Turkey, Pumpkin and Veggie Chili ~ ElephantEats.com

While you’re reading this post, I’m currently in Italy, most likely ODing on pasta and gelato ;)

You see, I kind of conned my way into being included in my parent’s Italian vacation (thanks mom and dad!). Unfortunately, Nate wasn’t able to join because he doesn’t get as many vacation days as me :(

Being the awesome wife that I am, though, I wanted to make sure that my hubby was well-fed while I was away. Since he is ok with leftovers, and his mom was going to be in town to take him out for a few meals, I figured that I would cook two big meals and freeze it so he had enough for the 6 dinners he’d need.

Turkey, Pumpkin and Veggie Chili ~ ElephantEats.com

Not all meals freeze and reheat well, but chili happens to be great for that. I made a HUGE batch that we ate for dinner one night before I left, and then froze two giant tupperwares full. Each one of these holds about 3 meals worth, so he’ll use one while I’m gone and the other can be taken out another time when I’m just not in the mood to cook. It’s always good to have a few frozen meals laying around for convenience!

I also baked up my favorite Trader Joe’s cornbread to go along with it. I used the butter-flavored olive oil sample that I got, and it definitely took it to another level! Also, I added pumpkin to the chili purely because I made pumpkin bread and had a little less than a can leftover in my fridge. You could make this chili without the pumpkin but you’ll need less liquid.

And while I’m talking about favorites/Trader Joe’s/freezing things, I used some Dorot garlic in this recipe. I had seen some of their products in Trader Joes before and used them, but when Natalie posted about them on her blog and I commented, Dorot reached out to me and sent me some coupons! 

What makes Dorot products amazing is that you can have garlic, ginger and fresh herbs on hand all the time! They’re basically little frozen cubes made entirely out of these fresh things. When you want to use them, you pop one or two of the little cubes out of the freezer tray they come in, and into your pan! They don’t stick to the container at all and literally pop right out. They’re SO convenient. Dorot makes crushed garlic, crushed ginger, chopped chile, sauteed glazed onions,chopped basil, cilantro, parsley and dill…AMAZING, i know!

I especially love the garlic ones because i hate stinky garlic fingers (and just generally detest mincing garlic). Do you ever notice that like 2 days after chopping garlic, you get a whiff of something funky and it’s your garlic fingers? It’s especially disconcerting/confusing when you’re eating your oatmeal in the morning. And I love the chopped ginger and basil because let’s face it, when you buy either of those fresh, you never use it all and end up wasting the rest. 

Turkey, Pumpkin and Veggie Chili ~ ElephantEats.com

Apparently Dorot also has frozen cubes of sauces too!…but sadly no supermarkets near me carry them :( I wish it wasn’t the case.

But back to the chili! I find that the best way to eat this after having frozen it is to take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before you want to eat it. Giving it 24 hours to partially defrost in the fridge makes reheating it much easier. Once defrosted, youcan either microwave it or put it in a pot and heat it over the stove.

Hopefully Nate is doing ok on his own. At least I know his belly is full, and someone is home to take good care of our kitty!

Turkey, Pumpkin and Veggie Chili ~ ElephantEats.com

*Note that I was compensated for these products but all opinions are my own. I would never post about a product that I didn’t love and plan to use again!

Turkey, Pumpkin and Veggie Chili for a Crowd
Serves 8
A steaming bowl of healthy chili that can be on the table in under 30 minutes!
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  1. I always freeze extra chili! Is it even possible to make a small batch of chili? One time I got a little overambitious and overflowed my slow-cooker which made a pool of chili in my kitchen. That was fun….This recipe sounds super yummy!

    • haha, no, it is not possible! but then I cook big batches of everything because if you’re gonna spend that much time cooking, it’s nice to be able to enjoy it for a while :) I can’t wait to get my slow cooker out of storage when i move and finally get to use it. Thanks, Davida!!

  2. Have fun in Italy! That’s wonderful you got to get away with your parents, even though Nate couldn’t join you guys. I always make giant batches of chili with the intention to freeze extras, and then I just end up eating it all. :) This recipe looks so yummy. I’ve tried the basil cubes by Dorot and they are fabulous. I’ll have to try the garlic now.

    • Italy was great and it was fun to spend time with my parents whom I don’t see all that often. It would have been even better with nate though!. I haven’t tried the basil ones yet…gotta get them! I think it’s because I don’t usually cook with basil, i just add it raw to things. Def try the garlic!

  3. Drooling! Your Turkey, Pumpkin and Veggie Chili looks succulent and definitely comforting. I love a good bowl of chili in this kind of weather. perfect way to warm up.

  4. Amy, please have some extra gianduja or chestnut gelato for me! Italy sounds amazing and hope you’re having a wonderful time. This chili is the perfect thing to leave for your husband. Looks totally delicious!!

    • If you can believe it, I only ate gelato ONCE! My stomach was acting a little funny the whole time. I didn’t see chestnut gelato though…gosh, I guess I’ll just have to go back and get some ;)

  5. So sweet of you to leave your hubby with this chili. We went to Italy for our honeymoon (almost a year ago) and loved it. I hope you’re having a fabulous time!!

  6. Hope you are having an amazing time in Italy Amy! So jealous of all of the pasta and gelato you are probably enjoying right now. This chili looks amazing and so hearty- perfect for Nate to enjoy while you are gone!

  7. You are so sweet to make this for your hubby! And I am so jealous…wish I was on vacation now! I hope you have a wonderful time, dear friend!

  8. Yay! I’m glad you like the dorot spices! Do you ever get worried when you recommend something that someone will hate it and you’ll feel horrible? No? That’s just me then? This chili looks SO GOOD, and it’s got pumpkin, which I love! Does it taste “pumpkiny” though?? Or does it just add like, some sweetness to it?

    Oh and also I decided that the dorot didn’t smell funny, and that it’s just how garlic smells apparently.

    Also I’M SO JEALOUS THAT YOU’RE IN ITALY. Like you have no idea how jealous I am.

    • I think that if I like something, I don’t really care if someone else doesn’t like it :) I mean as long as I like it I’m ok with recommending it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion though! You can’t taste the pumpkin in this chili at all. Proportionately to the other ingredients, there’s very little pumpkin…I only added it because I wanted to get it out of the fridge :) Sorry to make you jealous :(…maybe showing you pics so you can feel like you were there will help?

  9. This looks so good! You’ve made me so hungry.

  10. Yum! What a big, beautiful bowl of comfort food this is :) xo

  11. looks very vegan like-thanks for sharing.

  12. 1. I can’t believe you went to Italy without me.
    2. This chili looks freakin’ amazing and should probably be living in my freezer right now.

    • Oh crap, my bad. I should have asked my parents if you could join…sorry! Glad you like the chili. Hopefully that makes up for it? :)

  13. i love chili for freezing: for whatever reason, it freezes/comes to life better than soups, and it’s great to have something warm on hand for chilly days where you just don’t want to cook. and it’s so nice that you made nate meals while you’re gone!
    I’m so excited you’re in italy right now! I hope you’re having a fantastic time. i want to hear all about it when you get back.

    • I agree! Chili does so well in the freezer. Thank you for reminding me that I still have more in my freezer. I’m bad about freezing things and then forgetting about them, hehe. Thanks, Shannon!!!

  14. I hope you had a great trip Amy… I really enjoyed following along on your adventures via FB and who knew about LC’s long lost cousin ;-). This chili looks ridiculously good and I have say your photos are really smashing. Did you take these at night with your special night lighting equipment? The lighting is just gorgeous on them. I’ve never made chili with pumpkin before and I just love this idea! Do you find the garlic as pungent in the seal-vac form? I’ve not tried Dorot but have never been overly impressed with the ones I’ve used in the past. Sounds like you like this brand though and, since I know have access to Trader Joe’s… :).

    • Thanks, Kelly, it was a lot of fun! I’m so glad I got to meet LC’s italian heritage ;) Thank you regarding the photos! That means a lot to me. They were taken at night with my special lights :) As are pretty much 99.9% of my photos now since that’s the only time I can do it. I’m really pleased with the lights! This garlic definitely smells like fresh garlic (and I have a sensitive nose!). It’s not like the prechopped jarred version you can find. Definitely give it a try if you’re near a TJs!!!

  15. such a great wife :) Have fun in Italia. That garlic sounds like a great one at have at all times.

  16. Oh my. I think I’m ready for Thanksgiving with this recipe! This looks SO good!

  17. Have an amazing time in Italy! This chili looks like a huge bowl of comfort.

  18. I’m a big chili fan, I can eat it in cold or hot weather, I just love it so much, especially with some cornbread or biscuits.. oh goodness, I’m hungry now!
    Have a great time, eat lots!

  19. Can’t wait to hear all about Italy. What fun! and how sweet of you to make sure your husband had meals to eat while you were gone. Your chili looks incredible and I’m definitely going to try adding pumpkin next time I make chili. I’ll have to try those Dorot products. I especially hate chopping garlic.

    • Thanks, Christin! Definitely be on the lookout for those Dorot products. I know, isn’t chopping garlic the WORST?! I don’t know why I hate it so much.

  20. Have a wonderful holiday and lots of fun in Italy….gorgeous,comforting and healthy bowl of chili…love the use of turkey and pumpkins…they will make a heavenly combination,awesome food clicks and delicious recipe as always :-)

  21. You are a very nice wife, not sure I would do that, haha ;) Looks delicious though, and I’m all for any dishes that leaves lots of leftovers!!

  22. I love the look of your chilli. That looks like an awesome meal to come home to, even if only your cat is at home! How wonderful to be having a week in Italy! Italy is very high on my list of places I must get to xx

  23. Awww, it’s too bad Nate couldn’t join you in Italy! But so sweet of you to make sure he has food while you are away. I hope you are having a good time Amy! Can’t wait to hear all about it! :)

  24. What a terrific veggie filled chili! Two of my sisters are together in Paris and now you in Italy! You lucky ducks.

  25. Hope you’re having a wonderful time in Italy. I would love some of that chili..YUM!!!

    • Thanks, Trishie! You should make some…it makes so much that you just make a big pot one day and then you don’t have to think about dinner the rest of the week while you spend time with little Alex :)

  26. I’d love to have my freezer stocked with this! It looks fantastic, and the pumpkin addition sounds great!
    Have a fun trip, Amy! :D

  27. So I’m currently SUPER JEALOUS of your Italy trip!! And can’t wait to hear all about it. Poor Nate at home all alone…at least you supplied him with some fabulous stick-to-your-ribs food!

  28. How funny it looks like we were on vacation without our husbands at the same time! My parents planned a whole family trip to Hawaii and Tim was the only one who couldn’t take the time off. :(
    I never make chili! I should though – especially since I am loving the flavor combos you put in this one! :)

  29. Is there anything you suggest to replace beans? I’m doing Paleo and beans are a no-go.

    • Hi Daryl! You can just add more turkey, or you could really sub any veggies (or more of a veggie already in there) that you want. The beans do help to thicken it a bit tho, so maybe potatoes if you’re allowed to have them? Or you could just leave them out and it will be a bit thinner.

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