Slowcooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili is a perfect option for your fall nights! This chicken chili with pumpkin is full of hearty protein, vegetables, fiber and vitamins, and great for warming you up and keeping you nourished. It also works great as an instant pot pumpkin chili recipe.
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Fall is chili season. And even better, it’s chicken pumpkin white bean chili season.
Like most people, I tend to load up on canned pumpkin in the fall, and forget about during all other seasons.
But, technically you can make this pumpkin chicken recipe any time of year because pumpkin and chili recipes are extra delicious.
It’s tough to choose between this, pumpkin sweet potato soup and sausage tortellini soup. They are all creamy and nourishing, but each has their own flavor profile and it really depends on the mood I’m in.
Adding pumpkin to chili is such a game changer (you’re welcome). In fact, we made a few batches of this chicken chili with pumpkin for Sawyer’s first birthday party and everyone loved it.
It was so easy and much cheaper than getting a bunch of pizzas.
Why You’ll Love Pumpkin Chicken Chili
This pumpkin chili slow cooker recipe is one of my favorite recipes to date.
- Set it and go – With crockpot pumpkin chili, set it and go about your day, play with your kids, get a run in, etc. It’s so hands off, and who knows, it just may become your favorite instant pot pumpkin chili recipe too.
- Great leftovers – Who doesn’t want to eat another bowl of crockpot pumpkin chicken chili? I love leftovers for lunch – easy and filling.
- Nutritious – Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, as well as Vitamins A and C (great for fall immunity!) and antioxidants. Basically, it’s a cure for all those fall bugs you get, so make it often.
- Easy to make in bulk and freeze for later – Don’t we all need more freezer friendly meals? We rely on them for busy seasons, like pregnancy, postpartum, solo parenting, getting back from travel, etc.
Ingredients For Chicken Pumpkin Chili
I love the taste and flavor combination of white bean pumpkin chili, so I chose to use white beans. You can also use chili beans or kidney beans if you choose – personalize this pumpkin chili with chicken any way you’d like
- Pumpkin – Like sweet potato, pumpkin is just such a versatile ingredient and addition to soups, stews and chilis. It offers so much flavor, texture and nutrition, such as antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, potassium and copper. Make sure you get pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling!
- Maple Syrup – Adds a mild sweetness and some micronutrients and B-vitamins. You can omit this if you’d like, but I think it’s nicely balanced by the jalapeno and red pepper flakes.
- White beans – I love using white beans for chili because they are a little bit thicker and they’ve got more texture to them than just black beans. But, any sort of bean will offer ample fiber, iron, magnesium, protein, calcium and B-vitamins!
- Canned tomatoes – High in Vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant!
- Ground Chicken or Turkey – I prefer chicken with these flavors, but ground turkey would also work! Or, to keep it vegetarian, just omit the meat.
- Onions – very anti-inflammatory and add great flavor
- Jalapeno – optional, but the sweet and spicy balance is great with it!
- Broth – chicken or vegetable or bone broth
- Spices – cinnamon, chili powder, paprika, salt, pumpkin pie spice
- Crockpot or slow cooker (doesn’t have to be anything too fancy), or an instant pot
How Long Does Crockpot Chicken Pumpkin Chili Take?
You’ll just need about 3 hours from start to finish for white pumpkin chicken chili in the crockpot.
Start it in the morning, and have it done by the time you get back from church or your long run.
If you’re heading off to work or will be out of the house for longer, just cook it on low. It takes 5-7 hours over low heat.
If you’re making instant pot pumpkin chili (directions below), it’s ready in about 40 minutes.
How to Make Chicken Pumpkin Chili in the Instant Pot
You can easily make this pumpkin chicken chili recipe in the instant pot instead of the crockpot.
- First, start with the saute function, and add olive oil, onion, garlic, and jalapeno, which is optional.
- Add your ground chicken and spices and continue to saute until the chicken is cooked through.
- Add the remaining ingredients and lock the lid.
- Set the instant pot to “pressure cooker” on HIGH for 14 minutes.
- Once the beeper goes off, let the Instant Pot manually release for 15 minutes.
The great thing about making this at home is that you have complete control of the salt added and can make it a low-sodium chili if you’d like. Purchase lower sodium canned tomatoes, beans and vegetable broth, if necessary. Did you know you can also reduce sodium by 36-41% by washing canned beans beforehand? Give it a go! However, if you are active and looking to enjoy this post workout, the salt could be a great way to replace electrolytes after a run!
How to Freeze Chili
Whether you make pumpkin chili in the slow cooker or instant pot, you may have extra to store or freeze.
Freezing this pumpkin chicken chili recipe is very easy, and makes a great reason to double this recipe to have more for later. It works whether you’ve made it with ground chicken, ground turkey or beef.
You can freeze it for up to 3-6 months! I love when I forgot about it and can look in our deep freezer and find it.
- First, let your chili completely cool.
- Once it’s cooled, you can parsel it out and store it in any type of freezer-friendly container you desire. Stasher bags, reusable silicone bags or upright containers to save space.
- When ready to eat it, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight or for up to 12-16 hours. You can also thaw it in water, either in the sink or a large pot. If you’re in a rush, you can also pour it in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it.
I brought this to the tailgate last weekend along with these bacon wrapped sweetpotatoes and both were a huge hit, which confirmed that I needed to share it on the blog.
We often pair it with these loaded sweetpotato nachos when we’re entertaining.
FAQ and Adaptations
Let the chili cool completely, and then store in a tight tupperware in the fridge for up to 5 days. If it will be longer then that, just freeze it for later in a freezer-friendly container.
For a vegan pumpkin chili, leave the cheese and meat out and load up on beans and/or plant-based cheese.
For a paleo pumpkin chili, omit the beans and use more meat.
You may enjoy some of these other recipes!
- Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes
- Gingerbread Oatmeal
- Baked lemon pepper chicken tenders
- Apple Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal
- Hemp Protein Bars
- Vegan Pumpkin Blondie Bars
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 3 Tbsps brown sugar (or maple syrup)
- 1 15 oz. can chili beans or kidney beans
- 1 15 oz. can white kidney beans
- Place olive oil in medium to large pan over medium heat. Add in onion, garlic and jalapeno, and sautee for a few minutes.
- Add in ground chicken and spices (pumpkin pie spice, paprika, chili powder, cinnamon and salt). Cook over low-medium heat until meat browns (5-10 minutes).
- Once hot, transfer to slow cooker and stir in remaining ingredients: broth, canned pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, chili beans and white kidney beans.
- Stir until well combined. Cook for about 2 ½ - 3 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low.
To make in instant pot:
- Turn on instant pot and set to saute setting. Once it reads hot, add olive oil, chopped onions, garlic and jalapenos. Add the ground chicken and spices, cooking over low-medium heat until the meat browns (5-10 minutes).
- If there are any brown bits on the bottom of the pot, scrape them off. This will help avoid the instant pot signal that your food is burning.
- Add chicken broth, pumpkin, tomatoes, brown sugar and beans and continue to stir.
- Set instant pot setting to pressure cooker for 15 minutes on high.
- Once down, manually release pressure for 15-20 minutes. Remove lid and let cool. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Additional topping ideas: Yogurt, sour cream, jalapenos, avocado shredded cheese, sage, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips...so many good choices!
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Chicken Bone Broth Soup by Kettle and Fire, Pack of 6, Keto Diet, Paleo Friendly, Whole 30 Approved, Gluten Free, with Collagen, 10g of protein, 16.9 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker 7 in 1, 6 Qt, Best for Beginners
Coombs Family Farms Maple Syrup, Organic, Grade A, Dark Color, Robust Taste, 32-Ounce Jug
McCormick Culinary Pumpkin Pie Spice, 1 lb
Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin, 15 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1038mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 10gSugar: 11gProtein: 23g