Paleo Pumpkin Chili

Paleo f(x)

Lately I’ve been utilizing a lot of fall and winter vegetables in my cooking.  I love this time of year and last year I wrote about how much I love chili around this time as well.  The inspiration for this recipe comes from my old chili recipe and my friend George at Civilized Caveman since he makes pumpkin everything.  I figured with all the pumpkin recipes out there, why not try to make a pumpkin chili one?  Turns out, I just had to make a few minor tweaks to my previous chili recipe and it turned out amazing.  I woke up this morning to the most delicious smell, I can only describe it as ‘holiday magic’.  This would make an ideal lunch or dinner on a cold fall or winter day.  If you’re so inclined, treat yourself afterwards with some Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bites.

Paleo Pumpkin Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  1. Heat lard in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and onion; saute until tender but do not burn.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until about medium (just long enough to brown most of the meat).
  4. Once browned, add meat/garlic/onion mixture to the crock pot.
  5. In no particular order, add in the pumpkin, bell pepper, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cacao powder, chipotle peppers (if used) and spices.
  6. Stir all ingredients well and set crock pot to low and cook for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
With the chipotle peppers, you can only use the adobo sauce if you prefer to keep the chipotle flavor with less heat. Using 100% cacao powder gives the chili a full, rounded flavor - similar to a molé. Be sure it is 100% and not containing any hidden sugars, soy lecithin or added cacao butter.

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  1. That’s beautiful, and I imagine it tastes pretty awesome too!

  2. I WAS craving chili too! I have everything but the pumpkin. I don’t mind the trouble of preparing a pumpkin though. It feels rather primal to bash one to pieces ;-)

    • FreeRange Human says:

      I hope you enjoy it! I just finished off my latest batch last night. Can’t wait to make more of it.

      • Made the chili with a turban squash and ground buffalo earlier in the week. My husband was wild about it. We polished it off this morning with an egg on it for breakfast. That is sustaining me well until lunch!

  3. Oh my …I sooo must make this…sounds perfect for the wet grey weather here in France recently…Could I possible “cook” this in the little gourds…or could I prepare it in a Dutch Oven/Le Creuset cast iron pot with lid?.(oven or stovetop)…..I sadly do not yet own a crockpot!!..You have a well-imagined blog here…and I will be a frequent visitor!…Happy that Mark’s Daily Apple provided the jump to your wonderful offering.

    • FreeRange Human says:

      In the past, I’ve only used my French oven to make chili. It wasn’t until I got a crock pot that I made the switch so it’s definitely possible. Just cook it low and slow and you should be fine. It will definitely take a shorter amount of time to cook however so I doubt you could leave it overnight. As far as coooking it inside the pumpkins, that’s also possible but I think it will lose it’s bowl shape once fully cooked.

  4. Have you tried making it with fresh pumpkin? With all of the fresh, local pumpkin available right now in my area, it would seem a crime to make it with commercially canned pumpkin.

    It looks great served in the gourd in the picture. How do you prepare the pumpkin “bowl” for serving? Is that fresh, or baked?

    • FreeRange Human says:

      Hey Scott,
      I haven’t made it with fresh pumpkin…yet. It’s definitely on my list as I’m not opposed to using fresh ingredients whenever possible. I would just use 14oz of fresh cooked pumpkin in place of canned. For the picture, I just hollowed out a small pumpkin and roasted it for about 10 minutes just to give it some color. If I cooked it all the way through, I think the pumpkin would get too soft to act as a bowl but it’s worth trying that as well.


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