Chili has always reminded me of the fall, probably because I associate it with Penn State tailgates. Thus, when I was pondering how to put my pumpkins from Linvilla to good use, creating a twist on the classic and making pumpkin chili seemed like a no-brainer. Being that I also thew cinnamon and sage into the mix and served the chili in pumpkin bowls, I don’t think it’s out of line to consider this the ultimate fall dish. In terms of flavor, this is easily one of my favorite recipes that I’ve crafted. Even better, it’s pretty dang easy to prepare relative to its wow-factor.

Note: This recipe makes six servings of chili. If you plan on using pumpkin bowls, you’ll need one pumpkin for every two people you are serving. I used pumpkin bowls for only two servings, requiring just one extra pumpkin, which is reflected in my recipe. This recipe is also gluten-free and can be made vegetarian by simply omitting the meat.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 small pumpkins
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • The leaves of 1 sprig of fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 chiles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 tbsp. adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Himalayan salt
  • Cheddar cheese (I went with smoked cheddar, and it went so well with the flavors of this particular chili)
  • Greek yogurt

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F; meanwhile, cut the pumpkins in half as pictured, scoop out the insides, and discard the pulp (save the seeds, thoroughly rinsed, for an upcoming recipe!)
  • Then, place one set of pumpkin halves onto a glass baking dish, lightly brush with grape seed oil, and cook in the oven for 25 minutes; set aside the other set of pumpkin halves so that they can be used as pumpkin bowls
  • While the pumpkin is cooking, heat the grape see oil in a large pot over medium heat for 2 minutes; then, stir in the onion and bell pepper; sauté until soft, stirring occasionally
  • Next, add the ground turkey, breaking apart with a spatula until it is completely browned
  • Stir in the cumin, cinnamon, oregano, sage, chiles, adobo sauce, and garlic until the veggies and meat are evenly coated with the herbs and spices
  • Add the broth and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Meanwhile, once 25 minutes has elapsed, remove the pumpkin halves from the oven; once cooled off, remove the skin (it should peel right off) and discard; next, cut the remaining pumpkin into small cubes and set aside
  • Once the concoction has simmered for 15 minutes, add the tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin; add desired amount of cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt, and allow to simmer for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Serve in the bowls of your choice (although, pumpkin bowls are where it’s at), and garnish each bowl with shredded cheddar cheese, a generous dollop of Greek yogurt, and a fresh sage leaf