Chicken Chili with Pumpkin & Chocolate

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Serves: 8

Chili loves pumpkin and chocolate! Use these fun ingredients to help revitalize an old favourite. The pumpkin adds fibre and body while the chocolate and cocoa powder blend in creating rich, smooth flavour. Make this quick, warming dish with lean ground chicken to hit the spot on a cold day.


1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) onion(s), diced
3 cups (750 mL) pumpkin, fresh, peeled and diced
3 cups (750 mL) butternut squash, fresh, peeled and diced
1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin, ground
1 tsp (5 mL) oregano, dried
1 tsp (5 mL) cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cinnamon, ground
1 lb (0.5 kg) lean ground chicken
2 cups (500 mL) tomato sauce, unsalted
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) chocolate chips, dark, semi-sweet
2 cups (500 mL) canned lentils, with liquid
2 cups (500 mL) canned black beans, with liquid
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) salt
8 sprigs cilantro, fresh, optional garnish


1 Heat oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and stir and sauté until softened.
2 Peel and cut fresh pumpkin into ½ inch (12.5 mL) cubes. Add to the onions with the minced jalapeno pepper and garlic. Sprinkle over chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, unsweetened cocoa powder and cinnamon. Stir and mix well.
3 Add ground chicken and sauté until cooked through. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break the meat into smaller pieces during cooking.
4 Pour over tomato sauce and water. Stir well. Mix in unsweetened chocolate chips and the lentils and black beans with their liquid. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes. Season with additional salt if desired.
5 To serve garnish bowls with fresh sprigs of cilantro (optional garnish).