Family Friendly Recipes

Three-Bean Pumpkin Chili

Ever since I was a little girl, my family has made this chili recipe. We fondly referred to the extra spicy chili recipe as Velasco Chili, to honor its origins in our family, our close family friends.

three-bean pumpkin chili

Over the years, we adapted the recipe, mostly to tone down the spice. It became a tradition to make chili when we were all in the mountains together during ski season and on Halloween before we took our kids out trick-or-treating.

three-bean pumpkin chili

Somewhere in the mix, my sister was diagnosed with Celiac disease, forcing our recipes to adapt again. As she and I threw together a pot of chili, we got a crazy idea to throw a can of pumpkin into the pot as a thickener instead of making a roux.

And it stuck.

Our new favorite chili recipe was born!

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be easily adapted to satisfy anyone’s taste. You can add spice, make it vegan with quinoa instead of beef, add more beans or even leave the beans out. Really, the world is your oyster.

Three Bean Pumpkin Chili

Need an easy recipe for cold nights? This three-bean pumpkin chili is great and can easily be adapted for anyone's dietary needs.

  • 1 Bell Pepper (Diced)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (Diced)
  • 4-5 Celery Stalks (Diced)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
  • 1 Jalapeno (Diced)
  • 1 28 oz Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz Can Black Beans
  • 1 14oz Can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 14 oz Can Kidney Beans
  • 1 14 oz Can Pinto Beans
  • 1 14 oz Can Yellow Corn
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef or Ground Bison
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  1. Begin by dicing your vegetables. Brown the ground beef/bison with oil and garlic until cooked through. Add in your diced vegetables and sautee until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

    Once your meat and veggies are cooked, add in the corn, beans, and tomatoes. DO NOT DRAIN, the liquid from the cans are part of the broth. Add beef broth, but just enough to cover your meat and veggies. Add in the Oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Stir until everything is well combined. Lastly, add in your can of pumpkin and stir.

    Your chili can simmer for 30-60 minutes on the stove or be transferred into a crockpot and cooked on low for 4-6 hours.

    We like to top our chili with sour cream, sliced jalapeños, and cilantro. I've been known to add Fritos as well for some crunch!

I am always looking for recipes that I can throw together and leave in the slow cooker all day while I am out and about.

This is one of those. I simply cook the meat and veggies on the stovetop and then dump the rest of the ingredients into the Crockpot. By the end of the day, all of the flavors have melded together and my kitchen smells delicious!

So as the weather turns colder, (ahem, Colorado I’m looking at you), try out this three-bean pumpkin chili recipe and let me know what you think.

If you decide to add your own little twist to it, send your ideas my way! I would love to see how you get creative with this family favorite.

Share your creativity with me in the comments below.