Pumpkin-Turkey Chili

by theprimodonna

So I was challenged this week to cut back on grocery expenses.  We’re going on vacation and are trying to save some $ beforehand.  I hit the cookbooks, took inventory of the freezer and pantry and came up with some great, low cost, delicious meal options.  The first of these used up some ground turkey I had in the freezer as well as 6 canned items from the pantry.  Added a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro from the garden and the rest is, as they say, culinary history.

Here’s the recipe:

4 slices of bacon
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1.5 lbs. ground turkey
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 small can mild diced green chilies
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

Ground black or Cayenne pepper to taste.

Heat skillet on high and fry bacon.  Transfer to paper lined plate to crisp.  In the same pan, use 2 Tbs. of drippings to brown the onion, garlic and bell pepper.  Add the ground turkey and saute until cooked through.  Drain off any remaining fat and transfer to large pot.  Crumble bacon into mixture.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 30-45 minutes to allow flavors to develop.  Add water or broth if needed, should mixture get too thick.

Serve with sour cream, cilantro and shredded cheese if desired.