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Smoke Roasted Pumpkin Chili

Posted by sbulloch on October 14, 2013

Smoke Roasted Pumpkin Chili

Here at Team Traeger, we get inspiration for our food from all around us. This time of year, all it took was a little trip to the Farmer's Market and a glance at the plump looking pie pumkins to get our tastebuds thinking. (Yes, our tastebuds do a majority of the thinking around here). We have seen recipes for canned pumkin stirred into hearty chili, but knew we could do so much better. After roasting our pumpkin on the Traeger, we spooned the puree into our hearty chili and voila! A new fall classic was born!

We wanted a hearty, beefy chili so we used cubed bottom round and simmered on low for a few hours. If you find yourself in a rush, saute the ground beef in your dutch oven with the onions and peppers and follow the rest of the recipe as directed but reduce the cooking time to as little as 30 minutes. The longer your chili has to simmer, the more cohesive and smooth your flavors will be.

Smoke Roasted Pumpkin Chili


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4-6 hours
Serves: 8-10
Recommended Pellets: Hickory or Mesquite

1 small pie pumpkin
2 pounds bottom round, cut into 1/2 inch cubes  
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 (15 oz) can pinto or kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato sauce 
1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
Traeger Sweet and Smoky Chipotle Rub
Salt and pepper to taste


Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Place a large dutch oven on one side of your grill grate, close the lid and increase the temperature to 350 degrees F. Allow 10-15 minutes for the grill and dutch oven to preheat.

Using a long sharp knife, cut your pumpkin in half.

Scoop out the guts of the pumpkin, putting the seeds aside to toast later.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper or tin foil on a baking sheet. Spray the parchment with non stick spray or brush with olive oil. Lay the pumpkin halves, cut side down, on the rimmed baking sheet.

Season your beef cubes with Traeger Sweet & Smoky Chipotle Rub.

Drizzle the bottom of your dutch oven with olive oil. Stir in the garlic, onion, and bell peppers. Place the beef cubes on the grill grate next to the dutch oven (we put ours on a Frogmat to prevent them falling through, but a grilling basket would work great too). Put the baking sheet with the pumpkin halves on the other end of the grill.

After a few minutes, stir your veggies in the crock pot and flip over your beef. After a few minutes more, add the beef to the dutch oven along with the rest of the tomatoes, beans, and seasoning. Stir the contents of the dutch oven well and place the lid on top. Stir occasionally while your pumkin continues to roast.

Bake the pumpkin for about 90 minutes total. If it’s a smaller pumpkin, it won’t take quite as long. When it’s done, the skin should yield to gentle pressure and the flesh should be soft. Remove the pumpkin from the grill and turn the temperature on the grill down to 225 degrees F.

Allow the pumpkin to cool till it’s just warm. Scoop out the flesh using a broad spoon and put it into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the pulp till it’s smooth and even-textured.

Smoke Roasted Pumpkin Chili

Stir 1 cup of the pumpkin puree into the chili (you can add more if you like) and allow the chili to simmer for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally, until the stew meat is tender.

Smoke Roasted Pumpkin Chili

Serve with sour cream, cheese, freshly diced white onions, or cilantro.

Smoke Roasted Pumpkin Chili