Hearty Pumpkin Chili
Hearty Pumpkin Chili

This hearty pumpkin chili recipe is made with squash chunks, ground beef, black beans, a bottle of beer, and lots of spices, and it’s ready in under an hour. It’s even better the next day!

In this recipe

  • A secret ingredient
  • What to serve with pumpkin chili
  • Swaps & Substitutions
  • Save & Freeze
  • More chili recipes

Pumpkin and chili: two things we all crave every fall. This recipe combines them into one dish. It’s the best of both worlds!

Video!: How to Make Pumpkin Chili


How to Make Pumpkin Chili

The secret ingredient of Pumpkin Chili

I love using beer in my chili recipes because it adds a rich, earthy flavor and just enough bitterness to offset the richness of the finished dish. Since this is a pumpkin chili, I thought it only fitting to use a pumpkin beer in this recipe. Pumpkin beer doesn’t typically contain actual pumpkin, but it does have a smooth malty flavor and a spiciness that compliments the flavors in this chili nicely.

However, you can really use any beer you have on hand. I recommend sticking with an amber beer or lager as these usually have a good balance of malty flavors and a slight bitterness. (Avoid overly bitter, hoppy beers for this recipe.)

What to serve with pumpkin chili

Top this chili with a spoonful of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese, and add a piece of cornbread alongside. Don’t forget the beer!

Swaps & Substitutions

  • Swap pumpkins for any other hard winter squash, like butternut, acorn, or kabocha.
  • Swap black beans for your favorite bean. Pintos are especially beautiful!
  • Swap the ground pork for bratwurst or minced meat.

Store and freeze pumpkin chili

Like most chillies, this tastes even better the day after preparation. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week and gently reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop.

You can also freeze this chili for up to three months. We love this method of freezing soup and it saves freezer space!

More Favorite Chili Recipes

  • Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili
  • Black Bean Turkey Chili
  • Pressure Cooker Ground Beef Chili
  • White Chicken Chilli
  • Spicy vegetarian chili

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Hearty Pumpkin Chili

preparation time
30 minutes

cooking time
30 minutes

total time
60 minutes

up to 6 servings


  • Small 1 pound sugar or pie squash or other hard winter squash

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed and finely diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chilli powder

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle of pumpkin beer (or amber ale or lager)

  • Suggested toppings (for serving):
  • tortilla chips

  • sour cream

  • Chopped coriander

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese


  1. Prepare the pumpkin:

    Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off the pumpkin. Cut it in half and scrape out the seeds. Cut off the core, then cut the squash into small bite-sized pieces. (See this how-to for peeling a butternut squash; the steps are similar.)

  2. Start by preparing the soup:

    Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced ​​squash, onion, jalapeños, garlic, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are soft. (The squash should be a little tender around the edges, but will likely not be cooked through.)

    Add the ground beef, shred with a stiff spatula, and cook until no longer raw, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add black beans, diced tomatoes, beer, and 1 teaspoon salt to saucepan.

  3. Cook a soup:

    Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until squash is cooked through and flavors have had time to blend, about 30 minutes.

    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.)

  4. Surcharge:

    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.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!