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Turkey Pumpkin Chili

June 10, 2024

Turkey pumpkin chili has all of the autumnal flavors you crave—smoky, meaty, a little spicy, and (duh) pumpkin-y—plus, it’s fast! Only 40 minutes from prep to table.


bowl of easy turkey pumpkin chili topped with cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, avocados and pumpkin seeds

The Spooky-Season Turkey Chili Recipe You Didn’t Know You Needed

We love chili—who doesn’t? But pumpkin turkey chili? We admit, it does sound a little out there. But I assure you, it's downright delicious. This deceptively healthy and deeply flavorful turkey chili recipe is sure to be a fast favorite. It's definitely one of our family’s favorite fall recipes. Holly's been tweaking and adjusting this particular dish little by little for the past six years and every time she makes it, she falls in love all over again. Ground turkey instead of beef keeps this chili recipe from being too heavy or greasy. Sugar pie pumpkin adds a rich, soul-satisfying element.

The rest of the flavors and ingredients make up what you've come to know and love about chili—big, smoky, bold flavors young and old will appreciate. We especially love serving it alongside our cornbread!

small pumpkins cut in half with a spoon filled with pumpkins seeds
ingredients for turkey pumpkin chili recipe

Yeah, It’s Decorative Gourd Season—But We Like To Eat Them, Too.

When we say “pumpkin” in our pumpkin turkey chili recipe, we don’t mean a jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin (though those are edible). Although the word “pumpkin” conjurs up a very specific image in most minds—the big, round, almost cartoon-ishly orange gourds that spill out of grocery stores and sit atop hay bails from September 1st through Halloween—it actually is a rather generic word that’s used to refer to many varieties of winter squash that have a bulbous, rounded, usually orange-hued, Halloween-y appearance.

While our favorite variety of pumpkin for cooking and baking—and thus, for using in this turkey pumpkin chili recipe—is the Sugar Pie pumpkin, you can also make a number of easy substitutes if you’re having a hard time finding a Sugar Pie pumpkin. Here are three great alternatives:

  • Butternut squash
  • Kabocha squash
  • Canned pumpkin! While you’ll lose the somewhat chunky texture that cubes of fresh pumpkin or winter squash bring to this chili, canned pumpkin will deliver all of the richly sweet, creamy squash flavor that makes this healthy turkey chili recipe so good. You’ll need about two 14-oz. cans of pumpkin for this chili recipe.
large pot of simple turkey pumpkin chili recipe topped with a wooden a spoon
close up of one pot turkey pumpkin chili in a large grey pot

Healthy Turkey Chili with Pumpkin—Let’s Talk Shopping Lists.

One-pot and only 40 minutes from prep to table, makes this dish easily one of the tastiest and simplest you'll make all season. And to make things even easier, we've recently discovered Kroger’s Click List, which has been a major game changer in weekly routines.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this ground turkey chili recipe:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Onion & garlic
  • Bell peppers
  • Ground turkey
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
  • Sugar pie pumpkins.
  • Chicken stock
  • Adobo sauce (from a can of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce—one of our favorite recipe hacks! SO much smoky richness, so little effort.)
  • Spices! Namely, cumin, black pepper and salt.
  • Black beans.
turkey pumpkin chili in a bowl on top of a plate with a spoon
hands spreading butter on cornbread muffins next to three bowls of turkey pumpkin chili

Wait—What’s Kroger’s Click List, Again?

Click List is a brilliant program created by Kroger to help make your life simpler by doing your chores for you. Okay, so maybe Click List won’t clean your house, or fill your gas tank, but it will take one of the most mundane day-to-day chores off your to-do list. If you haven’t already heard, Kroger’s Click List does your grocery shopping for you. Yep, you heard us right.

Here’s how it works: open the Kroger Click List app and select the participating store in your area, then search from the selection of 40,000 grocery items and products Kroger has available, and the next day you drive to your selected store for pick-up. A friendly employee will bring the groceries out to your car for you. Seriously! You don't even have to get out of the car. Say what?! We like to put on soothing music and grab a coffee to sip while all this is going on and just pretend we're on vacation. It’s the perfect solution for all your busy-person problems, because as therapeutic as grocery shopping can occasionally be, doing it with 1, 2, 3 or really any number of kids just isn't that fun. Neither is having to squeeze it in amidst a hectic schedule or at the end of a long day.

Use Kroger’s Click List and you’ll have more time for snuggling under blankets, and reading books with warm, cozy pumpkin soup—or in this case, chili!—in hand (it's magic that way). The ingredients for this pumpkin turkey chili recipe are going to be the first items in your Click List shopping cart.

three bowls of turkey pumpkin chili topped with sour cream, cheese, avocado and fresh cilantro
hands holding a bowl of turkey pumpkin chili
bowl of easy turkey pumpkin chili topped with cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, avocados and pumpkin seeds
three bowls of turkey pumpkin chili surrounded by small bowls of fresh cilantro, avocado, grated cheese and pumpkin seeds

This is a sponsored post written by TMP on behalf of Kroger. The opinions and text are all ours.

hands holding a bowl of turkey pumpkin chili topped with avocado, grated cheese, fresh cilantro and pumpkin seeds

Tools You’ll Need:

Pumpkin—It’s What’s For Dinner:

Fall and winter are made so much sunnier by the abundance of squash at stores and farmers markets! Sweetly savory, and loaded with vitamins, eating with the seasons has never tasted so good.

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Turkey Pumpkin Chili

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 329


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea Salt
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans fired roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups sugar pie pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed


  • mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • pepitas


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.

  2. Add in the turkey, season with one teaspoon of salt and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, pumpkin, chicken stock, adobo sauce, cumin, pepper, and remaining salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer over low heat and cook for 35 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and chili has thickened.

  3. Stir in black beans and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

  4. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, cilantro & avocado.

Note: If desired, gently smash pumpkin chunks against the side of the pot before adding the black beans. This gives the chili a creamier texture.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories329
  • Protein29 g
  • Carbohydrates31 g
  • Total Fat11 g
  • Dietary Fiber8 g
  • Cholesterol78 mg
  • sodium569 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Laura

    How many average sized sugar pie pumpkins would I need for the 4 cups in this recipe?

    Probably just 1-2 depending on the size.

  • Carrie

    im not sure what kind of pumpkin im supposed to buy. it sounds like its cooked but you have to cut it and smash it. is it the same stuff you make pies with

    Hi Carrie, the recipe calls for a "sugar pie pumpkin" it is a small raw pumpkin. Usually hard to find out of season, this is best made in the fall.

  • Amy

    Has anyone ever done a vegetarian take on this recipe? Love to hear what you did and how it turned out.Thanks!

    I actually did recently for a group of vegetarian friends! I added more beans and more squash and used vegetable broth in place of chicken stock. It was very well received.;)

  • Grace

    Could I sub the pumpkin for a different fall squash?

    Yes! Butternut squash is wonderful!

  • Sahana

    Absolutely amazing! I only had one can of fire roasted tomatoes so I used plain tomatoes instead.. we ate it with tortilla chips, with rice, chillaquilla, quesadillas for kids and ate literally all of it in various ways in just two days!!! This was a huge win, thank you!

    Thanks so happy you loved it!

  • Lorener

    DELICIOUS! Perfect cozy and filling dish for the whole family. Followed recipe as described, but omitted the adobo due to little ones. Served with cornbread, avocado, pepitas, and cheese. Everyone loved it! Thank you so much!

    Thanks Lorener, we are so glad you and the family enjoyed!

  • Cait

    delicious thank you the modern proper for this banger of a recipe

    YAY! Glad you love it Cait!

  • Kilby

    Great recipe! Chili can be really hit or miss but everyone in my family had three helpings! I substituted butternut squash for pumpkin. I would disagree with the prep time (it's a lot longer and if you were using fresh pumpkin, it would be a LOT longer; there's a fair bit of vegetable chopping). I also felt it needed more heat, so I took one of the peppers in my adobo sauce, chopped it up, and added it to the pot.

    HI Kilby, we are so glad your whole family love it so much! Thanks for trying it out!

  • Moreen

    I just made this for my family...all adults now and all spicy friendly...i used butternut squash and added extra cumin and some chili powder...crushed red pepper is spicy but with all the garnishes it toned down...
    I was not trying to change the recipe just playing with it and We all really enjoyed this. I grow squash in my garden and this is a great additional way to use them through out the winter and super good...i may make it over the Holidays for a warm up after working/playing outside...Thanks

    Thanks Moreen! We agree, it's a great warm up cozy meal after being out in the cold!