Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

This chili was a little bit of a leap of faith for me since it prominently features two flavors that I’m not typically wild about: pumpkin and parsley. However, I was feeling adventurous and wanted to celebrate some fall flavors. Plus, I was feeding it to a crowd, so there were good odds that I wouldn’t be eating the leftovers for days by myself. And, the recipe came from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, a food blog that has never left me anything but supremely happy with her recipes. She strikes the perfect balance¬†between a variety of flavors, but not-too-out-there (she is feeding a houseful of kids after all), and reasonable amount of preparation. Remember that white chili recipe you all love? That’s from Mel.

So, pumpkin black bean chili. I doubled this recipe and used 4 cups of dried black beans that I quick-soaked and then boiled for about an hour before adding the partially-cooked beans to the pot of chili. I didn’t saute any of the veggies; I just browned the meat and dumped everything else into the pot together. I had to cook it in a big pot on the stove because I overflowed the slow-cooker, but I think it benefited from being at a low simmer on the stove for 5 hours, just like it would have been in the crockpot. And, I used ground turkey since the original recipe called for “leftover turkey” and I didn’t have any of that. I thought the ground turkey would add a nice texture and flavor, but I think a lot of different meat choices would work here.

Ingredient-wise, I followed the recipe exactly, even when it called for way more parsley than I would normally choose to use in any recipe. I’m glad I did, and, pumpkin-lover or not, I think you’ll be glad if you try this recipe, too. (btw, I was right about not having too many leftovers – I had just enough left for one bowl of soup for lunch today or tomorrow.)

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15-ounce each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey or 1 pound round steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, OR 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can (15-ounce) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil until hot and rippling over medium or medium-high heat. Add the round steak or ground turkey (if using already cooked turkey, proceed to adding the vegetables) and brown the pieces lightly. Transfer the meat to a 5-quart slow cooker, leaving oil in the skillet. Add the onion and yellow pepper to the skillet and saute until barely tender, 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute longer. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.