Slow Cooker Black Bean Quinoa Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Delicious slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili with black beans and quinoa! This protein packed, creamy pumpkin chicken chili recipe is perfectly spiced and wonderful paired with a side of cornbread.

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
6 hours
Total Time
6 hour 10 mins

Everyone’s raging about the Instant Pot and meanwhile I’m over here still obsessing over my slow cooker like an old school Martha Stewart. Guys, I really need to get with it.

Good news is that I’m about to drop it like it’s hot because I just ordered an Instant Pot during Cyber Monday. To be completely honest, I also got approximately 63 other things (mostly for myself and our home) and realized that I most likely just got sucked into buying things just because there was a sale. YOLO

*sips another glass of wine while shopping on the Nordstrom app*

Before we get into the recipe, I want to know how FREAKING thankful I am for all of you. I kept thinking about it over Thanksgiving and just want to say thanks for making my recipes and being such an awesome, supporting and encouraging community.

You never cease to make my days brighter. So again, thanks for being here!

Okay, okay! Enough with the sappy stuff, we’re on a chili mission, people.

pumpkin chicken chili in a bowl with a spoon and a lime wedge

Ingredients in pumpkin chicken chili

This pumpkin chicken chili is CRAZY GOOD and full of nourishing ingredients. You wouldn’t think that adding pumpkin puree to chili would work well, but I’ve found that it adds a unique creaminess and sweetness that offsets the spicy chili flavors perfectly. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Olive oil: to cook down your veggies a bit before adding everything to the slow cooker.
  • Garlic: for that amazing boost of flavor.
  • Veggies: we’re adding red bell pepper, a white onion and a jalapeño for a little kick of heat.
  • Crushed tomatoes: the base of the chili is made with crushed tomatoes. I recommend picking one without salt added so that you can adjust the salt to your liking.
  • Pumpkin puree: for that incredible creaminess and subtle sweetness. Feel free to use canned pumpkin puree or make your own with this tutorial.
  • Black beans: a delicious boost of protein and fiber from black beans. The black beans also give the chili depth and earthiness.
  • Quinoa: I love how hearty quinoa makes this pumpkin chicken chili. It helps thicken it just enough.
  • Herbs & spices: we’re using chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, cayenne pepper and salt for incredible flavor.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: I love using chicken thighs because they stay juicy and tender, but you can use chicken breasts if you’d like.

All I know is that it’s worth making and enjoying with a side of pumpkin cornbread muffins.

slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili in three bowls next to tortilla chips

How to make pumpkin chicken chili on the stovetop

If you don’t have a slow cooker, don’t worry! You can easily make this healthy pumpkin chicken chili right on the stovetop.

  1. Place olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add in garlic, onion, jalapeno and red bell pepper; stir and saute for 2 minutes or until onions begin to soften.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to your pot: crushed tomatoes, water (or broth), pumpkin puree, black beans, quinoa, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Stir until well combined, then add chicken. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 20-30 minutes until your chicken is cooked through.
  3. Once done cooking, remove chicken with a slotted spoon and shred with two forks, then transfer shredded chicken back to slow cooker. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  4. Distribute into bowls (or do a meal prep) and top with fixin’s such as cilantro, greek yogurt and cheddar cheese. (It’s really, really good with a sharp or white cheddar!). Makes 6 servings. Double the recipe for a crowd!

crockpot pumpkin chicken chili in a bowl with a spoon

How to store and reheat pumpkin chicken chili

  1. In the refrigerator: this healthy slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili will stay good in your fridge for about 1 week. Once your chili is completely cooled, just place it in an airtight container (or multiple, if you’d like to meal prep it) without the additional toppings and place it in the fridge. To reheat it, simply do so in the microwave with a microwave safe bowl, or feel free to reheat it on the stovetop. Add your toppings once you’re ready to serve!
  2. In the freezer: can you freeze pumpkin chicken chili? YES! Follow the instructions above, but instead of placing the chili in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw the chili overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.

slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili in a bowl with a spoon

What to serve with slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili

After the whole Thanksgiving shebang was over, I made a big batch of chili and cornbread, followed by my chocolate snickerdoodles for Tony’s family. Here are some great recipes to serve it with:

I always loved to make chili, because not only is it easy to throw together, but it also fills your home with coziness that warms you from the inside out. Often I call it ‘therapeutic chili’ because let’s face it: everything’s better on a snowy night in with a binge-worthy show on Netflix and a warm bowl of your favorite chili in your hands. I know you agree.

More pumpkin recipes you’ll love

Vegetarian Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Peanut Butter Chicken Soup

Nourishing Yellow Chickpea Pumpkin Curry with Coconut Brown Rice

Saucy Baked Pumpkin Pasta

Spicy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sour Cream Sauce

Enjoy a big nutritious bowl of this slow cooker quinoa pumpkin chicken chili for me. If you make this recipe, let me know by leaving a comment below and rating the recipe! You can also follow me on Instagram and tag #ambitiouskitchen so I can see what you’ve made. ❤️ xo!

Slow Cooker Black Bean Quinoa Pumpkin Chicken Chili

4.85 from 13 votes
slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili in a bowl
Course Chili, Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nut Free
Cuisine American
Keyword crockpot pumpkin chicken chili, pumpkin chicken chili, slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Serves 6

Delicious slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili with black beans and quinoa! This protein packed, creamy pumpkin chicken chili recipe is perfectly spiced and wonderful paired with a side of cornbread.

Ingredients

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water (or low sodium chicken broth)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (can also use chicken breast)

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add in garlic, onion, jalapeno and red bell pepper; stir and saute for 2 minutes or until onions begin to soften, then transfer to a slow cooker.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker: crushed tomatoes, water (or broth), pumpkin puree, black beans, quinoa salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Stir until well combined, then add chicken. Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. 
  3. Once done cooking, remove chicken with a slotted spoon and shred with two forks, then transfer shredded chicken back to slow cooker. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  4. Distribute into bowls (or do a meal prep) and top with fixin's such as cilantro, greek yogurt and cheddar cheese. (It's really, really good with a sharp or white cheddar!). Makes 6 servings. Double the recipe for a crowd!

Recipe Notes

To freeze: follow the instructions above, but instead of placing the chili in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw the chili overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.

Nutrition
Servings: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 6)
Calories: 320kcal
Fat: 7.6g
Saturated fat: 1.6g
Carbohydrates: 41.8g
Fiber: 10.8g
Sugar: 9.2g
Protein: 31.5g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

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