Pumpkin Chili

Courtesy of the Illinois Cooperative Extension.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 medium pumpkin, 4 to 5 pounds, or 2 cups solid pack pumpkin
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground turkey or beef
4 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 cup whole corn kernels
1/2 cup diced green chilies, to taste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and fresh pepper, to taste

Cut lid in top of pumpkin; set aside. Remove seeds and pits; replace lid. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Scoop out pumpkin flesh, leaving at least 1/2 inch in hold pumpkin shape. Dice pumpkin and set aside. Reserve pumpkin shell.

In 6 quart saucepan, saute onion, garlic and bell pepper in oil for 5 minutes until tender. Add ground meat; cook, stirring, until browned. Drain. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, reserved pumpkin (2 to 3 fresh or 2 cups canned), kidney beans, corn, chilies, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover, simmer 30 minutes or to desired consistency. Stir often. Adjust seasoning. Serve from reserved pumpkin shell. Garnish if desired with shredded cheese and sour cream. Serve over cooked rice.

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