I’m not going to lie to you guys… when it comes to football I’m kinda the worst. I’ve tried super hard to be all about it, but I’m just not. If I am actually AT the game it is a little different, I can stay attentive the whole time, but at home? Meh. But the tailgating? Now that I can get down with. Tailgate food gets a bad rap for being super “unhealthy”, which first of all, there isn’t anything that’s going to make you unhealthy, but I agree, sometimes it’s not the most nourishing or doesn’t make you feel fab. BUT, it totally doesn’t have to be that way. Let me prove it to you with this crockpot pumpkin turkey chili!

Crockpot Pumpkin turkey chili with beer bread

This past weekend was a big weekend here in Michigan with the University of Michigan VS Michigan State University game and my sister invented the whole fam over. She went to U of M and I went to MSU, so we’ve got a little house divided action going on. That lady gets a liiiiittle (lot) more heated about football than I do. So, I decided to bring a peace offering with me of this crockpot pumpkin turkey chili. Guess what? Worked like a charm!

Crockpot Pumpkin Turkey Chili served with beer bread

The weather was totes suboptimal- super windy and stormy- and there ended up being an hour delay due to thunder. Sounded like a huge bummer, but once we dove into this chili no one seemed to mind.

This crockpot pumpkin turkey chili is LOADED with veggies- meaning it’s packed with a variety of nutrients. One of my top dietitian cooking secrets? Double the veggies. It is a great way to add bulk to dish and sneak in some extra nutrients.

crockpot pumpkin turkey chili

Here are some of the All-Star ingredients of this recipe:

  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin is most known for being packed with Vitamin A (that’s what gives it its vibrant orange color!) This vitamin helps keep eyesight sharp and can help to improve immunity.
  • Beans: Beans are a fabulous way to increase both fiber and protein content of a dish. Protein and fiber both work to keep you full and lessen those constant thoughts of food from being hungry. Plus, I’m just going to lay it out there that fiber is super important for keeping you regular… If ya know what I’m saying..
  • Ground meat: Really, you can use any ground meat you want. I simply have better access to turkey where I shop, but beef or even chicken would be fab here too! Again that protein can help keep you nice and full.

I know, sounds like all fabulous stuff, right? And I haven’t even talked about how it TASTES. Let’s just say my oldest (and pickiest) nephew downed it. Along with a massive slice of the Mr.’s famous beer bread. That is a true testament to how delicious it is.

Two other things to note about this recipe:

  1. It’s SO easy to throw together.
  2. You are left with NO HALF CANS! I absolutely hate when recipes call for “1/2 can of beans”, then I’m stuck trying to find a way to use the other half. Nope, not this one!

Take a second to pin this recipe to your Pinterest board so you don’t lose it, because trust me, you’ll want it for the next tailgate you go to or even just a on a chili night! Ya’ see what I did there? So punny.

Crockpot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Crockpot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Yield: ~12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

This crockpot pumpkin turkey chili will be the hit of your next tailgate! It's easy to throw together and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!


  • 3 medium to large carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 can milk chili beans
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 can low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of red pepper flakes


  1. Peel carrots.
  2. Dice carrots, celery and onion. Place in a 6-quart crockpot.
  3. Add all canned goods to crockpot.
  4. Add turkey to crockpot, use a spoon to break it up to avoid large chunks.
  5. Either use a garlic press or finely mince garlic and add to crockpot.
  6. Add all spices.
  7. Mix all ingredients together until just combined.
  8. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  9. Serve hot, may top with cheese, plain greek yogurt, and/or green onion if desired.


Happy eating,


crockpot pumpkin turkey chili