Buffalo Pumpkin Chili

Our time in Sedona has been incredible. Between the epic landscape that regularly takes our breath away, to the spiritual mecca that is the town, we could stay here forever. Also, for the most part, the weather is perfect. Miid and warm during the day, while still dipping into the coolness of night. Just the right amount of sun, without it becoming oppressing hot. 

This past weekend was the first real rain weekend we’ve had in a while and we took full advantage. I spent much of my time in our tiny kitchen working on healthy recipes that would last the week. On one of these dreary afternoons, I decided chili would warm us right up and pulled the ground bison from the freezer. We always have plenty of canned beans on hand and while sifting through our can inventory, I came across a can of pureed pumpkin and decided to revive my pumpkin chili recipe.

Typically, I do this version of chili with vegetables only, but on this day, a hearty and satisfying meaty chili was calling. A pinch of cloves and cinnamon gives it a deep and spicy flavor.

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour | Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves 6


1 lb. ground buffalo meat
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
2 15 oz. cans chili beans, washed and strained
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Grated cheese (optional topping)
Avocado (optional topping)
Cilantro, chopped (optional topping)


  1. In large dutch oven or sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium-high.
  2. When oil is hot, add ground buffalo meat. 
  3. Salt and pepper meat as browning.
  4. Brown buffalo and set aside.
  5. Add onion, garlic, and zucchini to pan. 
  6. Cook vegetables until translucent.
  7. Combine meat in the pan with vegetables.
  8. Add tomatoes and combine.
  9. Add pumpkin puree and combine.
  10. Mix in spices.
  11. Add beans and combine thoroughly.
  12. Add water or stock if too thick.
  13. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Serve warm topped with cheese, avocado, and cilantro.