White Bean Pumpkin Turkey Chili is packed with vegetables, ground turkey, pumpkin puree, warm spices, and tender white beans! It’s a hearty chili with bold flavors that’s perfect for busy weeknights!

Among other delicious chili recipes that we love is this simple turkey chili.

Pumpkin turkey chili with sour cream garnished with cheddar cheese and cilantro in white bowl.

White bean turkey pumpkin chili. If you thought that sounds like fall in a bowl, well you would be right! Plus, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of chili when cooler temperatures arrive.

I love summer but only reason I welcome fall is because it’s a soup season! I can cook this type of one pot savory meals and dinner is done in 40ish minutes. All of my boys couldn’t get enough of this turkey chili with pumpkin after a night of sports.

I make a classic chili like my Instant Pot turkey chili a lot, so I wasn’t sure how a chili with subtle sweetness would go. All of it was gone in one night! A sure win in this busy mom’s books.

It is also full of nutritious vegetables and lean protein, so a double win! Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream for a creamy taste that just adds to the comfort food feel.

Plus, you can make it on the stovetop, crockpot, or slow cooker! It’s flexible and easy for dinner on busy days.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Ground turkey, white beans, onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, jalapeno, pumpkin puree, chicken broth, tomato sauce, maple syrup, oil, pumpkin pie spice, chili powder, salt and pepper.

While pumpkin turkey chili ingredients may seem lengthy, it’s no more than the other traditional chili recipes!

Full of vegetables, proteins, spices, it all comes together in one pot in just over 30 minutes of cooking time.

  • Ground turkey meat: A typical package labeled 93% contains both white and dark meat. Frozen ground turkey is usually all dark meat. And lean ground turkey breast is all white meat. You can use whatever you prefer.
  • Vegetables: Onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and jalapeno. You could use carrots or celery instead of peppers.
  • Canned white beans: Cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans) are my first choice for their creamy texture. Other white beans you could use are great northern or navy beans. Pinto beans work too.
  • Canned pumpkin puree: I often use homemade pumpkin puree. You will need 100% pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Be sure to read the label!
  • Chili spices: Chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and ground black pepper. You could use cumin, coriander and red pepper flakes as well, if you would like.
  • Tomato sauce: Or crushed tomatoes, I like low sodium.
  • Broth: Low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth.
  • Maple syrup: Just a small amount helps offset the acidity in the tomatoes.
  • For serving: Yogurt, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Fresh herbs like cilantro or green onions.

Other Protein

Use your ground protein of choice in this pumpkin chili! Ground chicken, pork or even a vegetarian protein all work!

Why Add Pumpkin to Chili?

Pumpkin, turkey and chili is an interesting combination, I agree! But it works and it doesn’t taste like dessert or pumpkin spice latte, I promise!

Pumpkin adds a sweet taste, think of it like adding sweet potato or butternut squash in soup! Along with the subtle pumpkin flavor, it also adds a creamy texture and bright color to this great chili.

It also adds a nice dose of nutrition! Pumpkin is high in fiber, yet low calorie. It’s a perfect addition to a fall or winter meal.

Winter squash and savory flavors pair so well together. You are sure going to enjoy a ton of flavor in this white bean pumpkin chili!

How to Make White Bean Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Whether you make this white bean chili with turkey on the stovetop or slow cooker, the steps are very similar. To create this comforting meal, please see full recipe card below for detailed instructions.

A person showing how to cook pumpkin turkey chili.
  1. Saute vegetables: Preheat large 5-6 quart Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium to high heat. Swirl oil to coat and add onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cook turkey with spices: Add ground turkey and cook for 5 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula constantly. Add chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer: Add maple syrup, white beans, tomato sauce, pumpkin puree and broth. Stir, cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Serve: Stir and adjust thickness with more broth and salt to taste, if necessary. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and cheddar cheese.

Other Cooking Methods

A huge advantage of chili is the multiple ways you can cook it! Whether you turn it into crockpot pumpkin chili or you decide to make it with your electric pressure cooker, it’s so versatile.

Slow Cooker

  • Saute veggies and brown turkey: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute your vegetables and then brown turkey breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon.
  • Combine in crock pot: Then combine everything except optional serving garnishes in a slow cooker and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
  • Serve: Serve warm with optional garnishes.

Instant Pot

  • Saute veggies and brown turkey: On the Saute setting of your Instant Pot, saute your vegetables and then brown turkey breaking it into pieces. Loosen any brown bits from bottom of the pot to prevent burn.
  • Add remaining ingredients: Then combine everything in your Instant Pot except serving garnishes and end with tomatoes on top. Do not stir. Cook on High pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Release pressure: Natural release for 10 minutes, then Quick release remaining pressure.
  • Serve: Transfer to serving bowl, add optional serving garnishes and enjoy!
Closeup of turkey chili in a bowl with a spoon.

Topping Ideas

Turkey and pumpkin chili like most chili dishes is so fun to top as the options can be endless! Here are a few of our favorite toppings to draw ideas from:

  • Yogurt or sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Chopped avocado
  • Green onions
  • Tortilla chips or crusty bread

Expert Tips

  • Shortcut: Look for pre-cut vegetables in your produce section or freezer area to make this white bean turkey chili even quicker.
  • Unsweetened pumpkin purée: It’s worth mentioning this again, buy pure canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling which has added spices and sugar.
  • Large pot: I love to use a large Dutch oven but a large stock-pot works too. This will give you plenty of space to saute vegetables, push them to the side and then brown meat.
  • Break meat into small pieces: As it browns, use a spoon or meat masher to break up the turkey into smaller pieces. That way you get some in each spoonful!
  • Don’t skip the simmering time: Don’t shortcut the simmer time. This is when all the flavors of the turkey and white bean chili come together.

Storage Instructions

To store: Place leftover pumpkin chili recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This is a great way to meal prep lunch or to have on hand for dinner.

Reheat by simmering on the stove, make a quick side salad and you have a full meal!

To freeze: Make sure to cool chili completely and then freeze in a glass container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

FAQs

Is this turkey pumpkin chili recipe gluten free?

Yes! There is no wheat or gluten in the recipe ingredients for this healthy chili. We are mainly using fresh wholesome ingredients. Although, gluten can sometimes hide in spices, so be sure to check your labels.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Yes! If you prefer just leave out the ground turkey, ground chicken or whatever ground meat you are using. With the protein from the beans, this turkey pumpkin white bean chili is hearty enough on its own.

Is this chili dairy free?

If you leave out the optional serving garnishes of yogurt and cheese, this recipe is completely dairy free. It will still be a flavorful chili just with an even more skinny taste to it!

Could I use leftover Thanksgiving turkey?

Yes, that would be a great way to use that leftover turkey! Shred your turkey and add in step 3, so it can simmer and take on the hint of pumpkin pie spice fall flavors.

More Chili Recipes

You may also love this list of over 50 healthy soup recipes!

Pumpkin turkey chili garnished with cilantro in white pot. Cornbread and lime wedges on a counter.
White bean pumpkin turkey chili garnished with cheddar cheese and cilantro in white bowl.

White Bean Pumpkin Turkey Chili

White Bean Pumpkin Turkey Chili with vegetables, ground turkey, pumpkin puree, and white beans. It's a hearty chili with bold flavors that's perfect for busy weeknights!
5 from 3 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 250
Diet Gluten Free
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 pound ground turkey extra lean
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno minced (seeded for less heat)
  • 1 tablespoon oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or any sugar
  • 2 x 14 oz cans low sodium cannellini beans or white beans, drained & rinsed
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes low sodium
  • 2 x 14 oz cans pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth low sodium
  • 1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream (for serving)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded (for serving)

Instructions 

  • Preheat large 5-6 quart Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium-high heat. Swirl oil to coat and add onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add ground turkey and cook for 5 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula constantly. Add chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Add maple syrup, white beans, tomato sauce, pumpkin puree and broth. Stir, cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Stir and adjust thickness with more broth and salt to taste, if necessary. Serve warm with yogurt or sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate chili for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat desired amount of chili in small pot by simmering on low heat.
  • Freeze: Make sure to cool chili completely and then freeze in a glass container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Slow cooker: Saute veggies and turkey in a skillet. Then combine everything in a slow cooker and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
  • Instant Pot: Saute your vegetables and then brown turkey breaking it into pieces. Then combine everything, ending with tomatoes on top. and do not stir. Cook on High pressure for 10 minutes, then wait 10 minutes and turn valve to Venting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 662mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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