Chicken-Pumpkin Tacos

Pumpkin offers so much more than the annual slice of pie at Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin is high in fiber and low in calories and offers plenty of protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, and huge amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A.

The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition offers up over 130 recipes that pack a pumpkin superfood punch, including these tasty Chicken-Pumpkin Tacos.

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.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1½ 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)
  • ¼ cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1½ cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1½ 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.

Text and recipe excerpted from The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition © DeeDee Stovel. Photo © Clare Barboza.

DeeDee Stovel

DeeDee Stovel

About the

DeeDee Stovel is the author of numerous cookbooks, including the bestseller Picnic. A caterer, longtime teacher of cooking and nutrition, and passionate advocate of fresh, homemade food, she lives in northern California.

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