Healthy Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe (perfect for autumn)
It doesn’t have to be spooky season to enjoy a spooktacular meal made from hollowed-out pumpkin. In fact, you can use canned pumpkin, which is available at your neighborhood grocer, so no boo-hooing here, as you can enjoy pumpkin creations year ‘round.
I love a good hearty chili, whether it’s traditional dark kidney beans with ground beef and a tomato base or a white bean chicken or a more broth-like version. Or you could take the best of all worlds and make a seasonal creation like the one I just came up with.
While pumpkin is technically considered a vegetable, it contains more of the properties of a melon or a cucumber. The most common varieties of pumpkins include:
- Jack-o’-lantern, which is typically a larger variety that’s popular for carving (thus, the name)
- Pie pumpkins, which are grown for their sweetness and their smaller size
- Miniature pumpkins are often found as decorations during the fall but can also be eaten
- White pumpkins are a fun change of pace for fall decorations and can also be used in cooking
- Giant are the huge pumpkins you see in contests. While they are technically edible, they provide less flavor than smaller varieties.
I always preach that it is best to include nutrient-dense foods in your healthy diet, and this is where pumpkin really shines. One cup (245 grams) of canned pumpkin provides:
- Calories: 137
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 7 grams
- Carbs: 19 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Vitamin A: 209% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 37% of the DV
- Copper: 28% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 22% of the DV
- Iron: 18% of the DV
- Magnesium: 13% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 10% of the DV
It also contains several other nutrients in smaller amounts.
Add to that a plethora of seasonal veggies and a solid source of lean protein, such as ground turkey, and you have a recipe that will not only leave you satisfied, but that will be a crowd-pleaser while you entertain the ghosts and goblins that stop by your door for tricks and treats.
- 1 onion diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper diced
- 1 orange bell pepper diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1.5 lbs ground turkey
- 3 cups spinach
- 2 cans white kidney (cannelloni) beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté onion, garlic, and bell pepper in a large pot.
- Add garlic and ground turkey, heating until fully cooked.
- Add all canned items (beans, tomatoes, pumpkin) and broth.
- Add spices.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes so all the flavors have a chance to marry.
- Right before serving, add spinach and allow to soften.
- Serve with any additional toppings you choose (e.g., Greek yogurt, cilantro, salsa, chips, etc.)