicyPerspective.com
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5 from 12 votes
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Pumpkin Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
We love this amazing Pumpkin Chili Recipe! Zesty earthy chili made with pumpkin pure for an unexpected richness that beats tomatoes.
Servings: 8


  • 2 pounds ground pork, or ground chicken
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 29 ounces 100% pure pumpkin puree (1 can)
  • 2 bottles hard cider, gluten-free (12-ounce bottles)
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained (15-ounce cans)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • Optional Toppings: sour cream, cilantro, red onion


  • Place a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the ground pork and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, garlic, and chipotle peppers. Cook until the meat is browned and the onions are soft.
  • Pour the pumpkin puree, hard ciders, beans, and chicken broth into the pot. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Stir well.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with toppings if deserved.


Serving: 1.5cups, Calories: 335kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 800mg, Potassium: 496mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1225IU, Vitamin C: 24.2mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 2.2mg
Course: Healthy, Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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28 comments on “Pumpkin Chili”

  1. I made this chili in the slow cooker. It was really good, and I will make it again, but I am adjusting the spices to 1tsp of cayenne powder (I don’t have chili powder), 1/2 tbsp of cumin and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. For us, it was too spicy, we loved that itwas really creamy and nice with the pumpkin purée instead of tomatoes, and felt very much like fall comfort food!

  2. You say to add the chicken broth in with the ciders, but you don’t have chicken broth listed in the ingredients, or how much to add. 

  3. This looks so good! What are your thoughts on using a slow cooker? Could I put everything in there for 2-3 hours on low instead?

    • Hi Janelle,

      If you have a multi-cooker and can sauté the veggies and get the pork started at a higher heat first, that would be best. Then turn it down to slow cook and leave it for several hours. If not, I would do this in a skillet, then combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker.

    • I did use the slow cooker for two hours, but it smelled so amazing after one hour that we couldn’t resist and ate it then. It is amazing!

  4. i only used 1 cider and 1/2 cup of chicken broth as this seemed to be way too much liquid – turned out wonderful and was a hit for a party!

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  6. This was a great surprise on a cold blizzardly day! I added cumin seeds first to the pan to roast them a bit then added the vegetables and meat to the pan. To add a little extra kick to the seasonings, I added 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves. The last 10 minutes of simmering I rinsed a bag of frozen corn. and tossed it in. I served it with sliced avocados. WOW!!! it turned out fabulous!!!

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  16. Making chili tonight with a different recipe but saving this for pumpkin carving time so I’ll have yet another place to dump all of that puree! thank you for this, prefer non-tomato chili recipes too!!

  17. Good one! I’d never have thought of pumpkin. I’ve been on Tim Ferriss’s four hour body plan to ditch a few sneaky pounds, and was pondering subbing tomatoes for something else. Not sure if pumpkin will be better than toms for 4-HB but sounds delicious. Definitely one of the great things about a giant family pot of chili is you can hide practically anything in there. lol. I like to blitz mushrooms in a processor and add them to chilies for a bit of body and extra flavor. Shhhhh. Don’t tell.

  18. What a great recipe for fall! It looks so hearty!

  19. I love this Sommer! looks delicious!

  20. Sounds amazing. I will most definitely be making this but will use fresh pumpkin or butternut as here, in Dordogne, we do not get canned pumpkin.

  21. Oh my – I am so glad I subscribed – I love chici, I love pumpkin and I absolutely adore hard cider – this is happening this week!

  22. Can I use something else besides hard cider?

  23. I could go for a big bowl of this pumpkin chili right now! Sounds amazing!