Autumn is almost here… time for pumpkin chili!

It’s that time of year again…the kids are settled into school, the weather starts cooling down (hopefully), the leaves are falling off the trees, and everyone is feverishly shopping for that perfect Halloween costume. Yet, I like this month for a different reason. Fall marks the beginning of pumpkin season! While your kids are carving funny faces in their pumpkins you will start noticing that pumpkin and pumpkin flavoring is popping up in just about everything you eat and drink – pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, and so much more! Here in the culinary world we love cooking and baking with pumpkin. Pumpkin is inexpensive and packs a healthy punch of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. What could be better than that!? A few years ago I had some rogue pureed pumpkin taking up space in my fridge. To avoid having a complete caloric meltdown and baking myself a pumpkin pie I was sure to eat alone on my couch I came up with this easy, hearty, inexpensive pumpkin chili recipe I’m certain your whole family will love. It freezes well and if you’re worried about how your kids will react to the horrors of pumpkin in their food, have no fear…they won’t even be able to taste it. It’s a win on all levels. Enjoy the beginning of autumn and know that I’m looking forward to meeting all your wonderful and talented children as well as all the dedicated and patient teachers that make up this amazing Poly family!

-Chef Claire




• 1 pound Ground Beef (or turkey or chicken)
• 2 onions
• I green bell pepper, diced (add any vegetable you like…I always do!)
• 1 (16 ounce) can of diced tomatoes (drained)
• 1 (12 ounce) can kidney beans (I often use black beans because I love them more)
• 1 (15/16 ounce) can or jar of tomato sauce
• 1 (15/16 ounce) can of pureed pumpkin or 2 cups of fresh roasted pumpkin puree
• 1 cup homemade beef broth or stock
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
• 1 avocado
• Cheese and sour cream to top
• Sliced green onions as garnish (optional)


1. Brown beef in large stock pot.
2. When beef is almost completely cooked, add the onions and cook until soft.
3. Add the pureed pumpkin, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, stock and spices.
4. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until heated through and flavors are incorporated.
5. Top with sour cream, cheese or avocado slices if desired and enjoy!

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