Super Bowl of Chili

As I sat, thinking what the ultimate food for Sunday would be, it actually took me a bit to come to the chili conclusion.
Crazy, yes, I am aware of this.

Coming from an advertising background, I have to honestly admit that the majority of my Superbowl viewing experience takes place during half time.

Perfect for cooking for a crowd, the chili is a dash of this and a can of that – and then you leave it.
So quick and easy, you won’t even miss the commercials.


2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, finely diced
2 Medium Carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 Stalk Celery, finely diced
1 small, dried red chili pepper
3 Cups Any Basic Tomato Sauce
3 Cups Fresh Tomatoes, skinned and chopped or 1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 – 19oz Cans Black Beans, drained and well rinsed
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Crack of Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme, scant
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander Seed
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 Cup Dice Pumpkin, roasted

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Clean and cube half a Jarrahdale or other good baking pumpkin.
Using about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil lightly cover the pumpkin, tossing to coat.
Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until tender.
Heat the remaining oil in a large stockpot and add the diced onion, carrots and celery.
Sauté the vegetables until slightly softened and the onions are transparent.
Add the chopped tomatoes, sauce and spices then bring everything to a simmer.
Stir in drained, rinsed beans and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
Remove the chili pepper and add the cubed pumpkin.

Serve it up with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of cheddar (or smoked gouda) along with tortilia chips or a loaf of fresh crusty bread.

For a more “traditional” chili, switch the beans to red kidney, omit the pumpkin and thyme then add a package of veggie ground round, if you want it “meaty”.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

12 thoughts on “Super Bowl of Chili”

  1. Oh my goodness. That’s just a big ole’ bowl of healthfulness right there. Never occurred to me to put pumpkin in my chili, but I heart all things pumpkin so I’m certainly not opposed to it. I wonder if you could sub butternut squash?

  2. I’m shocked and impressed at how wonderful this recipe is! I’m not a squash fan to begin with (aside from pumpkin desserts), so I wasn’t sure I could handle it in my chili. However, we have more pumpkin than we can fit in the freezer, and I’d heard of pumpkin chili, so I ventured onto google to find a recipe. Yours had ingredients I had on hand. I’m surprised at how flavorful it is without chili powder. I’m surprised that there’s no overwhelming pumpkin flavor. I’m surprised that my entire family of 8 devoured it ravenously. THANKS for posting this GREAT recipe! It’s a new favorite for us!

  3. just made this – great! i also added a can of corn, which goes really nicely with the rest of the ingredients. thanks for sharing this!

  4. Thank you! I didn’t use it, but it inspired me to make something else when all I had in the house was canned pumpkin, black beans, tomato paste, and my spice rack. And it turned out DELICIOUS!

  5. I wasn’t able to follow the recipe *exactly*, but this was so delicious!! This is going to be a winter staple.

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