Paleo Meaty Pumpkin Sweet Potato Chili


The inspiration for this recipe is the beginning of Fall, so you will be seeing a lot of delicious and nutritious pumpkin incorporated into my recipes.  I’ve never been one for pumpkin pie, but in the past, Fall has always meant pumpkin in the form of my Mom’s amazing pumpkin chocolate cookies – try the paleo version aka pumpkin bites sometime!  Pumpkin is SO MUCH MORE than a sweet, pretty face in the world of Fall cooking.  As long as you haven’t grabbed the can of pumpkin pie filling which has been sweetened and spiced, canned pumpkin is a wonderfully consistent and versatile addition to savory cooking.

I’ve seen a bunch of pumpkin chili recipes out there, but wanted to make sure I was able to achieve something hearty and meaty yet still paleo (without beans).  The various textures of tomato, the two different meats, and the addition of cubed sweet potato produced an incredibly satisfying result.   The depth and complexity of flavors with relatively few ingredients is achievable largely because of the spices in the sausage meat.  The fattier sausage also brings a richness and delicateness that is a wonderful complement to the lean turkey meat.

I used the Odom’s Tennessee Pride brand of hot sausage.  I like this brand because they do not use corn syrup in their sausage.  Hot sausage is always my personal preference when choosing between sweet and spicy.  However, feel free to make this chili your own.  If you prefer a more mellow chili or you are making this for anyone who is sensitive to spice, make this with sweet sausage instead of hot.  In addition to the variation of sausages, feel free to substitute regular V8 juice in the place of the Spicy Hot V8 juice.

A note about cooking methods: 

I made this in a dutch oven, and enjoyed the ‘fewer items to clean’ aspect of one-pot cooking.  With minimal attention – after the browning of meat and onion – and plenty of time to walk away and get other stuff done, we’re only talking about 2 hours.  This recipe could also be made in a slow cooker.  However, it slightly bothers me when a recipe claims to be a “dump ingredients and forget it” slow cooker recipe, and then when you read the steps, it tells you to brown meats in a separate pan ahead of time.  That being said, if you are short on time that you can devote to attentive cooking, browning the meat and onions and dumping the remaining ingredients in the crockpot for 4-6 hours on low would work just as well.

The flavors and heartiness of this chili can stand on their own, so I simply topped it with some slices of ripened avocado, grabbed a spoon, and called it a meal.  However, it never hurts to add a bit more protein.  My favorite way to do that is to top the dish with an egg over easy (my fail-proof tips for eggs to come soon!).

Want more veggies? 

Top with some cauliflower rice or shredded cabbage.

Not strict paleo?  Totally fine! 

Top it with some cheese, rice, or eat it with some baked tortilla chips.

I hope this chili is a satisfying for you and your family as it is for mine.  Bring on the cooler temperatures and the [canned] pumpkin, Fall!  We’re ready.  🙂


  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 pkg (16-20 oz) ground turkey
  • 1 pkg (16 oz) hot sausage – I like Odom’s Tennessee Pride brand
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into small cubes – about 1/2 inch
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced organic fire-roasted tomatoes – I used Muir Glen brand
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 (14.5 oz) can pumpkin – about a heaping cup
  • 2 cups V8 100% vegetable juice (regular or spicy hot)
  • 2 tbs organic tomato paste
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • avocado to garnish, optional


  • 1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven on medium-high heat
  • 2. Sautée diced onion, ground turkey, and ground sausage, 10-15 minutes until both sausages are crumbly, well-mixed, and cooked through
  • 3. While the meat and onion is cooking, wash and cut sweet potato into small cubes – peeling the sweet potato is optional
  • 4. When sausage and onions are finished, stir in diced sweet potato
  • 5. Add fire-roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes, V8 juice, tomato paste, canned pumpkin and spices; stir until well-incorporated
  • 6. Adjust heat so that the ingredients are at a low simmer, cover pot, and cook for about an hour and 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked, stirring the ingredients about every 15 to 30 minutes
  • 7. Serve with sliced avocado on top, optional
  • 8. Enjoy!