These Chicken Tacos Prove It's Never Too Early For Pumpkin Season

© Clare Barboza
© Clare Barboza

If you're looking for fresh ways to utilize pumpkins beyond jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkin pie, you have to try this recipe from The Pumpkin Cookbook ($17) by DeeDee Stovel. These chicken-pumpkin tacos are ideal for feeding crowds but can also be whipped up in no time for an easy weeknight meal.

© Clare Barboza

Chicken-Pumpkin Tacos


    • Tacos:
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
    • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
    • 1 pound fresh pumpkin, seeds and fibers removed, peeled, diced (about 2 cups)
    • 1/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup canned tomatoes and juice
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • Dash of hot sauce
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
    • 6 flour tortillas, 8 inches each, or crisp corn taco shells
    • Toppings:
    • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar or monterey jack
    • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
    • 3 cups shredded lettuce
    • 1 1/2 cups salsa


    1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until wilted. Add the chicken and peppers and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the fresh and canned pumpkin, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, hot sauce, and salt. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the chicken is tender and no longer pink, the pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork, and the sauce thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it and return it to the pan. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro and let the mixture sit while you heat the tacos.

    2. On a griddle or large skillet over medium heat, warm the tortillas for 1 minute on each side. Place 1 on each of six plates and divide the filling among them. Combine the yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl. Top each taco with the yogurt mixture, cheese, avocado, lettuce, and salsa.

    3. Fold the tortillas in half as you eat them.


    Each taco, overflowing with spicy vegetables and cheese, is a meal in itself. It is fun to expand the recipe and serve it to a crowd, allowing each person to build his or her own.