Crockpot pumpkin chili is a cozy meal full of flavor and heat! It's the ideal "set it and forget it" dish which is all the more reason to make it.
Tender chicken and vegetables, spices and sweet pumpkin pack so much goodness into this thick and hearty chili. And best of all, it's a healthy, gluten-free and low-carb recipe with a nutritious, flavorful punch.
It's that time of year again- pumpkin everything and I'm here for it.
This savory pumpkin chicken chili is a recipe I first shared on my Instagram last fall (a Dutch oven version) but it never made its way to the blog.
So here it is in all its pumpkin glory! If you love all things pumpkin too, it might just become one of your favorite Crockpot recipes.
Here's the thing about chili. It's a must in the cooler months. My Keto Chili (a more traditional meat chili minus the chili beans) always gets a lot of love through the fall and winter.
The best thing about chili? The fact that you can take a hot bowl and load it up with an assortment of all your favorite things.
Make it extra cheesy or extra spicy or top it your delicious chili with fresh, crunchy veggies. I'll take all of the above, please.
Take pumpkin and chili and you have the ultimate fall comfort food! My version calls for tender chicken instead of ground beef, but it still boasts many of the classic chili flavors.
Make a big batch of this for meal prep, weekend dinners, really any occasion (or non occasion).
It's appropriately low effort, which is exactly what a lazy Sunday chili recipe should be.
why this recipe works
Tender chicken thighs, vegetables, aromatics, loads of spices and pumpkin purée slow cook in the Crockpot for the easiest, autumn-inspired meal. It's meaty and comforting and boasts a rich pumpkin flavor elevated with spices that will warm you up.
The addition of pumpkin- the "secret ingredient" adds a slightly sweet, earthy flavor to the chili along with extra health benefits!
It's nutrient-packed and the perfect way to enjoy pumpkin season with a savory meal.
With zero active prep time required before you pile everything into the Crockpot, this pumpkin chicken chili is slow cooking at its finest.
Here's why you'll love it:
- Savory aromatics, bold spices and a rich base of chicken, pumpkin and vegetables make this the perfect meal packed with flavor.
- It's hearty, healthy and the Crock pot does all the heavy lifting.
- This slow cooker recipe is keto-friendly, low carb, gluten free and dairy optional.
ingredients for Crockpot pumpkin chili
Other than a Crockpot or slow cooker, to make this keto pumpkin chili you will need:
- Chicken thighs. Boneless skinless chicken thighs slow cook in the Crockpot and turn into ultra tender, pull-apart chicken that easily shreds.
- Fresh vegetables. Chopped carrots, onion, bell peppers and garlic give this slow cooker pumpkin chili flavor depth and heartiness. I like using sweet red, orange or yellow bell peppers. Green bell pepper is a bit too bitter but can work in a pinch.
- Chipotle peppers. Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce gives this pumpkin chili a rich flavor and extra heat! Use one small pepper for a mild pumpkin chili. If you want the chili to have more of a medium heat, add two peppers.
- Chicken stock. For a little bit of moisture in the chili. You can also use chicken broth if needed.
- Petite diced tomatoes. In true chili fashion, a can of diced tomatoes helps to stretch this recipe and adds a subtle yet sweet tomato flavor.
- Green chiles. Canned, diced green chiles add a mild amount of spice.
- Pumpkin purée. For a rich and sweet pumpkin flavor that pulls everything together!
- Spices and seasonings. A simple blend of ground cumin, chili powder, salt and dried oregano gives you an incredible homemade chili seasoning!
- Cream cheese. This is added at the very end of the slow cooking process. It thickens the chili and adds a rich creaminess to the dish. You can swap it in for dairy-free cream cheese too.
- Toppings. What's chili without all the toppings?! Almost anything goes here, so choose your favorites. Green onions, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, avocado, and even pumpkin seeds are great ideas!
Crockpot keto pumpkin chili recipe
This healthy pumpkin chicken chili couldn't be more simple to prep!
Here's a look at the steps required but be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the printable recipe card.
Place the whole chicken thighs in the bottom of the large pot of the slow cooker or Crockpot. Add the chopped carrots, onion and bell pepper.
Add the rest of the ingredients except for the cream cheese. Use a large spoon to gently mix the ingredients. Place the lid on the Crockpot and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours.
Using two forks, gently lift the chicken pieces out of the pot and shred it.
Return it to the Crockpot and add the cream cheese. Let it sit for 15 more minutes to allow the cream cheese to melt.
Stir well, then taste and adjust the seasonings/salt if needed! Serve hot with your favorite toppings.
tips for the best results
- You can substitute chicken breasts for chicken thighs. I prefer chicken thighs since they're more affordable and tend to turn out juicier and more flavorful than chicken breasts!
- Store leftover pumpkin chicken chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat over the stove or in the microwave. The flavors will actually intensify more by the next day!
- My variation of Crockpot pumpkin chili is low carb, but if you want to add a bit more protein to the dish, you can easily add one 14-ounce can of black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, etc.!
- The cream cheese is not completely necessary but it adds a richness and creaminess to the chili and helps mellow out the heat! I use the same method in my Crockpot Green Chili Chicken Soup.
- Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings according to your own taste preference. If the chili is too spicy, you can double the amount of cream cheese to mellow out the flavor.
Here are a few sides that go great with my keto pumpkin chili!
you might also love
Keto chicken chili with butternut squash is another one of my favorite chili recipes! It's hearty and filling, with tender chicken, two types of squash, and savory aromatics and spices.
Love pumpkin? You can check out this roundup of low-carb and keto pumpkin recipes, from creamy soups to sweet desserts packed with pumpkin pie spice. I even deep dive into the health benefits and nutrition of pumpkin and how you can best include it in a low-carb lifestyle.
Mississippi Pot Roast is another hearty, homestyle comfort food dish that you can make in a slow cooker! Meaty Chuck roast cooks with a homemade ranch seasoning blend, zesty pepperoncinis, and butter (yes, butter) to create a healthier version of the famed original recipe. You can make it in a Dutch oven or see the Crockpot instructions at the bottom of the recipe card.
- 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (see recipe notes)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1-½ cups chicken stock
- 1, 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
- 1, 4 oz. can diced green chiles
- 1, 14-oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1-½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
- toppings of choice like shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, roasted pepitas
- Place chicken thighs in the base of the Crockpot or slow cooker.
- Add the chopped carrots, onion and bell pepper on top of the chicken.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the cream cheese.
- Give it a good mix, then place the Crockpot lid on top and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and use two forks to gently shred them. Return the chicken back to the Crockpot and mix to combine.
- Add the cream cheese cubes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Let the pumpkin chicken chili sit for 15 minutes to let the cream cheese melt, then stir well.
- Serve hot with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy!
- You can substitute chicken breasts for chicken thighs.
- Use 1 chipotle pepper for a mild chili. For a medium heat, use 2 chipotle peppers. One can has several peppers which you can freeze individually for later use!
- Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- This version is low carb, but if you want to add a bit more protein and fiber to the dish, you can easily add one 14-ounce can of black beans.
- The cream cheese is not completely necessary but it adds a richness and creaminess to the chili and helps mellow out the heat! Use a dairy-free cream cheese if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 672mgCarbohydrates: 12gNet Carbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 25g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.