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Circleville Pumpkin Chili Recipe


Circleville Pumpkin Chili Recipe

This chili recipe was adapted from one served at the famous Circleville Pumpkin Show in Ohio.

Photo © Flickr user Paula Fisher
While this pumpkin chili recipe hails from the Midwest, its use of these spices and chocolate are reminiscent of chilis and moles of the American Southwest region. This chili recipe gets its heat from the chipotle pepper, but if you like your chili hotter you can add a few fresh hot peppers into the pot.

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2-oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained
  • avocado, sour cream and fresh cilantro (optional)


  1. In a large pot cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the ground beef, salt, and all the spices, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring to break up the beef into very small pieces.

  2. Add the pumpkin, chocolate, crushed tomatoes, and tomato juice. Stir and reduce heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pinto beans and simmer for 15 more minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.
Garnish with avocado, sour cream and fresh cilantro if so desired.
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