Growing up, we always ate our chili with peanut butter sandwiches and saltine crackers on the side. I can still see the halves of peanut butter sandwiches on white bread cut into triangles piled up high in the middle of the table. I would always end up eating one plain and dipping one in my chili. One of the ultimate comfort foods of winter!
Although I make my chili differently from how my mom made it and my kids think I’m weird for dipping my pb sammie in my soup, the comforting feeling still remains.
This chili is our family favorite recipe and although I’ve been making it for years I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you all here as a no-fail recipe that is going to warm you through the fall and long winter! To me, there is almost nothing better than spending some time outside in the crisp fall air to come inside to a warm bowl of thick chili with alllllllll of the toppings.
I love this chili for a lot of reasons, but I especially love the fact that adding in pumpkin gives this chili its thickness plus and extra helping of vegetables and fiber (yep, pumpkin is a veg!). It’s comforting, but it’s also good for you on the inside which is a total win here at the Willis homestead.
If you’re a little leery of putting your favorite fall pie ingredient into a soup, don’t be! Trust me, you can’t even taste it, and it will add a thickness and nutrient packed profile to your soup that you will be happy to serve way past pumpkin season. The other thing you may be questioning is the cinnamon. If you’ve never had a teeny bit of cinnamon in your chili, give her a chance! If you’re scared to add it to the whole pot, add add the tiniest of pinches to one bowl, mix it in, and try that first. The comforting aroma adds something so special to this chili that you don’t want to miss out on.
Bacon and Pumpkin Chipotle Turkey Chili
- 2 lb lean ground turkey (you can also use ground beef or chicken)
- 3 Tablespoons of real uncured bacon crumbles (*you could use raw, diced bacon as well, but I find the crumbles are a much easier option and still add flavor)
- 2 medium to large yellow onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling, you would be sad)
- 1 Tablespoon of adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis or jarred adobo sauce (less or more depending on how much heat you’d like. 1 Tablespoon puts you at a low/medium heat here. Start small and add more later if needed.)
- 1 can fire roasted petite diced tomatoes, undrained (you could also use regular petite diced)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or your favorite bean)
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups beef or vegetable broth
- Dice 2 medium yellow onions and mince 4 cloves of garlic.
- *Dice 3 strips of raw, center cut bacon if using the raw option*, if not, skip to the next step.
- Drain and rinse 1 can black beans in a sieve or strainer.
- Measure 1 Tablespoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 Tablespoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- Brown 2 pounds of lean ground turkey in a large dutch oven or stock pot. *Add 3 strips of diced raw bacon at this point if using raw and cook until bacon is cooked through.
- Add onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat for one minute.
- Add 1 can pumpkin, 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce, 3 Tablespoons bacon crumbles and all spices. Cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. The bottom might brown and that’s ok.
- Stir in 4 Cups beef broth, 1 can tomatoes with juices, and 1 can drained and rinsed beans. scraping the bottom to release any brown bits (aka flavor).
- Bring to a boil (crank the heat), then reduce to a simmer (back on medium low heat we go) and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chili reaches your desired thickness. Taste for salt and add more to preference. Serve with your favorite toppings.
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