Pantry Pumpkin Chili

Today, we’ll take a short break from sweets to share a healthy, super quick, and easy chili for those cold winter nights – the kind of night that your fridge is totally bare of anything fresh, but you want something with at least a few vegetables.  In comes this chili, made pretty much entirely from things you probably have in your pantry.

This chili was a life saver the night we got back from PA.  Our fridge was completely bare, and there was no way I was going to the store after a 3 1/2 hour drive.  It was extremely cold that night, too, and we were waiting for our heat to get back up to snuff (Alex left it at 59ºF while we were away).  Chili and cornbread was just screaming my name.

This is slightly different than your average chili, it having some pumpkin in there, but you can’t taste it at all – it just lends a more creamy, thick texture to the dish.  I also added some chiles in adobo, but I think I added a bit too much – it was super spicy!  Not unbearable, but not for the weak of heart.  I am adjusting the recipe below with a smaller amount.  Taste and add as it suits you.

This takes about a half hour tops in throwing it together, and it’s absolutely lovely as a meal with a side of cornbread.  Alex is the kind of guy that can eat chili once, but then he wants nothing to do with the leftovers.  Then there’s me, who loves chili anytime.  Still, I couldn’t eat the whole batch minus one bowl by myself, so I froze about half of it for later in the winter.  I’m sure we’ll be glad of it once the semester gets going again.

Pantry Pumpkin Chili

    • 1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
    • 1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes
    • 1-15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1-15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1-15 oz. can pumpkin
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 T olive oil
    • 4 T chili powder
    • 2 T chiles in adobo sauce (adjust to suit your tastes)
    • 1 T cumin
    • 1 t onion powder
    • 1 t garlic powder
    • 1 t salt (adjust to suit your tastes)
    • 1/2 t pepper
    • 1-12 oz bottle of beer (I used Samuel Adam’s Oktoberfest, because Alex doesn’t like it – you can just use water if you don’t have any beer lying around, or your favorite beer)
    • sour cream, cheddar, for topping

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic, until onions are translucent.  Stir in the spices, and cook until fragrant.  Add in the tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, and chiles.  Stir together, and then pour in the beer (or water).  Adjust the heat to low, and then heat, covered, for about 20 minutes (until heated through).  Taste and add salt or more heat as needed.  Serve immediately.  Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.