Home ยป 4th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #7 – Pumpkin Chili + Weekly Menu

4th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #7 – Pumpkin Chili + Weekly Menu


Yesterday was…different.

Have you ever had an experience where you felt like you were witnessing something that you should do something about but you don’t know what the right thing is to do? Multiply that by 2 and backtrack to yesterday afternoon.

I’m out running errands in the blistering cold Michigan weather. I’m stopped at a stop light, sitting in my car just bobbing my head to the music. I look to my right and there’s an older gentlemen sitting on the curb of this main road. Just…sitting. His cheeks were beat red. I looked and him and my mind immediately goes to the worst case scenarios — he’s homeless and has no where to go in this frigid weather or perhaps even worse, he’s having a medical emergency. I just…froze. I didn’t know what to do and after not being able to catch his eye to try and read the situation, I continued on when the light turned green.


I spent the next 5 miles thinking, “Nicole, you should’ve done something. What should you have done? I don’t know, but something.”

But then I then rolled up to the grocery store where my attention was quickly diverted from the man I didn’t stop for to a car POURING smoke from its hood. The car was parked a distance from other cars, but just as I slowed down to check out what was going on, other cars were doing the same. After just a few seconds, someone was running from a nearby gas station with a fire extinguisher. They popped the hood and the generous supply of air caused the fire to escalate quickly and there were then huge FLAMES coming from the car. The owner (I assume) was standing there, hands on his head, with his body language reading, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.”

Rather than going about my grocery shopping, I stayed as long as to see several good Samaritans with fire extinguishers help out and just a few minutes later, a fire truck barreling through the parking lot to assist.


I got home from running errands after much longer than anticipated and all I could say to Mr. Prevention is, “It was so weird!”

Blah, blah, blah.

And it was. The morning was…weird. It’s not every day your running around town is so…different. But different is what keeps things interesting…what keeps us on our toes. Where am I going with this? This chili is unique…it’s different. It calls for a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and a cup of pureed pumpkin. If you think for just a second this chili isn’t piquing your interest, think again. This is definitely a contender for 1st place!


Pumpkin Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 28 oz low-sodium tomato juice
  • 2 (28 oz) cans no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Heat olive oil in a LARGE pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the beef. Brown the meat until no longer pink, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
  2. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook an additional minute.
  3. Stir in beans, tomato juice, tomatoes, pumpkin, and seasonings; stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer chili for one hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
Submitted by Kathyrn (who also submitted Maui Chili from last year's chili contest)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 281 Fat: 5.7 Carbohydrates: 33.5 Sugar: 11.2 Sodium: 767 Fiber: 11.3 Protein: 27.3 Cholesterol: 48.0

Weekly Menu: November 24th – 28th

 I want to commit to Catching Fire today so that I can see the movie sooner rather than later 😉

Be well,


Share With Your Friends!


  1. The Candid RD
    November 24, 2013 / 8:13 am

    OH wow, what a trip to the store that must have been!! Michigan is just crazy. Who would ever want to live there?! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    The chili sounds wonderful. I haven’t made chili yet this season so I may just have to now (I mean…it has pumpkin so it’s gotta be delicious!)

  2. Gail H.
    November 24, 2013 / 8:37 am

    All recipes pinned AND printed….I so look forward to your weekly menu Nicole! What a shopping trip…we have so many homeless here in South FL, on every exit when you get off I-95…I always think of those cold & hungry I used to see in my home state, PA…and many of them are mentally ill….just a horrific situation….

  3. Biz
    November 24, 2013 / 1:03 pm

    Definitely going to try this one, except I am going to have to add chipotle peppers to mine – the pumpkin/chipotle combo is amazeballs!

    Enjoy your Sunday Nicole – hope its less weird! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl
    November 24, 2013 / 1:15 pm

    Drooling over this chili!!! And wishing my husband would eat chili. ๐Ÿ™ Thanks for the wonton soup love – I hope you like it!!

  5. Lizzie
    December 6, 2013 / 1:53 pm

    WEll darn… I was planning to enter a pumpkin chili next year! Oh well ๐Ÿ™‚ This is pretty similar to my favorite pumpkin chili!

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