Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Kidney Beans
This Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Kidney Beans has a lot of fans in my family and this tasty chili is gluten-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use Chili Recipes to find more recipes like this one.
This week I’m traveling to Austin, Texas to attend the BlogHer Food Conference, so as you can imagine, there’s not a lot of cooking or shooting photos going on right now at my house. But it’s October, so I thought I’d feature this favorite Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Kidney Beans that has a lot of fans in my family. In fact, my nephew Matt Denny and his wife Lindy won a chili-making contest with this recipe, and they’ve been making it ever since. And it’s pumpkin season and chili season; hope you enjoy!
This pumpkin chili recipe started out in a mysterious way on the blog back in 2010 when I edited these photos, loaded them into a post, and then accidentally hit publish instead of save. For the short time until I noticed my mistake, the photos and no words were published on the blog, and one sweet reader even left a very tactful comment saying “I don’t see where the ingredients are listed.” But once the actual recipe was there, this recipe quickly developed quite a few fans, and it’s a fun idea for family dinner during October, or even on Halloween!
I do want to mention that there’s not a strong pumpkin flavor in this recipe. Instead, the addition of canned pumpkin thickens the chili and gives the entire dish a subtle sweetness that’s really good. The recipe was adapted from Pumpkin Chili at Eclectic Recipes; I spiced it up quite a bit from the inspiring recipe, switched most of the kidney beans for black beans, added more garlic, and added diced green chiles. My version has what may seem like a lot of spices, but I think crockpot recipes can be pretty bland without extra seasoning and the result was a chili that’s full of flavor.
I think beans are a wonderful low-glycemic food, but if you’re wanting a lower-carb dish I’d recommending doubling (or even tripling) the amount of beef and only using one can of beans. Either way, this chili will be delicious!
Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy pan, the brown the ground beef well, seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Add browned meat to the crockpot. Add a bit more oil and saute 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 saute a couple minutes more. (Sauteeing the dried spices really helps release their flavor; don’t skip this step.) Put this mixture in the crockpot, then deglaze the pan with beef stock and add that.
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.) 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.
I cooked my chili about 4 1/2 hours, and it looked like the next-to-last photo above when it was done. Serve hot, with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream if desired.
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:
Top 20 Recipes for Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Pumpkin Chili ~ Recipe Girl
Paleo Pumpkin Chili with Beef, Peppers, and Olives ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pumpkin Chili ~ Always Order Dessert
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!
Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Kidney Beans
This Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Kidney Beans has a lot of fans in my family.
- 2-3 tsp. olive oil (depending on your pan)
- 1 lb. ground beef (use ground beef with 10% fat or less for South Beach Diet)
- 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 (I used mild chili powder from The Spice House, note this is a blend of spices and not ground chile pepper.)
- 2 tsp. ground Ancho chile pepper (or use a little more chili powder if you don’t have this)
- 2 tsp. dried cilantro or 2-3 T chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. Spike Seasoning
- 2-4 oz. diced green Anaheim chile peppers (I only used 2 oz, but if you like it spicy use the whole 4 oz. can)
- 3 cups homemade beef stock (or use 2 cans beef broth)
- 1 can (15 oz. can) red kidney beans, rinsed with cold water
- 2 cans (15 oz. cans) black beans, rinsed with cold water
- 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz. can, not pumpkin pie filling!)
- 2 cans petite diced tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz. cans)
- grated cheese for serving if desired (I used Mexican 4 cheese blend, a mixture of low-fat cheeses)
- sour cream for serving if desired
- 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.
- 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.
- Add minced garlic, ground cumin, chili powder, ground Ancho chili pepper, dried cilantro, dried oregano, Spike Seasoning and diced green chiles and saute a couple minutes more. (Sauteing the spices and chiles helps release the flavor, so don’t skip this step.)
- Put the onion mixture into the crockpot, then deglaze the pan with the beef stock and add that to crockpot.
- 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.)
- Add beans to the crockpot. Add canned pumpkin and diced tomatoes with juice.
- Stir the mixture to combine ingredients, then cook on high for 4-6 hours, (or 8-10 hours on low) stirring a few times if you’re home. (I cooked my chili about 4 1/2 hours on high and it was perfect, but crockpots can vary greatly as to how hot they get, so adjust the cooking time depending on your own slow cooker.)
- Serve hot, topped with grated cheese and sour cream if desired.
- This chili will be even better after it’s been in the fridge overnight, and also freezes well.
I originally used a 3.5 Quart Slow Cooker and said a 4 or 5 Quart Slow Cooker would also work, but I heard from one reader who said their 4 Quart was full to the top and he recommended a Six Quart, so that size might be best.
Recipe adapted from Pumpkin Chili at Eclectic Recipes.All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
The addition of pumpkin to this Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Kidney Beans would make it phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet. However beans are a great low-glycemic food, or you can make a lower-carb version of this by doubling (or tripling) the beef and only using one can of beans.
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.
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.