Autumn Pumpkin Chard Chili

When the pumpkin bug finally hit me, the results were glorious – these Pumpkin Pie Muffins were a huge success. Ever since their departure from the oven, I had been antsy to get my hands on some more of the puree. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one with this desire on my mind.

I swear, the pumpkin bug is just like the flu. Around this time every year, it spreads like an orange wildfire, and almost always I encounter a shortage at the grocery store. No more PUMPKIN!? What an autumn dilemma. How’s a girl supposed to experiment with pumpkin in everything from chili to hummus without a steady supply at my disposal?

If I were still in my school days, I’d hop my butt over to the closest farm patch and get my hands slimy with a fat, fresh ol’ jack-o-lanterm. (If you’ve never roasted one, the pumpkin seeds alone are totally worth the effort.) But those days are gone and my free time seems to be too.

Luckily, I still find time to stalk the grocery store. Perhaps if I ditched my grocery store hobby I’d have more free time…but then I wouldn’t be around for restock day. My last pumpkin purchase led me to this chili, which is given a nice creamy heartiness from the seasonal ingredient. The chili itself gets a full-bodied flavor from its heavy load of spices, complimented by an earthiness from the chard. That being said, don’t expect the pumpkin to be the star flavor here, although I could definitely picture actual pumpkin chunks or butternut squash as a nice addition to this dish.

Instead, as I said before, the pumpkin lends an element of richness to this dish—one that happens to be incredibly fiber-filled, fat-free, and packed with vitamin A. Like most chili, this makes a great tummy-warming meal for a crisp autumn day, and the pumpkin only adds to that feeling.

Autumn Pumpkin Chard Chili

Yield: Serves 7-8


  • -2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • -1 large onion, chopped
  • -1 bell pepper, diced
  • -4 cloves garlic, diced
  • -16 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • -2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • -1/4 cup dry red wine
  • -1 (15 oz.) can black beans
  • -1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans
  • -14 oz. Gimme Lean sausage style
  • -15 oz. (1 can) pumpkin puree
  • -1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • -2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • -2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • -1 bunch of chard, chopped
  • -2 Tbsp. ketchup, optional (will add a touch of sweetness)
  • -Liberal dashes of salt, pepper, and Cholula, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and bell pepper, and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté for another minute. Add mushrooms. Continue to cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms are nearly tender.
  2. Make a well in the vegetables. Break up vegetarian sausage with your hands and add to pan. Use spatula to stir and prevent from sticking as it begins to brown.
  3. Deglaze pan with wine. Add broth/water, and the entice contents of the cans of beans, diced tomatoes and pumpkin. Stir in chili powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and ketchup, if using.
  4. Bring to a low simmer, and let cook for 45 minutes, or until mixture reaches a creamy thickness. Add chard, and cook until wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper, and add Cholula or hot sauce, if desired. Serve with rice or cornbread.

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No Comments

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

    OK, I’ll bite….. Where’s the chard? Looking forward to the full recipe as I have LOADS of chard still to use! Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Chard is found in both the ingredient list and the directions. Just look carefully.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Yup, it’s there now, but wasn’t at 7 am this morning. 🙂

    Thanks for the update Grace!

  • Reply
    the candid rd
    October 22, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Sounds wonderful!! And, it even has ketchup in it 😉 Too cool!

  • Reply
    A Table in the Sun
    October 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I’m in the mood for comfort food…..and here’s just the dish to satisfy. The pumpkin bug bites me every year, and I don’t get over it until New Year’s Day. Bring on the orange stuff!

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      October 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      It’s a good bug to get. With cornbread, this is theeee comfort meal!

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