The Best Drunken Pumpkin Chili

While the pumpkin here is the star of the show, definitely don’t skimp on the chiles — after all, this is pumpkin chili, not pumpkin stew.

The variety of chile peppers used in this recipe is what gives the dish depth. Fresh chiles also mean we can skip the chili powder, a common spice in many chili recipes. The powdered version is never as balanced or rich as real chiles are.

While the recipe below may look intimidating, don’t shy away from making it; it’s a simple one-pot meal where most of the ingredients are dumped in at the same time.


2 tablespoons olive oil 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 yellow onions, chopped 6 cloves garlic, chopped 2 red bell peppers, chopped 2 Anaheim chiles, chopped 1 poblano chile, chopped 1 habanero chile, minced 3 chipotle chiles canned in adobo sauce, chopped


3 cups diced pumpkin 2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer 1 cup strong brewed black coffee 4 cups chicken broth


Heat a heavy-bottomed 8-quart or larger stockpot over medium-high heat. Swirl in the olive oil and add the pork shoulder, stirring every few minutes until the pork is pinkish-brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.


Stir in the onions and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes, or until the onions start to turn translucent. Add the medley of peppers and cook for another 5 minutes.


Add the pumpkin, corn, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 can of kidney beans, beer, coffee, and chicken broth. Stir in the cumin, oregano, and brown sugar, then turn the heat to high and bring to boiling.

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