You can only eat so much Thanksgiving flavored foods after the holiday has ended, right? Let’s mix it up with this Leftover Turkey Pumpkin Chili! We still have tons of fall and warming flavors and spices, but this is a nice change of pace from the same old turkey plate. Turn your leftovers into something unique!
Giving New Life to Leftover Turkey Recipes
Our mission is to stop food waste at home, especially during the holidays, when families gather for that big massive feast!
When using leftover turkey for a new meal, the biggest secret is to make sure it tastes COMPLETELY different than your holiday meal. Because let’s face it – holiday leftovers never taste as good as it did the first time around! Nobody wants to relive that same meal four nights in a row!
Also in this Giving New Life to Leftover Turkey series:
- Leftover Turkey: The Bobbie Sandwich
- Leftover Turkey Bibimbap Buddha Bowl
- Leftover Turkey Cranberry BBQ Sandwiches
- Leftover Thanksgiving Cream of Turkey Soup with Garlic Croutons
- Leftover Turkey Cobb Salad
- Leftover Turkey and Stuffing Stuffed Squash
Make Turkey Pumpkin Chili your own with these tips:
Pumpkin or squash: Use any leftover squash or cooked pumpkin you have. Dice the squash up and add it in at the end so it stays firm enough while eating. Use canned pumpkin or squash too! Add the canned squash in right before you add your liquid.
Beans: Beans are the best pantry staple and my guess is, you have a can or two hanging out in your pantry. Add a can of beans right before you add your liquid. Our favorites are garbanzo and great northern beans, but any canned beans will be a great addition!
Tomatoes: Tomatoes sweeten this chili up perfectly and add a nice acidity! Use any canned tomatoes you have, diced, fire roasted, crush, or whole (just give them a nice crush with your hand). Have a pesky tomato or two in your fridge drawer that needs to be used like right now? Dice those up and add them in too!
Onions, garlic, and peppers: Doesn’t everyone stock up on these for the holiday? These will be the base of our chili! If you don’t have any peppers, bell or jalapeños, to use up right now, just omit it!
Spices: Chili Powder, oregano, cumin, maybe even some brown sugar? If you have smoked paprika, that should definitely go in too! Raid your spice cabinet for other seasonings you think you would awesome and add those in too! We just suggest you add them 1/2 teaspoon at a time if it strays from the recipe.
More veggies please: Leftover corn? Cut it off the cob and add it to your chili. Frozen corn, add it in too! A few carrots just waiting to be used in your fridge? Dice them up and add them with your onions!
Use What You Already Have!
Raid the refrigerator and pantry! Use up any veggies you think would be wonderful in your chili and add it in.
- If you are using something like a sweet potato that is super firm, let that be the first thing you dice and add to your pot before the onion.
- Find some green onions and chives wilting away? Save them from wilting and top your bowl of chili with them!
- Find some cheese that is ready to be eaten or tossed? Shred it up and top your chili with extra cheese!
- Find a few random cans of veggies, like corn and green beans? Drain them and add them in when you add your beans!
Leftover Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups onion diced
- 1 bell pepper diced chopped green pepper
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 15 oz. can great northern beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 15 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 20 oz. chicken or veggie broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups turkey diced
- Green onions optional
- Shredded cheese optional
- Diced jalapeno optional
- In a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add olive.
- Add diced onions, bell peppers (jalapeños if using), oregano and cumin and saute until soft and tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and stir to cook for 1 minutes.
- Add chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, great northern beans, and garbanzo beans and stir to combine.
- Stir in the pumpkin, tomatoes, and broth and bring it to a boil. Add more broth if you want a thinner chili.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Add diced turkey to just heat through.
- Top with green onions, chives, cheese, jalapeños, avocado or sour cream, if desired.
- If using any firm vegetables like sweet potato and carrots, add them first and saute for 4 minutes, then add onions and peppers.
- If you are using canned or frozen corn or green beans, add them with your beans.
This was my first time trying turkey chili. My husband claims to not like pumpkin, but adores squash, so I made the switch as you suggested! It was amazing. I used home canned Tomato sauce, and home canned beans as well. This is definitely a keeper!