Being the 4th of July weekend, you or some of your American friends may be keen for celebrations. Here’s a great recipe that utilizes pumpkin (an American favorite) that can be made vegetarian, vegan, dairy free or gluten free easily. It’s then perfectly saved with your food vacuum sealer from Food Vacuum Sealers Australia, so you can celebrate then seal!

It can easily be made vegan by replacing the butter with extra olive oil. It can even be served with dairy-free toppings in place of the cheddar cheese and sour cream, or skipped entirely. The chilli is also gluten-free, though you should check your ingredients just in case. (Some broth/stock, canned goods and tomato paste can have sneaky gluten.)

Pumpkin Chili

Serves 8 to 10
3-pound pie pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash such as butternut, Red curry, or Golden Hubbard
2 medium turnips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetarian broth
2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, such as Rotel
2 16-ounce cans chili beans, drained
2 cups frozen corn
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
Several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Balsamic vinegar, to taste
Chopped green onions, to serve
Shredded cheddar cheese, to serve
Sour cream, to serve

Peel the pumpkin or squash and cut into 1-inch pieces. To make it easier to peel the pumpkin, cut in half, remove the seeds (and set aside for roasting!), then microwave each half cut-side down in a shallow dish of water for 5 minutes, or roast the halves at 220°C for about 15 minutes. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, shave off the skin with a sharp knife.

Peel the turnips and cut into small cube like pieces.

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the cornmeal until smooth. Then stir in the chopped pumpkin, turnip, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Add the broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and corn. Stir in the chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring back to a simmer then reduce the heat and cook for at least 1 hour, or until the pumpkin and turnip are tender. (It gets even better if simmered longer — a whole afternoon, if you have the time.)

Before serving, taste and season with salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Serve hot with chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

This is a fantastic recipe for anyone across the world, incorporating some overseas favorites but can be used to warm up Winter down under. Easily made in bulk, it can be easily vacuumed sealed for later days, although it’s such a crowd favorite, you may have to double the recipe!

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