Fall weather just demands a pot of chili simmering on the stove. What could be more seasonal than making it with pumpkin or winter squash fresh and local from the Market. Get onions, garlic, meat, etc. from the market too. And how about using roasted peppers from Artisano’s and smoked salt and peppercorns from Circle City Smoke.

Pumpkin Chili

adapted from a recipe from Simply Recipes


  • Small 1-pound sugar or pie pumpkin, or other hard winter squash
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed and finely diced or other chiles of choice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 lb. ground pork, beef, bison, chicken
  • or 1 lb. mushrooms for a vegetarian chili
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle pumpkin beer (or amber ale or lager)
  • Top with your choice of tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese


  1. Peel the skin from the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut away the stem, then cut the pumpkin into small bite-sized pieces. (See this guide to How to Peel a Butternut Squash; the steps are similar.)
  2. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the cut pumpkin, onion, jalapeños, garlic, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. (The pumpkin should be slightly soft around the edges, but probably won’t be cooked through yet.)
  3. Add the ground meat, breaking it up with a stiff spatula, and continue to cook until no longer raw, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, beer, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin has cooked through and the flavors have had time to mingle, about 30 minutes.
  5. Taste and add more salt or spices if needed. (If the chili tastes a little bland, add more spices; if the chili tastes a little bitter, add more salt.)
  6. Divide among bowls and serve with your favorite chili toppings. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Makes 4-6 servings.

For more bewitching recipes with fresh pumpkin from the Market, check our recipe archive.

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