Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Chili has never tasted so good! This comforting bowl of chili makes a delicious fall meal, and is great to serve to guests. Flavored with two different peppers, spices, and a creamy texture everyone will love this variation! Make this easy dinner on the stovetop or Instant Pot. Paleo and Whole30 variations also included.
It’s that time of year where I look for any possible way to eat more pumpkin recipes! As a nutritionist, I even love to use pumpkin in savory recipes. It adds such an element of richness, but also packs in antioxidants like Vitamin A and C, but also a good amount of fiber and magnesium.
Are you on board the savory pumpkin recipes? This Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Chili was created years ago while entertaining a group of friends for a scary movie night. They all absolutely loved it, and everyone immediately wanted the recipe. Since then, it frequently makes appearances at a chili cookoff (has taken home a first place prize), and many of my friends love making this during our fall gatherings. It’s creamy, decadent, cozy, and so comforting on a chilly fall evening!
But here’s the thing…….What kept me from posting this recipe over the years, was that my original variation contains cream cheese to create this sour, and creamy texture. It’s pretty darn delicious. But since I have had a difficult time digesting dairy, I have generally keep it out of my diet completely. So while on Whole30 this past month, I figured I would come up with a way to enjoy it without the cream cheese.
How to make Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Chili:
- You’ll first gather up your list of ingredients: chicken breast, medium sized onion, poblano peppers, jalapeño peppers, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, diced tomatoes, canned pumpkin, diced green chilis, chicken broth, and either cream cheese or coconut milk (see variations below)
- Cook the chicken, onion, and peppers. You can also make this step even easier by using pre-cooked chicken.
- Toss in the spices, pumpkin, and tomatoes. Then add in the chicken broth. Heat up the mixture, then reduce to a simmer to let the flavors meld.
- Now add in the cream cheese or coconut milk give it the creamy texture. Simmer for another 10 minutes before serving!
Instant Pot Variation:
Yes, you can make this in the Instant Pot!
- Select the saute function on the IP, and cook the chicken and veggies similar to the stovetop version. Select cancel.
- Now add in the canned tomatoes, pumpkin, diced green chilis, and chicken broth. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Use a quick release, then remove the lid and shred the chicken. Stir in the cream cheese or coconut milk before serving.
So friends, I am happy to give you a few options for this recipe.
- Cream Cheese: If using the coconut milk in place of the cream cheese, also include 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast. This will create a “Cheesy” type flavor.
- Beans: If not following a Paleo or Whole30 diet and you can tolerate beans, add in a full can of drained Navy Beans (Great Northern Beans). You can also replace the chicken with beans for a vegetarian option.
- Peppers: If you want to omit the poblano pepper (not spicy), you can also use a red or green bell pepper in it’s place. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce is also a good addition! These are spicy, so use with caution.
Serving and Storing:
Serve with all of your favorite toppings!! Avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and more! If you’re looking for the perfect fall meal, this chili would be amazing paired with my Apple Slaw Recipe or Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette!
This recipe is still good for 7 days in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Chili
Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Chili makes a cozy and delicious fall themed dinner! Less than 30 minutes and one pot is all you need. You can also make this in the the Instant Pot for ultimate, hands off ease.
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast or 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 med onion chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers chopped remove seeds to make it less spicy
- 2 poblano peppers chopped
- 2 tablespoons of chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 15 oz of diced tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1 15 oz can of pumpkin purée
- 2 small cans of diced green chili peppers
- 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
full fat coconut milk or 1 8 oz package of cream cheese*optional but makes for a thicker and creamier chili
- Chopped cilantro shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack for garnish
Begin by heating a large pot to medium high heat. Cut your raw chicken breasts in small chunks (or skip this and use pre-cooked chicken). Coat the pot with oil, toss in chicken and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until no longer pink. Set aside. Keep oil in pot (or add more if needed).
Place onion in pot and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add both poblano and jalapeño peppers. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until softened.
Add chicken back to the pot. Coat chicken and vegetables with spices and salt. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, green chilis, and chicken broth and heat to medium high stirring for a few minutes to let flavors mix well.
Reduce heat to low, and add coconut milk or cream cheese. Continue to stir until milk or cheese is well incorporated and creamy.
Serve hot and garnish with fresh cilantro.
*If using the coconut milk, you can also add in 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast for a “cheesy” flavor.