Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Pumpkin Chicken Tacos, or My Misadventures with Spicy Food

First of all, my misadventures with these Pumpkin Chicken Tacos was entirely my fault, not the fault of the recipe. It’s really great and I will make it again. My husband enjoyed this dinner immensely; I just had some bad luck and didn’t really consider the effects of spice on my not-so-spice-loving palate. It was really disappointing because I had so been looking forward to this dinner… but alas, it was not meant to be!

This is what happened after a taste test…


After taking a bite of the pumpkin chicken mixture while it was cooking, my lips and mouth started burning really badly!  I think I got ate a straight jalapeno seed or something, and not much else. Ice helped a little but not much… partially because I probably had juice on my hands, which melted onto the ice cube, and partially because it was only AFTER I started this ice cube regimen that my husband remembered that water makes the burning sensation worse… 😦 But milk was good and aided in my recovery! I must say, I did not try the final product but Ben thought it was so good that he wanted me to share it here. So here goes!

However, despite that incident, my husband really enjoyed his dinner and says that you should definitely try this recipe. He thought that the pumpkin gave the meat a unique and creamy texture and flavor. He loved the contrast of the pumpkin with the spice, and felt that the pumpkin really melded well with the veggies and chicken. He also loved the spiciness of this dish, and even going so far as to say that it was one of the spiciest dishes he’s ever eaten, aside from wing sauces. This was even after I discarded about 2/3 of the seeds of the jalapenos!Ben also liked how pumpkin was savory, instead of sweet as it tends to be in most recipes. Initially, that was what drew me to the recipe. Pumpkin is so versatile, and I love finding atypical ways to use my favorite ingredients.


pumpkin chicken tacos... spicy & delicious
This is the deliciousness that is pumpkin chicken tacos.

To sum it up, if you like spicy food and pumpkin, you will love this! If not, you can still make this but definitely tone it down. In no way do I blame the recipe or the We are not Martha girls for my plight… it was all my fault! I should have been more careful with the level of heat in this. Oh well! Our kitty made it up to me during clean up by being so darn cute and pulling on my apron strings… literally!


Sheba pulling on my apron strings.
Playful Sheba

Pumpkin Chicken Tacos

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

[from We are not Martha]


  • 1 cup red onion,  chopped
  • 2 cups sweet peppers, chopped [I used some green, red, and yellow peppers]
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 tomatillos, papery skin removed and diced
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • tortillas
  • Mexican cheese
  • lettuce
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water


In a medium skillet, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil and then add the peppers and onions to sautee over medium-high heat. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder, and mix in the water. Cook until the veggies are soft, then turn down heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken and season with a dash of ground pepper. Once the chicken has cooked through, add the chopped jalapenos and diced tomatillos. Stir and then add the pumpkin. Turn heat down and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Serve tacos with cheese, lettuce, salsa, cilantro, cheese, and sour cream. Enjoy!


You can make this milder by omitting jalapenos, and even decreasing the amount of spice in the veggies.

What has been a recent kitchen misadventure for you?


9 thoughts on “Pumpkin Chicken Tacos, or My Misadventures with Spicy Food”

  1. So did you use 1 cup of pumpkin puree from a can? That’s what it looks like in the picture, though initially I thought you were using fresh pumpkin.
    Anyway, it looks awesome. I love my food spicy, so that draws me to this dish even more!


  2. I too have a very sensitive palate so that when a dish calls for jalapeño peppers I very often use chopped green chiles and what a dish calls for chile powder I might use paprika. I will be trying this dish when we return from our travels; I love that I get email when a new blog entry is posted! Thank you!


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