Halloween Chili

Every year we host a pumpkin carving party for a few of our friends.  Usually, the meal centers around a big pot of vegetarian chili served with cornbread as a warm, healthy entree that reduces the guilt induced by the following gorging on candy.  This year, we had a bigger batch of attendees and needed two pots of chili so I branched out a bit.  In addition to trying a new vegetarian chili recipe, I also tried a pumpkin turkey chili.

It looks like a lot of ingredients, especially for the second recipe, but the flavor was worth it.  A few people tried mixing the two with great results.  We served the chili with fresh baked cornbread muffins on the side.

Recipes follow:

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

– serves 6 –
Adapted from All Recipes.and Serious Eats


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups (1 14.5 ounce can) pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste (at least 2 good shakes)

Ground cinnamon (1-2 shakes)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)


1. Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

2. Saute the onion, bell pepper, green chiles, and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. Make room in the center of the skillet, add turkey, and brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and cayenne.

3. Reduce heat and simmer at least 20 minutes. Stir in fresh cilantro. If preferred, serve topped with Cheddar cheese.

Note: Since I was serving this buffet style at a pumpkin carving party, I poured it into a slow cooker after letting it simmer for 20 minutes.  With the slow cooker left on low/keep warm the entire evening, it remained at the perfect temperature.  We had bowls of fresh chopped cilantro and shredded cheese on the side for people to add to their individual servings.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Recipe adapted from Recipezaar



  • 1 (11 ounce) can condensed black bean soup
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16 ounce) can vegetarian baked beans
  • 1  (29 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn drained
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced chilies
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (optional)


1. In a slow cooker, combine black bean soup, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, baked beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, bell pepper, zucchini, chilies, and celery.

2.  Season with garlic, chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, basil (and cilantro if using).
3.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

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