Fire Roasted Poblano and Pumpkin Chili

by Danielle Omar, MS, RD

I have a slight obsession with peppers. I just love them. I probably eat bell peppers every single day. I grew up eating my Mom’s freshly made (and amazingly delicious) roasted red peppers. I add peppers to sauces, dip them into hummus, and a salad is just not the same without them.

Today I charred an orange bell pepper and a poblano pepper to make a big pot of Pumpkin Poblano chili. It’s one of my favorites. I charred the peppers directly on my gas stove; it only took about five minutes before the kitchen started to smell like fire roasted goodness!

How to Char a Pepper

If you’ve never charred a pepper before, it’s pretty simple, especially if you have a gas stove. If you don’t, you can always use your broiler. Just place one or a few peppers on a baking tray and set it under the broiler. Use tongs to turn the peppers after about 3 minutes, allowing for charring on all sides. Once most of the pepper is blistered and charred, remove the tray from the oven and place the hot peppers directly into a brown paper bag (or a Ziploc bag, if you must) and close it up tight. Let the peppers steam inside the bag for about 10-15 minutes. When ready, remove the peppers from the bag. If they’ve set long enough, you will be able to easily slide the skin right off the peppers with your fingers. Once they’re all peeled, give them a rinse. I like to dash the peppers with a bit of balsamic vinegar and dig in (I find it difficult not to eat them all up in one sitting!). Today I sautéed them with a chopped onion for the base of this tasty chili!

The poblano adds a nice depth of flavor to this chili and I think it goes great with the pumpkin. I like to add a ton of seasoning to my chili, so if you like flavor, you will love this recipe.

Here’s how I made it:

Fire Roasted Poblano & Pumpkin Chili

1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey (or omit this if you want to keep it veg)

1 Poblano pepper, charred, peeled and diced

1 orange bell pepper, charred, peeled and diced (you could use store-bought roasted red peppers)

1 yellow onion, diced

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp chipotle chili powder

¼ tsp coriander

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 (14 oz) can organic pumpkin puree

1 (14 oz) can kidney beans, drained

1 (14 oz) can pinto beans, drained

1 (28 oz) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes


In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef or turkey, stirring to break up any large clumps. Season the meat with salt. Once browned, remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, poblano peppers, and bell pepper to the pan and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the meat (if using) back to the pan, along with the spices. Add the pumpkin and tomatoes and stir well to combine. Let cook a few minutes and then add the beans. Stir well and taste. Adjust the seasonings. Let chili simmer for about 20 minutes and serve with chopped avocado or sour cream, if desired.

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