Pumpkin-Spiced White Chicken Chili

by feastonthecheap on October 18, 2010

Mariel here. This is Sunday food through and through. Whether you’re glued to StatTracker or the TV screen; a die-hard fan of the Lions or Lifetime Originals, this hearty weekend stew is sure to fire up a few warm fuzzies. Slightly sweeter and a little less spicy than your average chili – though you can certainly turn up the heat – this subtly pumpkin-spiked rendition is a hybrid of my mom’s Harvest Soup and Cousin Bob’s Texas Beef Chili. Naturally it pairs perfectly with our Silky Buttermilk Cornbread, Cheddar Blackbean Cornbread or whatever’s on sale at your local bakery. I recommend topping this with cilantro and a hefty helping of sharp cheddar, but sliced avocado or sour cream also works well. Go sports!

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Pumpkin-Spiced White Chicken Chili
Makes 8 servings

About 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs, roughly chopped into bite-size chunks – $4.80
3 15-oz cans of Cannellini beans (or Great Northerns), drained and rinsed – $2.97
1 large sweet onion, chopped – $1.29
2 4-oz cans of chopped green chiles – $2.98
3 heaping Tablespoons of canned 100% pumpkin – $1.99
2 cups fresh or frozen corn (about 2 large cob’s worth) – $1.60
3 cloves of garlic, minced or smashed – stock
1 ¾ cup low-salt chicken stock – stock
1 12-oz can of low-fat evaporated milk – $1.59
4 Tablespoons of olive oil – stock
1 Tablespoon chili powder – stock
1 teaspoon cumin – stock
½ teaspoon black pepper – stock
½ teaspoon cinnamon – stock
¼ teaspoon nutmeg – stock
¼ teaspoon salt – stock
Salt and pepper to taste – stock
2 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
¾ cup sharp cheddar, grated (optional)
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $17.22
Cost per serving: $2.15

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Chop into bite-size chunks. Sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and a pinch of chili powder.

2. In a large heavy skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over med-high heat. Saute the chicken until starting to brown on all sides and cooked through (no longer pink inside). About 5 minutes.

3. In a large stock pot, saute the onion in two tablespoons of olive oil until soft and tender (about 8 minutes). Stir frequently to avoid burning. Add the garlic, green chiles and all the dry spices – stir another 5 minutes.

4. Add the cooked chicken, beans, corn, stock, milk and pumpkin. Combine well and simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste from time to time and adjust seasonings as desired. If you accidentally over-salt (as I’ve done in the past), add a few tablespoons of water and continue simmering.

5. Garnish with cilantro and cheddar (if desired) and serve hot. I also enjoy crumbling my cornbread right into the chili, but that’s just me.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael October 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

@ tablespoons of pumpkin? why is this called pumpkin spice chilli then? im confused…


feastonthecheap October 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm

You can certainly increase the pumpkin if you’d prefer, but I found that just a couple of tablespoons infused the chili with a sweet, almost nutty/earthy flavor without overwhelming the dish with a too-pumpkiny after-taste. That’s why i called it Pumpkin-Spiced Chili instead of Pumpkin Chili.


Lisa Hughes Long October 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Amazingly good recipe!


thecompletecookbook October 19, 2010 at 4:30 am

Aah, comfort food – my favourite! As always a fab recipe! :-) Mandy


Chelsea @ sprinklesofparsley.com October 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

This is such a great idea! I love the concept and will definitely try it out!!


Liisa November 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Yum! I am always on the lookout for new ways to use pumpkin and this recipe sounds delicious!
Thanks for the comment on my blog by the way :)


Melissa January 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I love your website! I made this chili last week and LOVED it. I cut the recipe in half because it was just for me and I had leftovers the next night. Can’t wait to make this for friends.


feastonthecheap January 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

We’re thrilled to hear that! I made this again on Sunday myself…in honor of the Jets/Pats game.


Kim F October 26, 2012 at 10:48 am

This soup is looking delicious… simmering away on my stove top on a snowy day in Colorado. Can’t wait to try it. Your blog is great. Looking forward to trying many of your recipes.


Kim F October 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Soup turned out great. I used 1% milk in place of the evaporated milk and I left out the cilantro since I forgot to buy it. I am enjoying the soup with a dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt in each bowl. Delicious! and amazing aroma with the unique spice blend… cinnamon and nutmeg… who would have thought! Thanks for stopping by my blog.


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