Turkey, pumpkin, and white bean chili with cranberry relish

Classic tuxedo chili gets a Halloween and Thanksgiving flavor treatment with added pumpkin, turkey, and a finish of cranberry relish.

The Runaway Spoon
Classic tuxedo chili gets a Halloween and Thanksgiving flavor treatment with added pumpkin, turkey, and a finish of cranberry relish.

One of my stand-by kitchen recipes, one I make for friends, family and just for myself on a regular basis is my Tuxedo Chili, made with chicken, black and white beans and warming spices. It even won a recipe contest! It’s a perfect one bowl meal, filling and comforting and perfect for the first chilly nights. With Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to give my standard a little seasonal twist. So I’ve combined all the comforting flavors of fall into a delicious, hearty treat.

I swapped out chicken in the recipe for the more seasonally-loved turkey, and added rich pumpkin for depth of flavor and a nice, creamy dose of white beans. Once I had the chili sorted, I couldn’t resist a sweet and tangy cranberry and cilantro relish to top it off, adding another layer of autumn.

All in all, this makes for the kind of meal I love to serve family and friends. Make a big pot of chili, put out the various toppings and some good bread and let everyone build their own bowl. For an even more thematic meal, make a batch of Pumpkin Cornbread to serve alongside. I think this is the perfect meal to warm up post trick-or-treating or a trip to the corn maze!

Turkey, pumpkin, and white bean chili with cranberry relish
Serves 4, but this recipe easily doubles

For the chili:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey
2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups (16-ounce cans) pumpkin puree
1 (15.5 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups chicken broth

1. Pour the oil into a large pot, add the onions and cook over medium-high heat until the onions are soft and wilted. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon or spatula, until it begins to brown.

2. Mix the oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon and paprika together in a small bowl and sprinkle over the meat in the pot and stir to distribute the spices evenly. Scrape in the pumpkin puree and stir well, then pour in the chicken broth and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the drained beans. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pot and cook until the chili is thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. The chili can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to two days and freezes beautifully. Add a little broth when reheating if needed.

For the relish:
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 green onions, white and some green parts
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
juice of 1/2 a small lime

To serve:
Sour cream
Lime wedges

1. Place the cranberries in the bowl of a small food processor and pulse to break them up. Cut the green onion into pieces and add to the bowl with the cilantro. Pulse until you have a loose relish. Stir in the lime juice.

2. Serve the chili with a spoonful of the relish and a dollop of sour cream, with some lime wedges to squeeze over.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

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