PHN News

Bowl of pumpkin and sausage verde chili with a spoon inserted. Topped with cilantro and jalapenos

Chili Verde with Sausage & Pumpkin

Headshot of psychiatric services, MD, Doctor Lynne Johnson

This fall, try a new pumpkin chili recipe. The tomatillo salsa gives this meal its bright, fresh flavor.


  • For the tomatillo salsa:
    • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos (6 to 8 medium)
    • 5 serrano or 10 jalapeno peppers, stemmed (plus seeds, if you can take the heat)
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1 large white onion, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • Kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the chili:
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
    • 1 pound sausage meat (mild or hot)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican), crumbled
    • 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
    • 1 15-ounce can hominy
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
    • 2 cups chopped peeled sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (about 8 ounces)
    • Kosher salt
    • Thinly sliced serrano or jalapeno peppers, for topping


  • Preheat the broiler. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, then rinse the tomatillos under warm water to remove any stickiness. Dry with a paper towel. Put the tomatillos, chiles, garlic, and sliced onion on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle on 2 teaspoons or so of salt. Broil a few inches from the heat, turning everything once, until the tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Puree the broiled vegetables in a blender with the cilantro until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up, until browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove and discard the excess fat, leaving 1–2 tablespoons in the pot. Stir in the oregano and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 3 more minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatillo salsa, hominy (including the liquid), cilantro, and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and cook, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Taste and season with salt, if necessary. Garnish with cilantro and chiles.
Category Recipes
Share Post