Do It Yourself: Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Okay-- it's not super pretty but it tastes good.

I’m making pumpkin turkey chili AS WE SPEAK (the simmer-for-20-minutes part… multi-tasking). These pictures are from the first time I made it, over a month ago. My mom found the recipe at Ralph’s and gave it to me. That version called for stove cooking followed by crock-potting, but I found another version with the EXACT same ingredients that only called for a 20-minute simmer. So I went with it.

I realized tonight that I’ve been totally remiss in not sharing this with you. I think it’s awesome, my mom made it and thought that it was a little bland. Stirring in the cheese and eating it with some nice bread helps a lot. Last time I used dinner rolls, this time I’m going with some awesome-looking sourdough bread.


Both sides indent in like that, which seems legit? And exciting? (To me, at least.) I think it would also make for some excellent grilled cheese. (And you’ll have cheddar, thanks to this recipe.)

Randomly, I like to cook while listening to Marc Maron’s WTF podcasts. I happened to listen to the Jon Hamm interview the first time I made this, so I will always associate this chili with Jon Hamm. He makes cooking a somewhat involved recipe alone in your kitchen a LOT more fun. (Bonus for the Bridesmaids fans: “But can he do THIS?”)


Anyway, on to some pictures of the chili.


Here we are.

I learned my lesson and bought pre-diced onions. Also– don’t fear the chili powder. It doesn’t make it too spicy. (When cooking I use just a dash of regular salt, but when serving I dash a little kosher salt on top– kosher salt is special. It tastes like angels.) (I refuse to explain how I know what angels taste like.)

The smell of the veggies sauteeing will make you glad that you decided to cook this. Yee-um. I think they’d also be great on pizza. (Yellow and green peppers, diced onions, and garlic– it’s as if somebody knew I don’t like red peppers and decided not to invite them. Cool)

You guys smell great.

Pro-tip: When you add the turkey, you have to pause your podcast. It gets too loud and sizzly, and you miss out on how exactly Jon Hamm met Paul Rudd and have to go back (or today– an anecdote about Gabe Liedman doing stand-up at a Jewish summer camp in Georgia).

After the turkey browns, it’s time for the good stuff– the pumpkin and tomato! (Can I just add that BOTH times I made this, I got the LAST can of pumpkin puree at my local store. It was okay in early October, but at this point– COME ON! Stock up!)

It all fits! Whew.

You also add the spices. Now it’s time to stir it all up and simmer.

For some really stupid reason I bought a 12-inch pan without a lid. I very expressly was like, I don’t want a stupid lid! STUPID! Now I regret that choice, as I have to MacGuyver my lid with tin foil. Pro tip: Get a pan with a lid. Stupid.

A peek inside my madness.

And when it’s all said and done, it looks like this. And it lasts for a few delicious days, but not an overwhelming number (a la crock pot).

Eat me.

None of my plated shots looked particularly appetizing, but it’s good enough that I’ve made it twice already. A nice bowl of pumpkin-y turkey chili on a rainy and/or cold November night– what could be more delightful? (Okay, maybe the actual presence of Jon Hamm, but I don’t have any recipe for making THAT happen.)


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