Pumpkin and White Bean Turkey Chili - Crock Pot Style

With cooler weather just around the corner and pumpkin infusing every menu item possible, it's the perfect time for a hearty fall meal. But many hearty meals come with their fair share of fat and calories - think Pot Pie, Beef Stew, Macaroni and Cheese, etc.

But hearty doesn't have to mean unhealthy. Our Pumpkin and White Bean Turkey Chili is satisfying, warm, cozy and won't leave you feeling guilty.

Here are our 3 top tips for making food hearty but healthy.
1. Use lean protein. Protein takes longer to digest and can keep you full longer. We use 99% lean ground turkey instead of traditional 80% fat ground beef. The recipe below has 75% less fat than traditional beef chilis.

2. Fill up on fiber. Fiber also takes a longer time to digest. It attracts water and can keep you feeling full several hours.  Tip: when making chilis, taco mixtures, or anything calling for ground meat, replace some of the meat with a can or two of beans. Beans expand the volume of the recipe without contributing excess calories.

3. Add veggies. You don't always have to add squash, broccoli and carrots to all of your stews and soups. This recipe uses canned pumpkin. Pumpkin adds a creamy texture, moisture and fiber to recipes. We promise no one in your family will know there is pumpkin in the chili.


1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1-15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2-15 oz cans of white beans (also called northern or white navy bean), rinsed and drained
1-4.5 oz can chopped green chilies
2 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Chives and cilantro for garnish
Greek Yogurt for garnish

A colorful arrangement of ingredients.


  • Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until slightly brown. Add onions and cook until translucent. Transfer to crock pot.

Saute garlic

Add the onions

Transfer the sauteed garlic and onions to the crock pot.
  • In the same skillet, brown ground turkey - about 5 minutes. Add oregano, chili powder and cumin and stir until combined. Cook an additional minute. Transfer to crock pot.
Brown the ground turkey

Add the oregano, chili powder and cumin to the browned turkey.
Combine and cook an additional minute.
  • Add pumpkin, bean, chilies, broth and bay leaves to turkey mixture. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 
Add the pumpkin, green chiles, beans, broth and bay leaves.

Mmmm... all that delicious pumpkin - don't worry your family won't even know it's in there.

  • Before serving, remove bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Garnish with Greek yogurt, cilantro and chives if desired. 
Garnish with Greek yogurt, chives and cilantro if desired. Otherwise, leave it gluten and dairy free!

Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 180
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 40mg
Sodium: 440mg
Carbohydrates: 14g
Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 3g
Protein: 29g

This recipe works out to ~$2.00 per serving (prices are from Market Street in October 2014).

This chili goes great with Market Street's Good n Grainy Bread from the bakery. It also looks beautiful on dishes from our Dish department.

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