I'm still holding on to my love of pumpkin and squash by integrating them in to meals as much as possible. Thanksgiving might be over, but there are plenty of pumpkins and winter squashes available to cook with still.
I'd been wanting to try to make a pumpkin chili in my Crock-Pot because that's the best way to let the flavors really marinade together. I made a (non-Paleo) pumpkin chili a few years ago and found it to be too thick. I don't even have the recipe still because I was barely Pinteresting then! I found a few recipes online, some Paleo and some not, but none of them truly sounded perfect to me so I ended up taking pieces of each one plus my own tweaks and additions to create my own version of a Paleo pumpkin turkey chili.
A couple of quick things to note: 1) Pumpkin is a type of squash so if you can't find cubed fresh pumpkin or want to cut your own, you can substitute in cubed fresh butternut squash like I had to. 2) If you like a thicker chili, you can add in a 1/2 to 1 full can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) which I did years ago with a different recipe. I'd suggest starting with only 1/2 a can and letting it cook a while before deciding if you want to add the rest of the can.
The menu is Paleo and Whole 30 friendly: Crock-Pot pumpkin turkey chili.
- 1 lb organic ground turkey (chicken, or lean beef)
- 1/2 purple onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 orange bell pepper (red or yellow will work too)
- 1 jalapeño
- 2 cups cubed fresh pumpkin (or butternut squash)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 can 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 can 10 oz Rotel
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp all spice (or pumpkin pie spice)
- pink Himalayan salt to taste preference
Paleo Pumpkin Turkey Chili:
1) The first step to starting your chili is to dice up the half of an onion, dice or mince 2 cloves of garlic. Begin heating a saute pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Once the oil is melted add in the diced onions for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and 1 lb of ground turkey. Cook the turkey until completely cooked with no pink visible.
2) Line your slow cooker with a slow cooker liner if you have one and use them. I like to use these to reduce the clean up and prevents any food from sticking to the stoneware basin.
3) Transfer the cooked ground turkey mixture to your slow cooker. I used my amazing Wemo Crock-Pot! Add in the can of diced tomatoes and the can of Rotel.
4) Wash and dice the orange bell pepper and jalapeno. Make sure to remove the inside/seeds from both the bell pepper and the jalapeno. Add these to your slow cooker.
5) Add in: 1 tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp all spice (or pumpkin pie spice).
6) Lastly, add in 1 and 1/2 cups or 2 cups of organic chicken broth. If you're making your chili with beef you can also use beef broth. You can decide if you like your chili to have more or less broth. If you like a thicker chili then I would suggest using less broth or using the 2 cups of chicken broth but also adding in the can of pumpkin puree I mentioned initially.
7) Cook the chili on low heat for at least 3 hours or until the pumpkin pieces are soft. Mine was perfectly ready in 3 hours.
8) Serve the chili!
I decided to make this the Friday after Thanksgiving knowing I'd be home working on stuff all day. The aromas that filled my place were so enticing I couldn't wait to try what truthfully started out as an experiment. I absolutely loved how all of the flavors came together and was able to eat on this batch of chili for several meals over the long weekend. I'd say the serving size would be 4-6 servings depending on your bowl size.
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