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.


113 responses to “Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream”

  1. do you have the nutritional information for this?

    1. we do not. if anyone has a great resource for getting it, we’d love to know also.

  2. Just made this for dinner, and it was outstanding!! I made it with 1 pound of beef, and 1 pound of lamb. It was very, very good. Thanks for the great web site!

    1. thank you so much andrew!

  3. I’m a visitor from another Crossfit and this is literally the BEST paleo chilli recipe I’ve made!

    The pumpkin REALLY makes a difference!

  4. maybe we’ll take this one to a chili cook-off. thanks for the vote of confidence. where is your affiliate?

  5. Just made this and boy is this good. Great recipe!!! I love your site and will be telling all my paleo pals about this one!!! Thank you.

  6. thanks Jo. hope they like it as much as you did.

  7. I’m in Atlanta at Crossfit Peachtree. I have NEVER posted comments on a recipe blog but this was really just too good =)

    I have a few more folks from my gym I directed to your website.

    1. we were just talking about that last night–why do we (people, in general) leave reviews and comments. we came up with two reasons: you really, really hate something or you really, really like something. we’re glad it was the latter for you. haha. thanks for spreadin’ the word jasmine.

  8. Kelli Floyd

    Made this tonight and it was absolutely wonderful. The cream really set it off nicely. By the way Lee went back for seconds again!!! (although he didn’t eat the cream, which was his loss)

  9. Just made the chili but used elk burger instead of ground beef and used 1 cup puree pumpkin and 1/2 cup leftover chopped butternut squash. It turned out wonderfully and now i have lots of leftovers!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe! The avocado cream worked perfectly with the recipe. You guys are so awesome!

    1. we’ve missed you juli! hahaha. thanks girl!

  10. Haha, i’ve still been making your food, just thought i was becoming a comment freak lol. I made the paleo pad thai for my family and boyfriend this past weekend and they LOVED it!! I’m trying to learn from your recipes to make my own, but i still stink at it lol. Someday!

  11. I just made this the other week and it turned out absolutely awesome. You’re right, the spice mixture is the key. I now have a chili recipe to destroy my friends’ bean oriented lame-o chili.

    p.s. The avocado cream is phenomenal .. this could actually rival ice cream in my opinion.

    1. we’re so glad you liked it! i’ve been playing around with making avocado ice cream–amongst other avocado-y things. we’re pretty obsessed with the “alligator pear.”

  12. Elyse Merchant

    I LOVED THIS recipe! Actually got someone to convert to Paleo through this recipe! haha 🙂 Is there any nutrition information i.e. calories, protein, carbs, sodium, etc?

    1. alright, i worked on the nutrition info for you on this one. see the update to the post. keep in mind anyone can analyze any recipe with some good online resources for building recipes. the one i used is http://nutritiondata.self.com/, but there are others out there. we generally don’t get too wrapped up with the macros and just feel good knowing we know each ingredient in the recipe will make for some clean eating. glad you liked it, thanks so much for the feedback.

  13. Wow. Thanks for the recipe. Made it once these week, and all the leftovers were carried away by my friends. Making it again today.

    Seriously the best chili recipe I’ve ever used.

    1. that means so much to us…thank you thank you thank you kevin!

  14. Loved the flavor in this recipe!! Definitely the best chili I’ve ever had – Paleo or not. The avocado cream is very creative and unusual – yet also tasty. I can’t wait to eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

  15. YUM!! I made this last night. A couple changes:
    -Roasted the pumpkin at 400 degrees beforehand to get some caramelization
    -Used 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of Ro*Tel (that’s all I had); left them undrained and thus didn’t add any broth
    -Used dark meat ground turkey instead of beef
    -Used storebought guacamole (Wholly Guacamole) instead of making the avocado cream

    It was delicious!! My husband loved it, he was still talking about it this morning!

    1. so glad ya’ll enjoyed it erica. you gotta doctor up that store-bought guac with some of the ‘cream’ ingredients and let us know what you think.

  16. Made this one last night and it was great! My wife and I have tried a bunch of your recipes and I think this one is our new favorite. Gotta love a recipe that takes 20 minutes to make, tastes amazing, and gives a few days of leftovers.

    1. that should be our new slogan. hahaha. glad ya’ll liked it shawn!

  17. […] 30, 2010 by The Foodee Pumpkin Chili […]

  18. Just made this with canned pumpkin and it was great! Thanks so much for the recipe

  19. ok, I bought several pumpkins around halloween with the intention of saving them for cooking. I decided to make this chili and roasted it in one of the pumpkins. So I made the chili as described but then filled the pumpkin with it and roasted it at 320 for about 2.5 hours. It did leak a little, but it ended up so pretty! Then I just scraped the inside of the pumpkin while serving to give people pumpkin with their chili. once the avocado was added, it was perfect, and it was quite a conversation piece bringing out a whole pumpkin to the table. I took a picture, but I’m not sure how to upload it.

  20. Virginia

    I made this last night with canned pumpkin and some extra vegetables that I needed to use up, and it was amazing! My favorite part was the spice mixture on the meat – I wanted to eat half the beef before it got to the pot, and I’m not even a big fan of meat. My husband especially loved the avocado cream; I only used one orange worth of juice, but it was already VERY orange-y. All told this is another fantastic recipe that we’re definitely going to make again!

    Bridget – what a fun idea with the pumpkin!

  21. Brianne

    This sounds delicious – can you tell me how many people this would serve?

  22. The flavor combination in this is freakin’ incredible. I had to restrain myself from mass quantities of “taste tests” during the cooking process so there would be enough for the fam. Well done, as usual!

  23. All I can say is Holy Cow! This stuff rocks!!! I decided to make this at about 11PM after to going to the store. SOOOO glad I did! I don’t care that it’s August and still in the upper 70’s this stuff is good anytime of the year! Love your website and all your recipes. If it wasn’t for you guys I would probably be starving 😉 Keep it up!

  24. Oh dear lord! This was, hands down, the best chili I’ve ever eaten. I made it for a friend who graciously accepts the role of guinea pig when I’m trying out new recipes and we both sat there groaning and moaning throughout the whole meal. I’m sure that anyone who heard us thought there was something kinky going on! This is going to be a regular occurance at my hourse and the avocado cream was simply amazing. I will be making that again and using it as a veggie dip! Thanks so much for this little gem!

    1. you are very welcome launie. thanks for amazing review!!

  25. Think I will make this recipe for the football game this weekend. The reviews sold me! I make my own avocado cream all the time for turkey burgers and fish tacos. Can’t wait to try it with the orange. Thanks you guys. love the website. Helps to keep my paleo train movin 🙂

  26. […] awesome recipe (well, 2 recipes actually!) should more than make up for it! Here’s a link to the original, and here’s the way I made it…Pumpkin Chili:1 lb ground grass-fed beef 1 lb ground […]

  27. This was AWESOME. I used the spice mixture exactly as is and the cream mixture (minus coriander and S&P…forgot to add them). The chili I used 2 yellow onions, 1 fresh tomato and one large can of diced tomatoes, then several massive handfuls of the inside of my regular old pumpkin we just carved. I had between 2 and 3 pounds of ribeye meat cut up in cubes marinating in my fridge so I just used all of that and omitted the stock. This had an amazing flavor even though I kinda bumbled my way through it with the “big” ingredients. Definitely a keeper!

  28. Tried this out this weekend and my husband cannot stop raving about it.! That avocado cream with the orange was delicious and a great touch. Passing this on to a neighbor of mine- who wants to try it out. We will definitely be making this again.!

    1. awesome. thanks lauren!

  29. Maybe a silly question, but what is FOC in the ingredients list?

    1. megan keatley

      not silly at all. it’s just my acronym for fat of choice. i don’t always specify which type of fat i think you should use (olive oil, butter, coconut oil, etc)–b/c i don’t think it matters that much, so i just put f.o.c.

      i have updated the recipe to spell out the acronym. thanks for bring it to my attention.

  30. May be the best thing I have eaten in months! Thank you, thank you!!

    1. oh my goodness, what a compliment. thank you so much tricia!

  31. Holy Health-Bent, Batman! That is an amazing recipe…one of the best, in fact! I added some bell pepper and a jalapeño (I had one and I like spicy), used 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground turkey, and subbed lime for the orange (that’s what I had) in the avocado cream. This one will be a repeat for sure…hubby approved even though I made it a tad too spicy for him. I’m new to paleo eating and you guys have great recipes. When can we expect to see a cookbook in iBooks?

    1. thank you so much cindy. we’ve been approached but turned down the offer. no cookbook on the horizon for us.

  32. Bummer, but the blog is great and I frequently look to you guys for inspiration. Keep up the delicious and easy meals!

  33. Hey there! This recipe and the others I’ve tried from your website are phenomenal! The avocado cream is so good. I felt like professional chef whipping that up! Thank you for sharing your creativity.

    1. thank you so much bridget!!!

  34. Made this yesterday and added some extra veggies (red bell peppers and zucchini). Turned out fantastic! Thanks so much!

    1. you are very welcome. glad you enjoyed it jen!

  35. Jenny Griffith

    This CHILI was the bomb. i never leave reply’s about recipes and this chili is outstanding. LOVE the avacado creme on top:)

    1. well then we reallllllly appreciate the comment jenny! so glad you liked it!

  36. I made this last night and it turned out great!! The avocado cream is really refreshing! I had to ask the guy at the store where the canned pumpkin was and he asked if I was baking pie. I told him I was making Chili and he gave me a strange look!!

  37. […] Pumpkins!! We just started picking and setting them out by the road. They too eagerly wait for someone to claim them and transform them into a Halloween jack-o-lantern, pumpkin pie, or maybe even pumpkin chilli! […]

  38. […] 4 Breakfast: Banana Maple Nut Muffins and bacon Lunch: leftover chicken salad salad Dinner: Pumpkin Chilli with Avocado cream and […]

  39. This recipe probably doesn’t need much more support, but I’m gonna add my 2 cents anyway.

    Absoloutely stunning! This has got to be the most interesting and delicious chili I’ve ever tasted, really wonderful thanks so much.

  40. This chili was delicious! My kids (5 and 7) asked for it for BREAKFAST this morning! I thought it would last a few days….no so much:)

    1. hahaha. love it! thanks tammy!

  41. Do you know about how many servings this recipe makes! Cant wait to try it!!

  42. Do you know about how many servings this recipe makes? Cant wait to try it!!

    1. it really depends on how much you eat, ya know?

  43. Megan and Brandon, I made this yesterday for an Avocados From Mexico party I was hosting. Most of the people there eat Paleo but there were some non-Paleo folks too. This got great reviews from our guests and it made a lot! I doubled the recipe and it was perfect. The citrus-y avocado cream was a great complement to the hearty chili. The avocado cream brightened up the complex flavors of the chili. I used canned pumpkin and no one guessed there was pumpkin in it. This is a great recipe for Fall. Next time, I will brown up the meat and add all the ingredients to a crock pot for a weeknight meal, to let all the flavors meld together. So, so good!

    1. Thanks for the review Liz. I was wondering whether to cook this for our party too since most of us eat Paleo. I guess it’s a no-brainer now.

    2. yay! so glad everyone liked it!

  44. Delicious!!! I made this for the first time tonight and both my boyfriend and I loved it. This will a great go to recipe for chilly Wisconsin winter nights. Thank you for sharing!

  45. Hi! My husband and I are on day 24 of the Whole30 diet. I made this chili tonight and it was BY FAR the best paleo meal we’ve eaten since starting the Whole30! Absolutely phenomenal! Thanks for sharing it!

    1. oh my! well thank you very much andrea!

  46. I try out a lot of recipes I find online and get a lot of mixed results but this was AMAZING. I have never even left a comment on a recipe before.
    The chili with the pumpkin was great enough and made/ate that way too many days last week but ran out of most of the ingredients to make it again (and yes, I wanted to make it again). I think I’m addicted to the spice mixture- I ended up putting it on some chicken I had and cooking it down over some vegetables and it was still great.


    1. Lizzie,

      We are honored to receive your first recipe comment! Thank you so much.

  47. This recipe is great! I had my doubts making it since I’m not a big fan of cumin. But, I stuck to the amounts listed and hoped that the cumin would mellow out a bit in it. My husband and I both loved it and will definitely be making it again. The avocado cream is a fantastic way to top it. Can’t wait to try some other recipes from your site and see if they come out as good.

  48. I’m sooooooo over chili. But this is wicked/badass/flaming brill! Love the pumpkin addition. That is truly amazeballs.

    WELL DONE!!!

  49. Great chili my daughter and I both loved it and we had plenty to freeze for later. The avacado cream was great too and I cut the avacado cream in half cause there is only the two of us but it still made plenty could have feed three or four people depending. Would also work well with fish or shrimp tacos.

  50. […] boys from school and bus stops and making dinner. After seeing my friend Jenny post about this Paleo Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream recipe, I decided that I needed to try […]

  51. […] Dinner was leftover pumpkin paleo chili with avocado cream. […]

  52. 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.

  53. 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!

  54. 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.

  55. […] squash lasagna (with a new method), guacamole stuffed pepper poppers, pizza bites, pad thai, pumpkin chili, and a few more; but the other 110+ recipes are brand spankin’ […]

  56. 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

    1. 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!

  57. 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!

  58. “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?

  59. Best chili ever!!

  60. 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.

  61. Nicole Hicks

    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!

  62. This is freaking delicious!!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  63. This chili recipe is amazing! I love the avacado cream.

  64. 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.

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

  66. 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.

  67. I am so glad it is finally Fall so I can make this chili. This has become my absolute favorite. Well, I guess I don’t have to wait until Fall but I think the colder weather and rain make this chili taste even better!

  68. It’s so yummy! If I wanted to replaced the ground beef with a more “stew” / “chunky meat” what are your suggestions.

  69. I am a doof. Do I put in coriander seeds? Or ground? (What if I only have seeds…)

  70. […] eating jamón galore had a bigger impact than I realized! Transforming a tried and true recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Chili, in all its meaty, bean-free glory, into more than five gallons of a meat-free, soy-free fall […]

  71. […] finally, I would be remiss not to mention this mouth orgasm of a chili recipe I stumbled upon recently. I offer no embellishments when I tell you that a man professed his love […]

  72. Love. Made this last night. Awesome.

  73. […] Paleo Pumpkin Chili | Health-Bent.comHealth-Bent – “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…. […]

  74. A friend made this for our family get together and I suggested she not mention the ingredients list as some might act peckish and, after all enjoyed it as the best chili (even over my Cincinnati Chili recipe) no one cared about the ingredients because it is so good. This will be my go to recipe from now on. I love some of the suggested modifications too. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to following your site in the future and passing it on to others.

  75. MY FAVORITE MEAL!! I will never eat another chili again. I’ve made this recipe twenty times and my husband and I are always amazed at how awesome it is. I do however use GROUND WHITE TURKEY. I love beef, but I can’t have a lot of it. And truthfully, in this chili, the turkey is really good. It’s firm and holds up nicely in the chili. Thanks for this recipe, it is a staple in my house!

  76. team_paddlebug

    Out of curiosity did you mean cilantro when you said coriander? I thought coriander seed when I saw your from north America but after I made the avocado and tasted it, I thought maybe cilantro…. but I still Like it all

  77. Thank goodness it’s pumpkin season again! I’ve made this with the canned pumpkin but it’s better with the chunks of real pumpkin. I’ve been making this for Andre years and it’s still a favorite!

  78. Darn auto correct! No idea who Andre is! I’ve been making this for the last few years…

  79. […] Slow Cooker Habanero Chili recipe from My Heart Beets 2. Paleo Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream from Health-Bent 3. Paleo Chili with Butternut Squash from Paleo Table 4. Paleo Chili with Sweet […]

  80. Caitlin McCord

    I’ve been making this recipe for 4 years on the stovetop with my dutch oven, letting it simmer to get the flavors to blend. I made it for the first time in my Instant Pot last night with a 50/50 blend of grassfed ground beef and venison. It was so quick and just as tasty (if not more so) than my long-simmered verison! Just one more reason to live the IP and this delicious recipe!!! 😀

  81. This looks so good. I’m going to add it to my nutrifix app meal planner. Thank you so much.

  82. I don’t know if you all are checking comments on here anymore but I just want to say that I’ve been making this recipe for years and it is SO delicious! Thank you so for coming up with that avocado cream recipe. 🙂

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