Pumpkin, Beef, and Black Bean Chili with White Cheddar and Crispy Tortillas
It’s chilly outside, so of course, we’re making chili inside. This Southwestern version uses pumpkin purée for body and a touch of sweetness. We also add browned beef, black beans, and tomato, then simmer with aromatics until everything comes together. Let each person customize their bowls with crispy tortilla strips and chopped scallions.
Total cook time
- 15 ounces black beans
- 3 scallions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lime
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 14 1/2 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 4 corn tortillas
- 2 ounces shredded white Cheddar cheese
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- black pepper
Drain and rinse black beans; place half in a small bowl and, using a fork or potato masher, mash until almost smooth (leave remainder whole). Rinse all produce. Halve lime. Set aside 1 half for tortillas; cut remainder into wedges for serving. Trim and discard scallion roots and thinly slice crosswise on a diagonal, keeping whites and light greens separate from dark greens. Mince garlic.
Pat beef dry with a paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chili powder, garlic, and scallion whites and light greens; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef and season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up, until browned, about 5 minutes.
To pot with beef, add crushed tomatoes, pumpkin purée, mashed and whole black beans, and 2 cups water, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium; simmer until flavors have melded, 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, stack tortillas and cut into thin strips.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add tortilla strips in a single layer and fry, working in batches as needed, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes per side (see recipe tip). Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Season with juice of .5 lime (see recipe tip) and .5 teaspoon salt.
Once chili has simmered, remove pot from heat and stir in half of scallion dark greens. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.
Divide pumpkin, beef, and black bean chili among serving bowls. Garnish with white Cheddar, crispy tortillas, and remaining scallion dark greens. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over. Enjoy!
All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.