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Hearty Pumpkin Chili with Polenta

Feel free to make this healthy chili a day ahead. It reheats nicely, and the polenta stays good for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.—Wendy Rusch, Trego, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 45 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven, cook the first five ingredients over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, pumpkin, 1 tablespoon sugar, chili powder, pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, bring milk, cream, butter, and remaining sugar and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil; slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir with a wooden spoon 2-3 minutes or until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from sides of pan (mixture will be very thick).
  • Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Let stand until firm, about 30 minutes.
  • Stir beans into chili; heat through. Cut polenta into six pieces. Serve with chili.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups with 1 piece polenta: 547 calories, 27g fat (14g saturated fat), 99mg cholesterol, 1581mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 11g fiber), 26g protein.

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  • angela32
    Oct 2, 2019

    I didn't make the polenta. The rest I made as is, but I added some chipotle peppers because this chili lacked spice for us. I really enjoyed it but my husband was stick on the pumpkin spice flavor. He wasn't fond of that. I couldn't taste it, so who knows. :D