Bowl Food Season – Pt. 1 Pumpkin Chili

In the words of my good friend Hillary, “I’m calling it. Its officially bowl food season” & shes right. Although I am still wearing flip flops outside, they are now generally accompanied by crops & a sweater of some kind. The tree colors are starting to change & we are no longer leaving the windows open at night.

While I’m never ready to say goodbye to the summer season & all it entails, I do love the initial days of fall where you find joy in wearing cozy sweaters, drinking warm spicy coffees & when you start to make dishes in your kitchen that fill your home with mouthwatering smells before dinnertime.

Today started off early as I am switching back to the ‘days’ portion of my rotation at work [my body never does do it well] but Maddie & I had plans for a productive morning so off we went. Once home this afternoon I decided that the chill in the air called for some chili to be cooked on the stove hence the recipe that follows for Pumpkin Chili!

Enjoy xo


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion [ I used Red – use whatever you want]
  • 2-6 cloves garlic [Mine seemed to be mini today & I LOVE garlic so…see photo below]
  • 2 bell peppers [color doesn’t matter here – maybe avoid green they can be bitter]
  • 2 banana peppers [optional – I like it spicy]
  • 2 chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 can black beans [does anyone else find that recipes say 14 oz can &  you’ve got NO idea what size that is? Use whatever you have – I promise you will not be sad if you’re short 5 oz of black beans]
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 medium sized can tomatoes
  • 1 can pureed pumpkin [please do not use pie filling]
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 2 T smoked paprika
  • 2 T cumin
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 C Vegetable broth
  • 2 T Braggs Liquid Aminos [Soy or Tamari works too!]

How To:

  1. In a medium/large pot [I used my dutch oven] heat olive oil over medium/high heat, add the onions & let them brown up a bit. My Nonna used to say the brown bits added flavor  so don’t be afraid of them, if its getting too sticky add a little water to loosen everything back up. When your onions are browned up & translucent add in the garlic cooking till fragrant
  2. Add in the peppers, let them sweat a bit. When everything is well combined pour it all into a separate bowl where it can wait. I know you’re thinking I’m nuts but trust me you don’t want salmonella okay?
  3. In the same pot toss in the chicken and red pepper flakes, brown the chicken and cook through.
  4. Add the pepper mixture back in & all the rest of ingredients mixing well.
  5. Allow to boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for a while [this is the part where the house smells good and all the flavors meld together] stirring every so often.
  6. Serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds, avocado & sour cream/plain greek yogurt, cheese – or just plain!



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