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Chicken Pumpkin Chili (in Crockpot)

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 sweetpotato 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.

However, both are some of the best meals for postpartum moms because they offer warm, nourishing nutrients to help the body repair.

Chicken pumpkin chili in a crockpot with spoonful closeup

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.

Pumpkin really is a nutrition all-star, so we should all also make these Dairy Free Pumpkin Muffins and Pumpkin No Bake Cookies anytime!

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
Pumpkin Chicken Chili in the Crockpot with dish towel

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.

Seriously, these are the best kind of easy recipes for marathon training, or for busy people who want to be efficient and not spend all day in the kitchen. My version of simple meal prep.

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.

bowl of Slowcooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili topped with sage and jalapeno next to striped napkin

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. 

HOT TIP

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.

We love to freeze food and have it on hand for a postpartum meal plan or even for easy freezable toddler meals you can just reheat when you have zero energy to feed them.

  1. First, let your chili completely cool.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Pumpkin Chicken Chili Made in the Crockpot Shot with dish towel

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.  

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FAQ and Adaptations

How to store ground chicken pumpkin chili

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.

How to make Vegan Pumpkin Chili

For a vegan pumpkin chili, leave the cheese and meat out and load up on beans and/or plant-based cheese. 

How to make Paleo Pumpkin Chili

For a paleo pumpkin chili, omit the beans and use more meat.

Closeup of crockpot pumpkin chicken chili on white countertop in white bowl with spoon

TRY some of these other EASY recipes!

Chicken Pumpkin Chili
Yield: 8

Chicken Pumpkin Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Chicken Pumpkin Chili in the crockpot is the perfect white bean pumpkin chili with your choice of meat. Full of hearty protein, vegetables, fiber and vitamins, this pumpkin chili recipe is great for warming you up and keeping you nourished.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil in medium to large pan over medium heat. Add in onion, garlic and jalapeno, and sautee for a few minutes.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Stir until well combined. Cook for about 2 ½ - 3 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low.

Notes

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!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1038mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 10gSugar: 11gProtein: 23g

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  1. 5 stars! This is delicious! I’ve made it twice in a week. Serving it at a fall party this week!

    Only change I made was cut the sugar in half. Great recipe! Thank you!!

  2. This looks amazing and so cozy for fall, Sarah! I’ve never had pumpkin chili but after being at Trader Joe’s today, I’m craving pumpkin EVERYTHING haha! I can’t wait to try this one!!

  3. Wow, pumpkin chili…. that sure does scream fall! In the Chinese culture, there’s this dessert-like soup sweetened with dates and filled with peanuts and white fungus. It supposedly has healing properties but tastes like sweet comforting memories. 🙂

    1. Oh wow, that dessert soup sounds very interesting! Anything with good memories attached is a keeper in my book 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. That’s funny I STILL dislike soup I think because it’s too hot in Arizona even in the dead of winter to have it, I can barely do hot coffee lol In theory, I totally love this recipe though! ha ha

  5. I have always been hesitant with soup due to the sodium content level, but chili I cannot resist. I will look forward to this recipe…thank you, Sarah!

  6. This looks delicious!! I’ve never thought to put pumpkin in chili but my dad makes the best chili and it used chocolate. I desperately need fall temperatures so I can make soups and chili again, it was 80 yesterday in New Jersey so not exactly fall weather.

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