Pumpkin Chili & Cornbread

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With lows in the 40s and highs in the 60s, we finally are having some fall weather and it felt right to finally make some of my must-try pumpkin recipes.  I thought pumpkin chili was the perfect way to celebrate our cooler temps!

I’m not sure what it is–maybe the “scientist” in me who likes to experiment–but I don’t follow a lot of recipes exactly.  Instead, I seem to like to use a recipe as a starting point and then experiment with my own concoction. For this pumpkin chili, I combined the one from my must-try list, my mom’s & a friends.  This is what I came up with:

Pumpkin Chili

  – 1lb. ground beef
  – half a medium onion (chopped)
  – 2 15oz. cans kidney beans (drained)
  – 2 15oz. cans stewed or diced tomatoes (with juice)
  – 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
  – 1 cup pumpkin
  – chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, brown sugar (all “to taste”)
In a large pot, brown onions and ground beef.  Once brown, add the pumpkin, kidney beans, tomatoes & sauce.  For the spices, I added everything “to taste”–starting with (about) 2 tsp. chili powder and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar.  Let simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour (stirring occasionally).  I ended up adding a little more chili powder & pumpkin pie spice.

To go with, Pumpkin Cornbread muffins sounded delish!  Between the baby & toddler, I wasn’t up to making it from scratch though (although I’m sure the original recipe I found for the pumpkin list is fantastic).  Instead, I used this cornbread muffin mix packet:

To the mix, I added just under a 1/2 C milk, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 C pumpkin, 2 tsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, and a little extra sprinkle of cinnamon.  

Verdict on both?…


Neither the chili nor the muffins had an overwhelming pumpkin taste, but just a slight hint of those yummy fall spices & flavors.  They were both great ways to use some of my mass quantities of pureed pumpkin from Halloween. Another huge plus–the house smelled wonderful!!

Not only will I make these both again, but will do big batches to freeze.  These will both be great to have on hand in the freezer for quick meals this fall & winter! 

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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10 Responses

  1. Nice. Heck, recipes are just mere guidelines anyway. So just in case you need anyone to sample any of your "experiments" I'm volunteering to be one of your laboratory mice!

  2. I tried pumpkin cornbread too and loved it. I'm on a pumpkin spree as well. I just posted pumpkin spice thumbprints on my blog and have a list just like you of other pumpkin must-try recipes. This week I intend to make pumpkin gingerbread and pumpkin molasses cookies. I'll have to keep an update on your pumpkin posts so I can get more delicious ideas. I'm now following you on Facebook.

  3. I have never tried pumpkin chili, but I think I will need to now! Pumpkin cornbread? Oh goodness! Thanks for linking up this recipe. I am adding it to my fall to-try list. 🙂

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