Of the many things I love about fall, my slow cooker and one pot meals vie for top spots on my list. I was speaking with a busy artist-mom friend a few weeks ago and she was commenting on how she really wants more good crock pot recipes. Those recipes she can easily prep first thing in the morning and not think of again until she’s dishing it out of the slow cooker onto her family’s dinner plates. ‘Hear, hear’ on that concept.
Soups and chilies are something I could eat daily once the mercury begins to drop for the season; truth be told for any meal. I love bold flavors, spicy heat, chunky textures and easy preparation. A secret to a well-balanced chili is having something sweet to balance any spicy heat. I often add a tablespoon of sugar to pump up the flavor but for this recipe I used a favorite seasonal ingredient instead: pumpkin.
Pumpkin puree is thick and rich adding a creamy texture to any stew, soup or chili lucky enough to have it as an ingredients. Not wishing to overpower its flavor with heavy red meat, this Pumpkin White Bean Sausage Chili is built on the fall flavors of pork breakfast sausage (which usually has sage and even maple syrup) as well as ground turkey. When using ground turkey I prefer the thighs if available as the darker meat bears deeper flavor.
The chili has a slow smolder that is not overly intense but just right to compliment the other flavors. Of course the heat can always be pumped up by adding hot sauce when serving or additional cayenne pepper while cooking if to your liking. Perfect for game days, never-enough-time weeknights or lazy weekends! Great served with this delicious Cornbread recipe, Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Whipped Honey-Maple Cinnamon Butter or Easy Gluten-Free Beer Bread.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin White Bean Sausage Chili
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 medium Yellow Onion , chopped
- ¾ cup chopped Sweet Peppers , (green, yellow, orange, red or a mix)
- 1 tablespoon fresh Sage leaves , diced (approximately 6 large leaves)
- ½ pound Ground Turkey (preferably turkey thigh)
- ½ pound ground Breakfast Sausage
- 1 15- ounce can Great Northern Beans , rinsed
- 1 15- ounce can Diced Tomatoes , undrained
- 1 cup Water
- 1 15- ounce can Pumpkin Puree (or fresh pumpkin puree)
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 tablespoon ground Cumin
- ¾ teaspoon Paprika
- ¾ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ¾ teaspoon Oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Top with: torn Cilantro leaves and mild White Cheddar
- In a large skillet warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until translucent.
- Add the sweet peppers and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes until pepper begin to soften. Spoon the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker.
- Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet and sauté the sage leaves until fragrant (2 minutes). Add the ground turkey and breakfast sausage and cook until no pink color remains; breaking meat into small pieces while it cooks. Add the meat to the slow cooker.
- Add beans, tomatoes, water pumpkin, salt and spices to the slow cooker. Stir all ingredients together. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.