Crock Pot Pumpkin Turkey Chili (the modified recipe!)

Yesterday I posted an Instagram photo of our pumpkin turkey chili which I served with tortillas:


I based it off this base recipe from


Now … I’ve made that exact recipe before. And it turned out … OK. Just OK. I even modified the recipe per some of the comments. I added canned corn and black beans, and added diced tomatoes and green chiles (commonly known as Rotel) as opposed to just regular tomatoes. And added extra spices too. But the fundamental problem is that ground turkey is just bland. Plain old bland.


So when my husband and I were cleaning out the freezer this past weekend and came upon some extra pumpkin puree, I thought … well I could make the pumpkin chili again, but this time I will do maybe half ground turkey and half Italian sausage. That should add more flavor.


But then we realized that we also had cooked turkey left over from Thanksgiving. And then I thought, why not make the pumpkin turkey chili with leftover shredded roast turkey?


I first started by sauteeing a diced green pepper, a diced medium onion, and a clove of garlic in 1 TBSP olive oil until tender, and used seasoned salt to flavor.


In the meantime, I defrosted my turkey leftovers (about a pound) in the microwave and shredded it with a fork a bit before dumping into my crock pot.


Along to the shredded turkey and the garlic/onion/pepper mixture, I added:


1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 bag frozen corn

1 can kidney beans or black beans

1 can green chiles (I used mild, but you can use whatever spice level you want!)

1 can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup chicken stock (plus a few tablespoons more during cooking to make sure it didn’t thicken too much)

2 tbsp chili powder

Ground cayenne pepper (just a very small amount, a few shakes!)

Salt and pepper to taste


I cooked everything in our crock pot on high for about 5 1/2 hours, but I will say high on our crock pot is like … WAY too high for a crock pot. So you might want to plan for longer if you’re not using an extreme crock pot. Fortunately, it’s hard to mess up or overcook chili in a crock pot.


I thought it turned out much better this time around using the shredded Thanksgiving turkey as opposed to ground turkey. The meat was much more flavorful and you still got the creamy pumpkin flavor coming through. I would definitely make it this way again, plus it was great as a taco filling with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese on top!


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