Hearty Harvest Chili - Cooking Up Clean

Hearty Harvest Chili


The sign of a really good workout: you wake up the next morning not being able to move because your muscles are so sore and refusing to operate properly.  Yeeaahhh. That would be me, as a result of shoveling our very first snowfall of the year.  One heaping foot of heavy wet snow perfect for crafting snowmen. I only shoveled half of the driveway before my neighbor felt sorry for me and came over with his snowblower. God Bless him.  I made him cookies. And then I made some hearty harvest chili for a chilly snowy day.


You can make this harvest chili in a crockpot and let it simmer its deep delicious flavors together all day long or you can make it up in a large saucepot.  Let’s not make extra dishes and do everything all in one pot too while we’re at it!   Less dishes equals a happy girl.  Browning the hamburger along with the onion and garlic in the crockpot takes a little longer but it’s worth it. It takes about 2 hours to completely cook the burger first this way but you end up with very tender small ground bits of beef and non-crunchy onions. You can do this the fast way and brown the beef and onion in a separate frying pan if you are short on time.  Once beef is browned, add rest of ingredients to the crockpot or saucepot and let simmer until hot.   


Harvest Chili gets the “harvest” name due to the use of pureed squash or pumpkin in this recipe.  The  addition of the squash provides a deeper variety of flavor and nutrients as well as cuts the acidity a bit.  If you tend to have heartburn after eating dishes heavy on tomato, this helps immensely to cut it with squash.  The squash also makes this chili slightly creamy in consistency making it feel like you’re eating something delightfully decadent. If you’re feeling really daring, stir in some sliced okra for a little extra color.  Top it with your favorite chili toppings!

Hearty Harvest Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalepeno or serrano peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup squash or pumpkin puree
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans or pinto beans
  • 2 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1½-2 teaspoons salt or smoked salt
  • 1 cup sliced okra (optional)
  1. In a crockpot, place ground beef, onion and garlic.
  2. Stir together and cook on low 2 hours or until beef is cooked through.
  3. Smash cooked beef into small bits.
  4. Add all other ingredients to crock pot and stir.
  5. Cook on low for 3 hours up to 8 hours.
  6. Serve hot with your favorite chili toppings like cheese, guacamole and chips!
Alternately, you can brown the hamburger in a saucepot or frying pan. Combine all ingredients in saucepot and simmer on stove until hot and tasty.


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