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Chili With Hard Cider and Pumpkin

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This chili is loaded with fall flavors like hard apple cider and pumpkin to help thicken it up. It is perfect for game day or for warming you when it’s chilly outside!

bowl of pumpkin chili with crackers on top.

Cozy up with a bowl of apple ale pumpkin chili and it is sure to warm you from the inside out.  It screams fall with pumpkin, apple, beer, and chili all together in one bowl. 

Make a big pot and get your favorite toppings ready.  It is perfect for any time, but especially for game day!

Crisp nights, bonfires, warm apple cider, sweaters, hoodies, football and chili! Fall is finally rolling in everyone and I couldn’t be more excited!

I love fall weather, fall clothes and fall flavors. Now if only we could find a way to make fall last until spring!

spoon full of beans and ground turkey over big enameled cast iron pot of apple ale pumpkin chili.

I love getting out a pot and adding things until it’s full.  That is my method for any sort of soup.

Pick the size pot I’m going to use and keep going until it can’t hold one more thing! I can’t be the only one that does that, am I?

Either way, every time my chili is a little bit different. This time I thought it would be fun to really bring in some fall flavors.

To really make it fall I started with ground turkey.  You could use whatever ground meat you like best but if Thanksgiving is the iconic fall holiday, than turkey seemed like the iconic fall meat.

I think the mild turkey went great with the other textures and flavors in the chili, but I can imagine it would be great with ground beef or even some pulled pork as well.

After the turkey, onions, and peppers were cooked a bit I added some chili powder to toast and then poured in some hard cider to deglaze the pan and bring my favorite fall fruit into the mix.  If we are celebrating all things fall, there had to be some apple in there!

I generally like using a big mix of beans in my chili.  I like the variety of shapes, colors and textures they bring and I think it makes it fun.  But for some reason I was really feeling white beans this time so I stuck with garbanzos and great northern beans.

bowl of apple ale pumpkin chili topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and chives on top.

Throw in some tomatoes and you are well on your way to a nice pot of chili.  But don’t forget the thing that brings it all together.  Pumpkin!!  It couldn’t be a all things fall chili without the pumpkin!

Plus I love how the pumpkin puree automatically thickens up the base of the chili.  It gives you that simmered all day consistency without having to let it simmer all day! It also imparts just a bit of earthiness that brings it all together.

Don’t worry if you are feeding this to people who don’t love pumpkin as much as you and me.  My husband is one of those that could take or leave pumpkin season.

He was pretty skeptical about pumpkin in his chili (though he’s unwittingly had it many times before… but that a story for another day!)

Of course he got a second bowl despite of his reservations and was actually quite complimentary of it.  So even if you are skeptical, I think you should give it a try!

We love our chili topped with sour cream, cheese and chives.  This is also great with cheddar crackers.  MiMi shared a cracker recipe very early in the blog and I jazzed them up when I made these chili cheese spritz crackers.

It is also great with apple cider beer bread! What do you like to serve with your chili?

Do you love discovering great recipes? Me too! Click here and follow Cooking With Carlee on Pinterest for tons of great ideas

bowl of pumpkin chili with crackers on top.

Apple Ale Pumpkin Chili

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
Apple ale pumpkin chili is loaded with fall flavors! It is perfect for game day or for warming you when it’s chili outside!
5 from 6 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 pound ground meat turkey or beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 12 ounces hard apple cider not too sweet
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cans great northern beans
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 2 cans pumpkin
  • 2 large cans crushed tomatoes
  • options green chilies or a chopped jalapeno
  • salt and pepper


  • In a large pot (I used a 6 qt dutch oven) brown the ground turkey, seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper.
    1 pound ground meat
  • Add the diced onions and cook until translucent.
    1 onion
  • Stir in the diced pepper, chili powder and garlic, stirring and cooking until fragrant.
    1 bell pepper, 2 Tablespoons chili powder, 2 cloves garlic
  • Pour in the apple ale or hard cider and stir up any bit stuck to the bottom of the pan.
    12 ounces hard apple cider
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer until ready to serve.
    1 teaspoon oregano, 2 cans great northern beans, 2 cans garbanzo beans, 2 cans pumpkin, 2 large cans crushed tomatoes, options green chilies or a chopped jalapeno, salt and pepper


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 228kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 16gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 159mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Sunday 21st of January 2018

Looks divine! and I think I can smell it through my computer screen! Thanks for sharing at our football party round up! celebrate 365


Monday 16th of October 2017

Thank you so much!


Thursday 12th of October 2017

Mmmm! This sounds so comforting and so loaded with flavor! Thank you for sharing at Celebrate It!


Monday 16th of October 2017

Thanks, Teri! We just love chili this time of year!

Amy (Savory Moments)

Wednesday 11th of October 2017

What a unique and tasty looking fall chili!


Monday 16th of October 2017

Thank you!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Tuesday 10th of October 2017

This sounds really interesting and good! I think this is going on the menu for Sunday... I'll let you know the results :)


Monday 16th of October 2017

Yay! I hope you love it. I ended up going with the classic red venison chili today. :-)