Friday, November 29, 2013

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili


With the weather cooling down and Thanksgiving behind us, I was really in the mood for something hearty and holiday-ish. A few weeks back, a couple of sugar pumpkins arrived in our CSA produce box. I didn't have an immediate need for that much pumpkin, so I roasted and pureed them, and froze a 2-cup portion (I used the remainder in my morning oatmeal for the week and turned the rest into pureed baby food for Samuel). Note: when freezing items for use later, make sure you are intentional about the quantity you are storing. Since most pumpkin recipes call for a 14.5 oz can of pureed pumpkin, I measured out 2 cups (or 16 oz) of pumpkin, just so I'd have a convenient quantity to work with.

I googled a few recipes for pumpkin chili, but ended up just wingin' it, and was SO pleased with the result, I just had to share it with y'all. Hope you enjoy! This is such an easy dish to prepare and the flavor was AMAZING.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1.5 lb ground beef (my package was 1.34lb)
  • 2 cups pureed roasted pumpkin (or one 14.5 oz can pureed pumpkin)
  • 1 7oz can fire roasted diced green chiles
  • 1-2 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 heaping tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 2 14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt


Garnishes

  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • green onions
  • dried cranberries
  • pumpkin seeds


Add all ingredients, minus the salt and the garnishes, to your slow cooker, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir and add salt to taste before serving. Seriously, that's it. Easiest. Recipe. Ever. Serves 4-6 people, depending on if you are serving this as a main course or a side. Next time I make this, I'm planning to add a can of whole kernel corn.

Garnish to your liking, but I highly recommend using everything I've listed if you have it handy. Cheese, sour cream, and green onions just seem like traditional chili toppings to me -- you just gotta have 'em. But the dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds really make this extra special. Believe me, you want these.

The flavor was absolutely perfect. Exactly what I pictured in my head. I was essentially trying to recreate the seasonal chili I had tasted recently at The Counter. This is IT. Even my one-year old was gettin' down with some chili.





In between taking pictures and taking my first bite, I realized I forgot to add sprouted pumpkin seeds...so in the spirit of "keeping it real," here's what my bowl looked like post-pumpkin seeds during our actual dinner. A sippy cup, moist paper towels, and infant snack pouches make for a very glamorous backdrop, if I do say so myself.



Cheers!