An easy-to-make turkey pumpkin chili made in the slow cooker. It's super filling and perfect for warming up on the cooler days of fall!
Now that it's fall, pumpkin treats are everywhere. But, since sweets aren't the only way to enjoy this winter squash, this recipe is savory. What better way to welcome in the fall weather than with a comforting bowl of slow cooker turkey pumpkin chili?
If you grow fresh pumpkins, it's always best to use a fresh puree. However, buying it in a can is so convenient. Many recipes use only a small amount of pumpkin, making it difficult to use the rest of the puree. This recipe uses the entire contents of a standard 15-ounce can.
Using a slow cooker also makes it super easy to whip up this chili!
You just combine all the ingredients in the crock and let it slow cook all day. As a bonus, I'm including directions that show you how to make this chili in the Instant Pot too!
Yup, both instructions - for the slow cooker and the Instant Pot - are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Ingredients Needed For Turkey Pumpkin Chili
I used my own combination of spices in this slow cooker pumpkin chili. Here's more information about what I included.
Garlic And Bell Pepper
Use fresh, whole ingredients whenever possible. I used garlic cloves and chopped up some green bell peppers. You can use any color pepper - red and yellow have sweeter flavors than green.
Ground turkey is a very lean type of meat. If you want, you could mix in some ground chicken too.
Since turkey is very lean, the recipe uses full-fat chicken broth. And, topping each bowl of turkey pumpkin chili with shredded cheddar cheese provides even more fat.
Since fat is an important part of a low-carb diet, you need to be sure you are getting an adequate intake of it!
Tomatoes And Tomato Paste
Typically, pumpkin chili contains a lot more tomatoes. To make the pumpkin flavor the highlight of the dish, I used about half the amount of diced tomatoes that are typically called for.
Tomatoes, being a fruit, also contain quite a bit of sugar. Therefore, they aren't the best choice for those on a keto diet. However, they are an essential ingredient for chili.
You may be able to omit the tomato paste if you'd like to cut back on some of the carbs. It will enhance the tomato flavor if you choose to add it.
The pumpkin puree really thickens up the chili. Make sure you are using pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
For the spices, I used chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, sea salt, and a dash of pepper. Adjust the spice amounts, so it tastes how you want it to. Or, use your own chili seasoning mix.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- It's best to chop the ground turkey up into small pieces as it cooks. Unlike ground beef, turkey tends to clump together when cooked.
- If you are using an Instant Pot, make sure and deglaze the bottom of the pot after you brown the turkey. Any bits that are stuck to the pot could cause it to give you a BURN error.
- Freeze leftovers. Chili freezes really well and you can reheat it in the slow cooker another day.
How To Make Keto Pumpkin Chili
All the exact steps are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. First, here is an overview with photos of each step.
The recipe card has both the instructions for the slow cooker and the Instant Pot, so I'll share both here too.
Slow Cooker Recipe Instructions
You will need to pre-cook the ground turkey, garlic, and peppers before adding them to the slow cooker.
After they are browned and crispy, put all the ingredients together in the slow cooker and let it cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Instant Pot Recipe Instructions
Saute the peppers and garlic in the Instant Pot on saute mode, and then brown the ground turkey with it until it is no longer pink. If you want, you could do this step on the stove and then transfer it to your Instant Pot.
After the turkey is completely cooked, add the rest of the ingredients to the Instant Pot and cook it on High Pressure for 10 minutes. When the timer is up, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick-release.
Now your turkey pumpkin chili is ready to eat!
What To Serve With Crock Pot Pumpkin Chili
Cornbread is a traditional side dish that just goes perfectly with chili, but it isn't exactly keto-friendly. So, try this low-carb cornbread with coconut flour that tastes amazing with this savory chili.
Or, make some keto cloud bread. It is light and fluffy and melts in your mouth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pumpkin Chili With Ground Turkey
Before we get to the printable recipe card, here are a few questions people often ask about turkey pumpkin chili.
Can you freeze cooked ground turkey?
A lot of people will cook up large amounts of ground beef and freeze it. This makes it even easier to use in your favorite crockpot recipes. The same thing can be done with ground turkey.
Is pumpkin healthy?
Yes, pumpkin is actually very nutritious. One of the benefits of pumpkin is that it's loaded with vitamin A. It's all a good source of fiber which helps you feel fuller much longer, so you eat less.
Pumpkins are also a good source of vitamin C which may help fight a cold. So, fall is the perfect time to start loading up on this yummy winter squash.
How many servings does this recipe make?
I ended up with about 12 cups of turkey pumpkin chili in the crockpot. Each serving was a little over a cup and was enough for about ten servings.
The chili is very filling, so you don't need much for a meal. And, it makes a terrific lunch during the workday. I heated mine up in my lunch crock at my desk.
What can I use instead of pumpkin?
Other low-carb winter squash could likely be used. Kabocha squash is a great alternative if you can find it. It's often called a Japanese pumpkin. Butternut squash works well in turkey chili too.
After trying this chili, I realized that I need to make more savory pumpkin recipes. There really is more to this tasty vegetable beyond pies and bread.
To be honest, I had no idea that pumpkin made such a great chili. I'm so glad I stumbled upon the idea. It's going to be one of the recipes I keep in mind for fall gatherings.
Chili has always been one of my favorite foods. I often enjoy it on top of a salad. And, we always serve it with cheese on top.
Sour cream and avocados would be other great toppings for this turkey pumpkin chili. And, if you don't like the ground turkey, ground beef could be used instead.
Other CrockPot Recipes To Try
If you enjoyed this turkey pumpkin chili, here are some more keto-friendly slow cooker recipes you should try next. They are some of my favorites!
- Venison Chili has lots of the same flavors as this turkey chili, but it is made with venison and a few different spices.
- Keto Crockpot Crack Chicken is a very popular recipe because the flavors burst on your tongue.
- Crock Pot Mexican Chicken Soup is spicy and savory and a fantastic way to celebrate taco Tuesday.
- Easy Vegan Chili is completely meatless and still packed with tons of flavor.
- Keto Hamburger Srew is thick and hearty and the perfect thing for cold days.
Turkey Pumpkin Chili (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium green bell pepper diced
- 6-8 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 ½ cups chicken bone broth
- 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes 14.5 ounces
- 6 oz canned tomato paste 6 ounces
- 15 oz canned pumpkin puree 15 ounces
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- dash ground pepper
- Cook peppers and garlic in oil over medium-high heat until garlic is fragrant.
- Add ground turkey and cook until meat is no longer pink. Be sure to break it up as it cooks.
- Place cooked meat into slow cooker.
- Add in remaining ingredients.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Cook peppers and garlic in oil on sauté setting until garlic is fragrant.
- Add ground turkey and cook until meat is no longer pink. Be sure to break it up as it cooks. Once meat is no longer pink, pour in the broth and stir to ensure any browned bits on the bottom of the pan are released. Press cancel button to end sauté setting.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. If the mixture is too thick, you can add in some water or broth to ensure there is enough liquid for pressure cooking. Cover and seal on lid.
- Press manual button and set high pressure setting to 10 minutes. When time is up, allow to natural pressure release for about 10 minutes before removing lid.
Array ( [serving_size] => 204 [calories] => 203 [carbohydrates] => 9.2 [protein] => 23 [fat] => 10.1 [saturated_fat] => 1.7 [cholesterol] => 77 [sodium] => 363 [fiber] => 2.9 [sugar] => 4.5 )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on October 21, 2016. Updated on September 21, 2021, with new images and additional recipe information.