Pumpkin Stew

Pumpkin combined with red and green peppers, black beans, and yellow corn makes a colorful, comfortingly warm dish bursting with great taste and cancer-protective nutrients.

bowl of pumpkin stew with dollop of sour cream

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Indigenous to the Western hemisphere, pumpkins have been grown in the Americas for more than 5,000 years. A member of the gourd family (which includes cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelons, and zucchini), pumpkins are rich in vitamin A, specifically beta-carotene—a powerful cancer-protective antioxidant. Count on pumpkin to provide vitamin C, fiber, and potassium too.

This easy recipe calls for canned pumpkin, but you can use fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, about 2 cups chopped. It’s fun to experiment to discover which you like best!

Make it a meal: Serve with some crusty whole-grain bread or add a cucumber, avocado, and tomato salad. Cut the cucumbers into thick slices, add tomato and avocado wedges, and onion slices. Then drizzle on extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of good quality vinegar–or a squeeze of lemon juice–and some dried Italian seasoning. Gently toss. You have goodness in two bowls, one orange and one green.

Pumpkin Stew
(Makes 4 servings)

bowl of pumpkin stew with dollop of sour cream


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin (curry powder may be substituted)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pureed pumpkin (2 cups fresh may be substituted)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, no salt added, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can yellow corn kernels, no salt added, drained (1-1½ cups fresh or frozen may be substituted)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (vegetable may be substituted)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup plain, low-fat yogurt, optional


  1. In large saucepan warm oil over medium heat. Stir in peppers, onion, and garlic and sauté about 6 minutes until peppers and onion soften. Stir in cumin and continue to cook 1-2 minutes.
  2. Pour in pumpkin, beans, corn, tomatoes, and broth. Add 1 teaspoon cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 25 minutes.
  3. Divide stew among four bowls and garnish with cilantro and yogurt, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving

Calories: 301
Total fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 57 g
Fiber: 14 g
Protein: 14 g
Sodium: 307 mg

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