Slow Cooker Chicken Chili with Pumpkin is a comforting and nourishing meal filled with flavor, perfect for the colder months of the year.
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Fall and Halloween call for chili. I love a variety of different chili recipes: my mom’s simple chili, Chicken Butternut Squash Chili, and White Chicken Chili are all favorites. Growing up, we would always (at least in my childhood memories) enjoy chili for dinner on Halloween night, so now that I have children of my own I want to maintain that same tradition.
Because this year Halloween is on a Monday, I needed a slow cooker recipe that I could prep in the morning to enjoy after work and before heading out to trick or treat. I adapted the Chicken Butternut Squash Chili recipe I love so much to be cooked in the slow cooker and the flavor is fantastic. The girls, Brian and myself LOVE it! I hope you love this Slow Cooker Chicken Chili with Pumpkin too.
Ingredients in Slow Cooker Chicken Chili with Pumpkin
Extra Virgin Olive Oil EVOO is a heart healthy fat that is filled with monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin K, and other anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
Onion Onions create a depth of flavor in this recipe, but also contain many health benefits including digestive health benefits. They are rich in prebiotic fiber, which are non-digestible fibers that are broken down by helpful gut bacteria. Essentially prebiotics feed healthy gut bacteria and may help increase absorption of certain nutrients, benefit digestive health overall, and be linked with a reduction in inflammation.
Garlic Powder Garlic also gives depth to the flavor of this chili, and it contributes nutrients like sulfur compounds, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Ground Chicken Chicken is a source of protein and nutrients like iron, niacin, selenium, and phosphorous.
Chili Powder Chili powder gives this dish the traditional “chili” taste.
Cumin Cumin adds a smokiness and earthiness to this dish, and it actually includes some natural antioxidants.
Cinnamon Cinnamon adds a warmth to this dish and makes a little different than traditional chili.
Oregano Oregano is an herb that adds delicious flavor to this chili recipe.
Bell Peppers Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin meaning our bodies can’t make it. It helps the body absorb iron, helps boost the immune system, and is a strong antioxidant.
Tomato Sauce and Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies Canned tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which gives tomatoes their rich red color and is associated with heart health.
Black Beans Black beans are a good source of fiber, plant-based protein, iron, and many vitamins and minerals.
Kidney Beans Kidney beans are also high in fiber, and contain many vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin K1, potassium, copper, and folate.
Pumpkin Pumpkin puree gives this slow cooker chili a boost of beta-carotene and fiber.
How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Chili with Pumpkin
The first step is to cook the onions and brown the meat. This will ensure that the finished chili will have a good texture and flavor. Once the meat is browned, you add the meat and onion mixture to a slow cooker, mix in all the rest of the ingredients and you can cook it on low for 6-8 hours or high for about 4 hours. It’s a really flavorful and satisfying recipe to enjoy at the end of a busy day.
I love to top this chili with avocado and a little shredded cheese. Brian and the girls love adding a little sour cream.
Tips for Making Slow Cooking Chicken Chili with Pumpkin
You can use ground chicken, ground turkey or omit the ground meat entirely to make this a plant-based chili recipes. All variations are delicious! To prep ahead, a day or two in advance you can cook the onions and brown the meat then add everything to the slow cooker as stated in the directions.
If the chili is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little chicken or vegetable broth.
White beans work well in this recipe in place of the kidney beans.
This chili freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, the store in a large sealed container.
Heat the olive oil in a medium to large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and brown the chicken with the onion and garlic, occasionally breaking up the meat. About 5 minutes.
Transfer the cooked chicken and onions to the bowl of your slow cooker. Add in the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, bell peppers, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pumpkin, black beans and kidney beans, salt and pepepr. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for about 4 hours.
If chili is too thick, add in a little more broth.
Season to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with desired garnishes.
You can easily swap white beans for the kidney beans and still end up with a delicious chili.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:4-8 hours
Keywords: chili, slow cooker chili, black bean chili, pumpkin chili, chicken chili
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