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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Simply Cooking with Sierra: Fall Pumpkin Chili

Hello fall, we are warmly welcoming you in this season, as this year has been nonstop crazy for us all. Nothing like a good bowl of homemade chili to make you feel better, am I right? To twist things up, we are making it even more fall-, spooky season-, Halloween-themed.

“Personally, leftover chili is my favorite, as it is bursting with much more taste from marinating in the spices and sauces.”

We’re taking everyday chili and adding some pumpkin flavor into the mix. If this doesn’t scream fall, then I don’t know what does. Chili must be one of the easiest and among the healthier meals out there and can really be on the menu year-round.


This specific recipe can be catered to one’s needs as well. It can be gluten-free, paleo or vegan. Depending on your preference, add or substitute what is needed. That is what is so great about chili — anything goes. If you have tomatoes and spices, we’re on a roll for a yummy recipe.

Make sure you have the necessary spices, as those are what make the chili itself. Beans are a magical fruit, and these are a necessity as well when it comes to chili. Without them, it’s like a sandwich without bread, which essentially isn’t a sandwich.

The best thing about chili, I have to say, is that you can freeze it and have copious amounts of leftovers without it going bad. Personally, leftover chili is my favorite, as it is bursting with much more taste from marinating in the spices and sauces.

If you go the leftover route, make sure you store it in a proper freezer-safe bag or Tupperware. That way when you go get it, there are no popped bags, spilled chili or any surprise messes when you are craving that midnight meal.

As for flavor, if you want it a bit more spicy, since this recipe is more on the mild side, add in a bit more chili powder to give it a kick.


(All ingredients were purchased from King Soopers)

1 pound ground turkey Jenny-O brand $4.99
1 red bell pepper $1.50
1 white onion $2.25
1 teaspoon garlic powder $1.00
1 teaspoon onion powder $1.00
1 teaspoon chili powder $1.00
1 tablespoon cumin $1.00
Dash of salt & pepper $1.00 & $1.00
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans $0.79 
1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans $0.79
1 (15 ounce) pumpkin puree $1.19
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes $1.00

In a large pot on medium-low heat, drizzle some olive oil and add the ground turkey while breaking the meat up so it can cook easier. Don’t forget to add in a dash of pepper.


While the meat is cooking, chop up the onion and red bell pepper in small, chunk-sized pieces and add to the pot. As the meat and veggies are cooking, add in your spices: garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin and salt.

Once everything is cooked through properly — it takes about 10-15 minutes depending on how high or low your heat is — add the pumpkin puree, undrained beans and tomatoes to the pot. Once all the ingredients are in, cover for 20 minutes with the heat still on medium-low. Remove from heat and you’re done. Enjoy!

Sierra Grimm can be reached at or on Twitter @CSURam5.

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