Autumnal Turkey Chili

3 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
30 oz canned kidney beans, drained
15 oz canned cubed tomatoes
6 ounces tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 (jarred) fire roasted red pepper
1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo, minced
1 Bosc pear, diced
1 large carrot, diced
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground jalapeno
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Place all ingredients in 1 4 quart slow cooker, stir to evenly distribute all ingredients. Cook on low 6 hours.

My thoughts:

I’ve made a lot of chili over the years. I love making it in the slow cooker most of all because it is just so easy. The flavors meld wonderfully, it is impossible to overcook and frees up my time. If I use leftover cooked meat and cut the vegetables up the night before it takes virtually no effort the day I make it. I even put the spices in the (cold) slow cooker the night before so I just dump everything else in and stir. For this chili I decided to add the decidedly nontraditional ingredients of pumpkin and pear. I had this teeny amount of pumpkin puree in my refrigerator that was taking up entirely too much room so I tossed that in, then I spotted a pear starting to turn and on impulse peeled and cubed it and added that to the mix. It was a gamble that paid off. I used spices vaguely inspired by Cincinnati chili and the pumpkin/pear combo added to the subtle sweetness. When my unsuspecting husband tried the chili he couldn’t discern what the the secret ingredients were but he raved over the flavor. It is just a really rich, robust and very autumnal flavored chili.


  1. I always add pumpkin to my chili (usually pureed jack-o-lantern pumpkin that is too watery to make decent baked goods, but I hate to waste). It adds extra thickness and a silky sauce around the meat and beans without being too tomatoey. Plus, it's nutritious and helps me get extra veg into my bean-loving/veg-hating son 😉

  2. Pumpkin and pear in chili? I totally have to try this – it sounds absolutely delicious!

  3. Jeffrey and Juli

    This one sounds pretty tasty. I've been in a chili mood – made some this past weekend, in fact – but having more chili ideas is always a good thing. I might have to give this one a try soon.

  4. I've NEVER heard of pumpkin and pear in chili. I was just tweeting the other day about the purity of chili and how dare someone put carrots in their chili…I went on and on.

    Now I have eat those words because I really, reallllly want to try this.

  5. I've never tried pumpkin in my chili before but yours looks delicious.

  6. I got this in the slow cooker as I type this, its been going for about 3 hours now, house smells fab! A little sweet a lot of spice and totally fall-like! I'll let you know how it goes! Can't wait!

  7. I saw this recipe last week, so I purposefully roasted a turkey this weekend and roasted a pumpkin for a polenta, knowing EXACTLY what I would be doing with the leftovers. This dish was exciting and my boyfriend had a fun time trying to figure out all the flavors. Thanks for sharing 🙂