Kalyn's Kitchen

Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef

This popular recipe for Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef has been updated so now you can make it in the CrockPot or in the Instant Pot! This recipe has black beans and kidney beans; check out Pumpkin Chili with Beef, Peppers, and Olives if you prefer a no-bean Pumpkin Chili recipe!

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Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef finished chili in bowl with toppings

Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef is a recipe my family has been making for years. In fact, my nephew Matt Denny and his wife Lindy won a chili-making contest with that recipe, and they’ve been making it ever since. And it’s definitely pumpkin season right now, so I’m updating the recipe so now you can make Instant Pot Pumpkin Chili using this recipe if you prefer that method!

This is a Pumpkin Chili recipe without an overly strong pumpkin flavor, but the pumpkin thickens the chili and adds a touch of sweetness. Kara and I made this a few times to get it just right in the Instant Pot, and for one version we used one can of beans, twice as much ground beef, and two peppers for a lower-carb version that was really tasty. Or check out my round-up of Low-Carb Chili Recipes or Pumpkin Chili with Beef, Peppers, and Olives if you’d prefer a chili without beans. But if you enjoy a traditional pumpkin chili recipe with beans occasionally and might need a little comfort food right now, you can’t go wrong with this recipe!

What Size Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Should You Use?

I use 6 Quart Instant Pot (affiliate link) for all my Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Recipes! If you want to make the traditional slow cooker version of this recipe I recommend using at least a 5 Quart Slow Cooker (affiliate link) and the oval Six Quart size will also be fine.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef process shots collage

Making Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef in the Instant Pot:

  1. Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot, using SAUTE and HIGH temperature. Then brown the ground beef well, seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper 
  2. While beef cooks, chop up the onion and green bell pepper.
  3. Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper, and minced garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine with the ground beef.
  4. Then add ground cumin (affiliate link), chili powder, ground Ancho chile Pepper (affiliate link), dried cilantro (affiliate link), dried oregano, and Spike Seasoning, stir to combine, and cook a couple minutes more.
  5. You probably don’t have to rinse the canned beans, but it helps rinse away some of the starchiness so the beans are easier to digest. 
  6. Add the beans to the Instant Pot along with 3 cups beef stock (or broth) a can of pumpkin, two cans petite diced tomatoes, and a can of diced green chiles.
  7. Stir the mixture, then lock the lid and set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH, 10 minutes.
  8. When time is up, let the Instant Pot NATURAL RELEASE for 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually.
  9. Serve hot, with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef process shots collage

Making Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef in the CrockPot:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy pan, the brown the ground beef well, seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  2. Add browned meat to the crockpot.
  3. Add a bit more oil and cook onions and green peppers a few minutes. Then add minced garlic, ground cumin, chili powder, ground Ancho chili pepper, dried cilantro, dried oregano, Spike Seasoning and diced green chiles and cook a couple minutes more. 
  4. Put this mixture in the crockpot, then deglaze the pan with beef stock and add that to crockpot.
  5. You probably don’t have to rinse the canned beans when you’re using them in a crockpot recipe, but it helps rinse away some of the starchiness so the beans are easier to digest. (I used 2 cans black beans and 1 can kidney beans, but I figured you didn’t need another photo of rinsed kidney beans.)
  6. Add the beans to the crockpot along with a can of pumpkin and two cans petite diced tomatoes. Stir the mixture, then cook on high for 4-6 hours, depending on how hot your slow cooker is.
  7. I cooked my chili about 4 1/2 hours, and it looked like the next-to-last photo above when it was done.
  8. Serve hot, with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef in bowl with toppings on the side

Make it a Meal:

I think Spicy Mexican Slaw would make a great side dish for this chili if you wanted a heartier meal.

More Recipes for Pumpkin Chili:

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili Recipes ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot Pumpkin Chili Recipes ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Pumpkin Chili with Beef, Peppers, and Olives ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pumpkin Turkey Chili ~ Love and Olive Oil

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef finished chili in bowl with toppings

Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

This Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef has a lot of fans in my family, and now you can make this tasty chili in the CrockPot or the Instant Pot, whichever you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to season meat
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T chili powder (see notes)
  • 2 tsp. ground Ancho Chile pepper (or use a little more chili powder if you don’t have this)
  • 2 tsp. dried cilantro (optional, see notes)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. Spike Seasoning
  • one 4 oz. can diced green chiles (more or less to taste)
  • 3 cups homemade beef stock (see notes)
  • one 15 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed with cold water
  • two 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed with cold water
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz. can, not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • two 14.5 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes with juice

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in the Instant Pot, using SAUTE and HIGH temperature. Then brown the ground beef well, seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. 
  2. While the beef cooks, chop up the onion and green bell pepper.
  3. Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper, and minced garlic to the Instant Pot. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine with the ground beef.
  4. Then add ground cumin, chili powder, ground Ancho chili pepper, dried cilantro, dried oregano, and Spike Seasoning, stir to combine, and cook a couple minutes more.
  5. You probably don't have to rinse the canned beans, but it helps rinse away some of the starchiness so the beans are easier to digest. 
  6. Add the beans to the Instant Pot along with 3 cups beef stock (or broth) a can of pumpkin, two cans petite diced tomatoes, and a can of diced green chiles.
  7. Stir the mixture, then lock the lid and set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH, 10 minutes.
  8. When time is up, let the Instant Pot NATURAL RELEASE for 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually.
  9. Serve hot, with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a large heavy frying pan, add ground beef, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and cook until the beef is well browned. Add browned meat to the crockpot.
  2. Add a little more oil to the frying pan, add diced onion and green bell pepper and cook 2-3 minutes, until the onion and pepper is just starting to soften.
  3. Add minced garlic, ground cumin, chili powder, ground Ancho chile pepper, dried cilantro, dried oregano, Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) and diced green chiles and cook a couple minutes more.
  4. Put the onion mixture into the crockpot, then deglaze the pan with the beef stock and add that to crockpot.
  5. While onions and peppers are cooking, drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. (This removes excess starchiness and makes the beans easier to digest.)
  6. Add beans to the crockpot. Add canned pumpkin and diced tomatoes with juice.
  7. Stir the mixture to combine ingredients, then cook on high for 4 hours, (or 8 hours on low) stirring a few times if you’re home. (Crockpots can vary greatly as to how hot they get, so adjust the cooking time depending on your own slow cooker.)
  8. Serve hot, topped with grated cheese and sour cream if desired.
  9. This chili will be even better after it’s been in the fridge overnight, and also freezes well.

Notes

You can use 2-3 T chopped fresh cilantro instead of the dried cilantro if you prefer. Use 2 cans beef broth if you don't have homemade beef stock. (This will be slightly more broth than 3 cups, so if you don't mind waiting you could reduce it a bit by simmering.

Recipe adapted from Pumpkin Chili at Eclectic Recipes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 486Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 817mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 17gSugar: 10gProtein: 37g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef thumbnail image of chili in bowl with toppings on the side

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
The addition of pumpkin to this Chili with Ground Beef would make it phase 2 or 3 for the original South Beach Diet. You can make a lower-carb version of this by doubling the beef, using two green peppers, and only using one can of beans, but chili with pumpkin won’t ever be super low in carbs.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Chili Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
CrockPot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef was first posted in October 2010. In October 2020 the recipe was updated to add Instant Pot instructions, plus options for a lower-carb Chili made with pumpkin.

Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef Pinterest image

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    68 Comments on “Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef”

  1. Hey Kalyn! I was looking for a spicy pumpkin recipe to make in this spooky season and you just stop my searching. Thanks a ton for sharing this amazing recipe again. I’m definitely going to make this on Halloween this year.

  2. I’m excited to try this recipe with pumpkin puree that has been in my freezer and I didn’t know what to do with it! I would like to try without the beef. What do you think? I would use a veggie bouillon of sorts.

    • I think it would make a tasty veggie chili without the beef. I would either reduce the amount of stock or broth a bit or maybe add another green pepper so you don’t get a chili that’s too thin. Love to hear how this works out if you try it!

  3. Hello again. I am in love with this recipe! My wife and son got me an 8 Qt. Crockpot for Christmas. Do you know how much of this chili fits in an 8 Qt?
    Lets see…
    3 lbs. ground turkey
    1 lb. ground hot Italian sausage
    5 cans of beans
    2 cans diced tomatoes plus 2 cans sliced stewed tomatoes
    1 small can tomato paste
    can and a half of pumpkin
    2 large diced onions
    2 large diced green peppers
    2 cans beef broth plus half a bottle of beer
    handful of quinoa.
    plus adjusted spices

    Cooking right now. And I still have room for a couple of cans. I’ll see what I can fit next time.

  4. This just gets better and better. Changed your recipe a bit. Used 2 lbs. of ground chicken, chopped celery, second can of kidney beans, a can of tomato paste, and…2/3 cup of red Quinoa. In a 6Qt. Crock Pot. I started this at the wrong time. It ran 10 hrs on low, then 4 hrs on warm. Will be making this again real soon.

  5. Thank you for sharing your pumpkin chili recipe. It'seems hot outside… I call this time of summer slow cooker season. So I'm excited to try this out for dinner tomorrow

  6. Making this now. Used my 4 Qt. No way. Its full up to the top. No ifs, ands or buts. Use a 6 Qt.

  7. Made this today for a chili cook off. Added hot green chilies instead of mild and pork sausage for meat. It was really good but the pumpkin flavor got lost.
    I wanted a subtle pumpkin punch so I added 1.5 Cups roasted diced butternut and a TBSP pumpkin pie spice.
    It got rave reviews! I had never made this so I didn't know what to expect. I'm so glad I did! Thank you.

    • So glad you liked it. I do mention in the post that there's not a strong pumpkin flavor, so I'm glad you were able to improvise!

    • Yes, you did mention the pumpkin is not strong. Out of all the recipes I went through (about 30) I liked your spice mix the best. I am excited to have a recipe that is easy to add small changes that really make it a unique taste! Yesterday about 5 other coworkers said they were going to make this for their chili contests. I have a birthday party I'm taking it to tomorrow. So fun to share a great tasting healthy recipe! Thank you again!

    • I love hearing it has been such a hit with you!

  8. Funny, it's cold here in the Northern Colorado Mtns today and I'd JUST pulled out your Black Bean and Beef Chili and the Crockpot Black Bean Chili w/Lime/Cilantro and this recipe popped into my feed. This is probably a stupid question, but if I just cook this on top of the stove, would I go four hours at low heat? I hate my crockpot….it doesn't seem to HAVE a low (it has a button for Low) setting, and everything just boils all the time. Thanks!

  9. Sounds delicious! Wondering how it would taste with a chipotle pepper instead of Anaheim chile . . .

  10. I have a confession to make, I've never even tried chili before! However this looks like THE recipe I should try for the first time. Having pumpkin in anything intrigues me!

    – Michelle
    http://www.borncreativeblog.com

  11. Lianna, I am intrigued by the idea of refried black beans, hope you like it!

  12. I'm trying this recipe right now! I had to half it, because my crockpot is teeny tiny, and ended up making some adjustments based on my taste preferences, and the accidental purchase of re-fried black beans… I hope it still turns out okay!
    I'll let you know, but this is such a fun recipe. I love pumpkin anything, and spicy chili sounds so delicious with all this nasty winter weather.

  13. Lisa, so glad you enjoyed it. And it sounds like you had fun experimenting with the recipe too!

  14. Kalyn, I took the plunge and made this for the first time with COMPANY COMING for our family Halloween party! Talk about SCARY!
    So I couldn't find the peppers, and left them out, compensating with the chili powder. I doubled the recipe and it didn't all fit in my crockpot. lol. I cooked it in my big stockpot. I was scared of all the spices, and was concerned about the strong taste of pumpkin initially. But tasting periodically had me adding spices. I liked the tip about cooking the beans. My husband appreciated it! 🙂 Everyone LOVED the chili. My sister brought Comedian's Corn Bread: a little cheesy and a littly corny! You don't have to post this. Just wanted you to know and say thanks!

  15. So glad you guys enjoyed it! (And if you think 65 degrees is chilly, don't ever move to Utah!)

  16. Made this for dinner last night to celebrate our first cold front of the season in here in Houston (it was a chilly 65 degrees!) and it was delicious!!! Will definitely make it again 🙂