Black Bean Turkey Chili

Weeknight Chili - Black Bean Turkey Chili

It is Fall and just enough chill is in the air here in Austin that I can start cooking warm, comforting and nourishing foods again. The other evening I knew that we had little time between music lessons and parent schedules for a big dinner and realized it was just the night for chili, a household favorite. Chili is one of those meals that is so adaptable and quick. I scanned my pantry, surveyed that I had multiple types of beans, canned tomatoes and an excess of canned pumpkin. Pumpkin black bean turkey chili for dinner! Chili is one of those great meals that uses pantry staples like beans, &tomatoes and lends itself to quick prep.

Because chili is so adaptable, I rarely cook it the same - sometimes black bean, sometimes pinto or kidney. Often I chop up whatever greens I have in excess or add frozen spinach. If I want vegetarian I might put in bulgur, quinoa or lentils. I make it with ground turkey or ground beef, just depends on what is in the pantry.

Here's my recipe for a quick, comforting weeknight chili - Enjoy!

Black Bean Turkey Chili with pumpkin


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped finely or grated
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 3 cans black beans (or substitute pinto, kidney or combination).
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (I love the fire roasted Muir Glen tomatoes)
  • 1 can pumpkin


  • 1 cup chopped greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard) or frozen spinach
  • Cilantro (1/4 cup)


In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the diced onions and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Next add shredded carrots and optional greens. Add the spices and salt to taste. Cook another minute until aromatic. Add 2 cans of beans, drained and 1 can of beans not drained. Add the tomatoes (with liquid), pumpkin, & cilantro, mixing everything together. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Top with shredded cheese, chopped jalapeños, cilantro, or diced onions. Serve over brown rice or quinoa if you like.