Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

I love fall and I love my slow cooker and when the two collide, I experience domestic bliss.  I was inspired last year by a Pork and Pumpkin Chili recipe I found in Food Network magazine, but after reading through the ingredient list, I realized I needed to substitute nearly every item!  With four grade school kids to feed, poblanos and chipotles just don't go over well!

This chili, however, DID go over well and I love how it incorporates my favorite seasonal vegetable (or is it a fruit?) - PUMPKIN!

I made this recipe twice.  Once by pre-browning the meat and sauteing the onions and garlic, and once by just dumping everything in.  After much extended research, I'm happy to report that you may just go ahead and dump away!  The dumping batch turned out equally as well, if not better!

Here's the hardest part - chop up the onions!

Don't forget the garlic.  Chop these up, too!

Dump them in the Slow Cooker.

Dump the cubed chicken on top.

And the tomatoes.  And the pumpkin.

 And the chiles.  And the lager.  No tasting.  It's still morning.

Add a cup of chicken stock and the spices.
If you haven't tried Modenaceti's Balsamic Glaze, you need to get some.
I put it in everything.  It adds a nice depth of flavor.

Give the chili a stir, put the lid on and walk away.

While your kids are setting the table, chop up the spinach and add it to the chili.
Look how pretty it is!

If you really want to get fancy, top it with Pumpkin Cream Sauce.  
(See Recipe Below.)

All my kids loved this.  Even my husband, who is often suspicious when it comes to unusual food combinations, said it was the best chili he had ever eaten!

Pumpkin Chicken Chili
by Rachel @ Simple Girl

2 medium onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 28 ounce can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
2 small cans green chiles
1 12-ounce bottle of lager
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Modenaceti's Balsamic Glaze
(or 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar)
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 bag fresh spinach, chopped

Chop onions and garlic and place in bottom of a large slow cooker.  Slice uncooked chicken and into 1" cubes and place on top of onions.  Add tomatoes, green chiles, pumpkin, beer, stock and spices.  Stir and cover.  Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.  About 20 minutes before serving, chop spinach and add to chili.  Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with grated cheese and pumpkin cream, if desired.

Pumpkin Cream

Mix 1/2 cup sour cream with 3 tablespoons of pumpkin and salt to taste.  Chill until ready to serve.


  1. Okay well, this sounds amazingly good. I'm pinning it and adding it to my next meal plan.

  2. hi - what could you use in place of the balsamic glaze? I am not sure where to buy it.

  3. If you don't have balsamic glaze, just use balsamic vinegar. The glaze is basically a reduced vinegar. You can make it yourself, but it won't leave your house smelling very good!

  4. Wednesdays nieces/nephew are here for piano lessons and then dinner. Our fridge is broken, so it's a pain in the neck to cook- I was going to just order out pizza, but I think I'll have to try this for them instead, since I can go to the supermarket and make it once I get home.

    Looks fantastic!

  5. I was going to ask about the balsamic glaze too. I don't have that but I do have B. vinegar. This sounds SO GOOD!!!

    Michael Ann

  6. Your pictures are beautiful! This looks so yummy!
    Thank you for linking up at Mushki Loves!

    Have a great day!

  7. This looks yummy, Rachel! And I'm always looking for new slow cooker recipes. Any suggestions for replacing the lager?

  8. Hi June - To replace the lager, I would either use 12 ounces of chicken stock or 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 apple juice.

  9. Wow! this might have to be my next "soup of the week" I love to try new soup recipes to make and then freeze into indiviual portions to eat throughout the week!
    -Robyn from http://tipsfromtheheart.blogspot.com

  10. Hi Rachel,
    This looks like an awesome Chili. I just love the combination with the pumpkin and chicken. I would love for you to enter it in The Texas Star Chili Cook Off that is going on right now until the 31st. Hope to see you there. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have had a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  11. Hi! I featured your chili at Mushki Loves!
    Thanks for linking up!

    Have a great day!

  12. Yay! So excited to find some different chili recipes. We are Texans who just moved to Colorado, so we're really cold. ;o)

    Thanks so much for linking up to MomTrends this week! :o)

  13. This looks awesome! I hope you don't mind, I posted a link to this on my blog! Thanks for the recipe! I plan to make it this weekend!

  14. Anyone have any ideas about how many Weight Watchers PointsPlus Points this is?

  15. Today is a beautiful and cool day (and we haven't had that many here in East Texas)...perfect for this! Can't wait to try it!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  16. I am so excited that you entered your great Chili in this years Cook Off. Good Luck in the competition for The Texas Star Chili Cook Off!
    Miz Helen

  17. how many cups does this make?

  18. Oh.my.word. This looks amazing! I love that it's a crock pot recipe :) I'd like to invite you to share this on Saturday at our Seasonal Inspiration party.

    Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos

  19. I am making this for sure!! Do you think using ground chicken would work as well?? Also, if I added white beans do you think everything would still cook evenly? Thank you for sharing!

  20. I made this for lunch today, so good and perfect for a cold rainy day. Thanks!