Born, Bred, and Valley Fed: Pumpkin Beer Chili


all is in the air! It’s that special time of year when the mornings are crisp, the leaves begin to change, the lights are bright on a Friday night, and everyone is obsessed with pumpkin flavored everything. With the coming of fall also comes the old Valley tradition of the Brawley Cattle Call and Rodeo!

It’s been a few years since I’ve been able to make it back home for the rodeo, but it is still one of my favorite activities in the Valley. If tradition still stands true to my memory, the festivities begin with a week of celebrations such as the Bell Game, the Cattle Call Parade and the Chili Cook Off.

While I won’t be participating in the cook off this year, I did have an opportunity to make some chili for an early Halloween celebration at work. There are lot of different spins one can take when making chili, and this year, I decided to add in a flavor that everyone seems to be obsessed with during the fall: pumpkin. That’s right, I whipped up a Pumpkin Beer Chili with beans that was very delicious and got eaten right up.

The recipe below is what I used to create my chili. It is doubled so it will make a LOT of chili, enough to share with friends or freeze and enjoy later.

Pumpkin Beer Chili


2 lbs. ground beef or turkey

2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

4 gloves garlic

1.5 bottles of pumpkin ale or other beer

1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes

1.5 cans pureed pumpkin

1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans

1 (15 oz.) can white kidney beans

2 (15 oz.) cans black beans

2 tablespoons hot sauce (or more to desired taste and heat)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and cinnamon to taste.


1). In a large skillet, cook the ground beef with the onion and green bell pepper until the meat is browned and crumbly.

2). Dump meat and all remaining ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours

3). When done cooking, serve up with cornbread and enjoy!

I know it’s a few weeks before the Rodeo and the Chili Cook Off, but hopefully this gives you time to try out this recipe and see how it compares to ones you might taste at the event. Don’t be surprised if you make this up and don’t have any leftovers.

Stay tuned for yummy fall recipes and treats as this season of fun continues!