Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream

paleo pumpkin chili

“Oh dear Lord, not another Paleo chili recipe!” I know. You’ve seen tens if not hundreds of chili recipes and you’ve probably eaten it that many times too. You’re probably sick of it. But, please, let us explain…

Making this spice mixture yourself is the key to the unique flavor of this chili. No chili seasoning packets allowed beyond this point! We took our chili “base” and pumped it up with some fresh pumpkin (canned would work beautifully, as well). Then for le pièce de résistance, we conjured up the avocado cream–it’s like guacamole, but not, all at the same time. It’s an unexpected, quirky, refreshing boost of flavor that kicks the chili up a level.


For the Chili

2 lbs ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 sugar pumpkin, diced (about 3 cups) or a 14 oz can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie)
1 (28 oz) can diced, fire roasted tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (7 oz) can diced, roasted green chilies
1 c chicken or beef stock
FOC (fat of choice)

Chili Spice Mixture

2 T chili powder
2 T cumin
1 T paprika
2 t salt
2 t coriander
2 t cinnamon
2 t cocoa powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne

Orange, Coriander Avocado Cream

2 avocados
zest of 1 orange
juice of 2 oranges
1 t coriander
1/2 t salt


For the Chili

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat with a tablespoon of your F.O.C. Add the beef and let it brown. Try not to stir it too much until you get some color on one side but make sure you break up the pieces. This should take 5-8 minutes.

While you’re browning your beef make your spice mixture. In a medium bowl, mix up all the spices.

We like to brown the beef first so we can use the fat that renders out to cook the vegetables. So, using a slotted spoon remove the beef and place in the spice mixture bowl…leaving the fat in the pot. Add your diced onion and garlic. Let those two saute for a few minutes (3-4) stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened. Add your diced or canned pumpkin.

Cover and cook about another 8-10  minutes, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin begins to get tender (check with a fork). Add the rest of ingredients and the beef/spice mixture. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer to let all the flavors “meld”.  When you’re happy with the texture, you’re done.

For the Cream

Add all ingredients to a bowl or a food processor and blend until smooth.

94 thoughts on “Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream

  1. Krista Reply

    This recipe is amazing! My kids love it and everyone i shared it with thought it was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

  2. Kaci Reply

    I can’t believe I’ve only just now discovered your website. My sister just told me about it and I’m obsessed! I made this chili last night and absolutely loved it! I couldn’t find pumpkin puree at the store so I used butternut squash puree instead. Super yummy. Also, I used 1 lb. of ground turkey and 1lb. of chicken chorizo. The spice mixture you’ve created is genius! Thank you!

  3. kate Reply

    This looks really good. I would like to try it. How many servings is this recipe by chance? I am not good at estimating those kinds of things.

  4. stacy Reply

    Oh my heck … this is SO good!! I didn’t have ground beef so I used chicken breast instead and it was completely amazing! I can’t wait to try it with beef … I’m sure it adds a different kind of yummy richness. This will now be a once monthly paleo freezer staple. <3

    • stacy Reply

      I made it again (with chicken) just one week later, because I love it SO much. I use diced jalapenos this time too, because I prefer a super spicy chili. Amazing. Love you for sharing!

  5. Beth Reply

    I just recently started trying to eat clean and wanted a yummy pumpkin chili recipe to try. I came across this recipe through another blog, and decided I had to try it after all the rave reviews. I used canned pumpkin, and reduced the beef to 1.5lbs. I also added a diced jalapeno because I love spicy. With the avocado cream, I added in a small container of fat free plain Greek yogurt, and used lime instead of orange. The results were amazing! It was super easy, the spice mix is unique, and the avocado cream is totally worth the extra effort on top of making the chili. Both my boyfriend and I decided this was a complete winner and I will probably be making it over and over again until it’s too hot outside for chili!

  6. Ben Reply

    “Add your diced onion and garlic. Let those two saute for a few minutes (3-4) stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened. Add your diced or canned pumpkin.”

    Am I adding the onion and garlic to the beef/spice mixture or the pot? And the pumpkin as well?

  7. Beverly Reply

    I took this dish to a chili dog potluck tonight and it was a big hit. People went back for more and asked for the recipe.

  8. Nicole Hicks Reply

    Made this for dinner tonight. It is so good. I was hesitant about the avocado cream but it really compliments the chili. Thanks for a great recipe!

  9. JaciK Reply

    This chili looks amazing! perfect for the upcoming cold weather. How many servings does this make and how much is a serving? I think my boys are tired of chili (been making it a lot), so I might need to scale this down for just me and some lunch leftovers.

  10. Lynn Reply

    This has become my absolute favorite chili recipe. Thank you! Making it for Christmas night and Boxing Day dinners. Delicious!

  11. Lenchen Raeside Reply

    This chili is excellent! It is about 20 below here and we wanted a paleo soup. I used 1/2 mild sausage and half beef. Fabulous! Thank you.

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