Recipe: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Quinoa Chili

quinoa pumpkin chili

With the weather turning and the leaves dropping, we’re all craving a bit more hearty, cozy foods like soup, stews, and chili. Chili is one of the healthiest (and yummiest) ways to fight the chill in the air. This veggie-based chili is packed with fiber-filled beans, healthy whole grain quinoa, and sweet, tender pumpkin.

Bonus: by using a few shortcuts like pre-packaged seasoning and the slow cooker, you get a super flavorful batch of chili without a ton of work. Take 10 minutes before work to put the chili in your slow cooker, and when you come home you’ll have a bubbling pot of deliciousness. If you really want to be a people pleaser, set up a slow cooker of this chili and a topping bar at your next autumn get-together. Folks will rave and you barely have to do any work. Sounds like a winning way to celebrate the season!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Quinoa Chili

Makes: 8 – 1-½ cup servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1-14 ounce can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1-14 ounce can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1-14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1-16 ounce jar salsa (whatever you like)
  • 1-6 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 small pie pumpkin, about 2 cups worth (peeled, seeded, and diced)
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa


  1. In the slow cooker, combine all ingredients, except the quinoa. Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.
  2. In the last half hour of cooking, add the uncooked quinoa.
  3. Serve topped with Greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, and cilantro.

Nutrition per serving (does not include toppings): 431 calories, 9g fat, 53g carbs, 36g protein

What’s your go-to cold weather comfort food?

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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!