This Smoky Chipotle Pumpkin Chili recipe was inspired by my kids. In the days leading up to Halloween I felt like we’d ‘fall-ed’ just about everything we could fall. They’d done the Pumpkin Patch without me because I was traveling (I wasn’t too upset about this). They’d decorated the house in festive decor (looking forward to taking all that down). We’d carved pumpkins & roasted pumpkin seeds, made popcorn & binge watched Ghost Adventures (seriously their favorite show) & I was ready to enjoy some of the fall things I get really excited about – food.

As we walked through Sprouts I saw the canned pumpkin beaming at me from it’s purposefully placed end cap location & my first thought was Pumpkin Chili. You can’t put pumpkin in chili, my oldest said & the rest agreed with him – I assume because he’s the oldest & made this statement so emphatically they assumed it was true. By the time I’d gathered the rest of my ingredients they were all moaning about how much they hated pumpkin chili. I reminded Arthur that I’ve yet to make something he didn’t actually like. And just like that, we walked to the car with everyone gushing about how they couldn’t wait for pumpkin chili. All except the 12 year old who is far too cool to be overly excited about anything I do.

By the time I got home, I realized I wanted to add some smoky chipotle flavor to this dish but I only had dried chipotle powder, not the actual canned chipotle chilis. Trust me – this is a sufficient replacement. In fact, I actually added a bit too much chipotle powder to the chili the first time I made it which meant lots of sour cream for the little ones. So, fair warning – if you or your kiddos are sensitive to spice maybe start with a 1/2 teaspoon & work your way up to the full amount. Or skip the chipotle powder altogether. Or serve with extra sour cream like we did. That would work too.

Also, this chili has pumpkin in it which is such a vegetable, you’re living your best parenting life when you make this.

How to prepare my smoky chipotle pumpkin chili

  • COOK TIME: 30 mins
  • TOTAL TIME: 40 mins
  • AUTHOR: Trisha
  • SERVES: 8-10 servings


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion (approx 1 cup), diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, sliced
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 28 oz Diced Tomatoes
  • 15 oz Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 Cups Beef Broth
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a heavy bottom pot, over medium heat, sauté onions & red peppers in olive oil until soft. Add sliced garlic & stir until garlic is soft.
  2. Add ground beef & crumble until fully cooked.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, canned pumpkin & broth. Stir until well combined.
  4. Add spices & season liberally with real salt.
  5. Allow chili to become bubbly & then reduce heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, sliced jalapeños or fresh herbs like cilantro.

Looking for something else? Check out a more traditional chili adaptation – Hearty Chili Recipe.