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This Chili Recipe Has a Surprising Ingredient—Pumpkin

Mole sauce and pumpkin? Yes, please.

Is there any more perfect fall food than chili? It's hearty and filling, and its warmth is like a hug on a cold winter's day. You've probably had chili made with beans and ground meat—but have you tried pumpkin chili?

This fall recipe combines a full can of pumpkin along with classic chili ingredients like onion, ground beef, tomatoes, and canned beans. There are all the flavors and seasonings of traditional chili, along with the sweet flavor of pumpkin. And thanks to a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder and a can of diced green chiles, this chili also packs in the flavors of Mexican mole sauce. Pumpkin, mole, and spices like oregano and cilantro? This is one chili recipe everyone is bound to love.

The best part, though, might be that this pumpkin chili only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on prep time. After that, you can leave the chili to simmer on the stove until it reaches that thick, delicious consistency. As the cold weather sets in, this is one recipe you'll want to bookmark.

Nutrition: 265 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated), 450 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 23 g protein

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Makes 6 servings


1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1 15-oz. can no-salt-added pinto beans or black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz can no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 4-oz. can diced green chiles, undrained
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
Plain fat-free Greek yogurt
Chopped fresh cilantro and finely chopped onion

How to Make It

  1. In a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, cook beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic over medium until beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the water, pumpkin, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chiles, brown sugar, chili powder, cocoa powder, oregano, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Top each serving with yogurt and sprinkle with cilantro and onion.

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