Pumpkin in chili?!
Nothing says fall more than pumpkins. Love it or hate it, pumpkin season is here! My love for pumpkins is deep rooted from the time I was a small child, growing our own pumpkins every year in the backyard. Now that I have my own daughter, we have started the family tradition. We got 11 pumpkins of all shapes and sizes this year. It’s an exciting time in our house.
Pumpkin spice creates another level of love for pumpkin. Yes, I am a lover and advocate of pumpkin spice. Some (haters) believe that pumpkin spice has just gotten out of control with all the variations of offerings. If you appreciate the warming sensations of pumpkin spice on a beautiful fall day as much as I do, then you should make my pumpkin spice white chicken chili.
This recipe was created out of the challenge of taking something that is almost always used in dessert applications and turn it into an enjoyable savory dish for those who aren’t so sure about the pumpkin spice bandwagon. I’m willing to bet even some of the harsher critics would love this chili. To start, I always preach about assembling your ‘mise en place’ so make sure you gather your ingredients before starting the recipe. Below is all you will need. (chicken stock not pictured)
The colors in this chili resemble fall in a bowl. It is absolutely gorgeous! As you can see, I use a lot of canned ingredients that you can find just about anywhere making this flavorful find accessible and easy. If you don’t have pumpkin spice handy, combine some nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves. All of the spices in this recipe are meant to be warming and aromatic.
The black beans, white beans, pumpkin, red onion, and green chiles take me to colors of Halloween, which is one of my favorite holidays. This dish is perfect to make ahead for evening plans. Measure out all of your spices into a large mixing bowl combining them together. Cut your chicken into 1 inch cubes and add to your spice mix. Toss your chicken and spices together so that each piece is coated generously. This step is a key component to building the flavor of the chili.
Set your seasoned chicken aside, wash your hands thoroughly, and sanitize any areas of your kitchen if necessary before continuing. Open all your canned products. Drain and wash beans. It’s okay to put them into the same strainer. Drain your chiles. Peel garlic cloves and mince. I used 10 large cloves yet you can add as much or as little as you’d like.
Dice your red onion into a small dice, about 1/4 inch squares. The purpose of cutting the onions in such a manner allows for the flavor to be evenly distributed as intended in every bite. Rough chopped onion is completely suitable if you aren’t confident in your knife skills. However, I would not recommend mincing or finely chopping your onions as they will dissolve in the chili base.
Now that all of our prep is complete, we can begin cooking! I used a large stock pot to cook and prepare my chili. The nice thing is we only use one pot! Over medium heat, add your vegetable oil into your pot. Let warm up to temperature for about 1 to 2 minutes. Place your seasoned chicken pieces in an even layer across your pot. Let cook for 2 minutes a side, until all sides are a honeycomb color.
Once chicken is par cooked on the outside, remove from pan onto a plate or bowl. Add your diced onions into the pan and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add your diced green chiles and garlic. Let sweat for about 2 minutes. Sweating our vegetables and aromatics allow for flavors to release creating depth inside your dishes. Next add the pumpkin puree, chicken stock, and beans. Stir until well combined and lastly add your par cooked chicken. Bring chili to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until chili is slightly thickened to about the consistency of a thin gravy. Serve in bowls. Try garnishing with monterey jack cheese or even add some heat with serrano peppers!
Please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! If you would like exclusive freebies and recipes in your inbox, don’t forget to subscribe. Happy fall cooking ya’ll. Look forward to bringing you your next flavorful find! <3 Kristina
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1.5 lb Raw Chicken Breast or Tenderloins
- 1 Medium Red Onion
- 7oz can Diced Green Chiles
- 10 to 12 Garlic Cloves
- 15oz can Black Bean
- 15oz can White Beans
- 15oz can Pumpkin
- 6 cups Chicken Stock
- Measure all of your spices into a mixing bowl. Cut chicken into 1 inch squares. Toss chicken pieces in spice mixture until all chicken is evenly coated, leaving little to no spices left in the bowl. Set aside.
Open all canned items. Wash and strain both beans. Drain diced green chiles. Dice red onion into about 1/4 inch pieces. Mince garlic cloves.
Heat vegetable oil in a large stock pot over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Lay spiced chicken pieces in a single layer in the bottom of your pan. Cook for 2 minutes a side until all chicken is cooked on the outside and a nice golden honeycomb color.
Remove par cooked chicken from pan onto a plate or into a bowl.
Add diced red onions to the pan cooking until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic cloves and diced green chiles. Cook onions, chiles, and garlic together for an additional 2 minutes. You're kitchen should smell amazing at this point!
Next put the pumpkin, the white and black beans, along with the 6 cups of chicken stock into the pan. Mix until well combined. Lastly, add the par cooked chicken.
Bring the chili to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the chili's thickness resembles a thin gravy.
Try topping my pumpkin spice white chicken chili with monterey jack cheese or add some heat with fresh thinly sliced serrano peppers! Best enjoyed on a cool fall day amidst all the pumpkin bliss you can handle. Happy cooking!