Vegetarian pumpkin chili is filled with beans, peppers, and pumpkin, of course! Tons of spices like chili peppers, paprika, and cinnamon make this delicious one pot meal a hearty dinner.
Pumpkin? In chili? Yes! Pumpkin chili is something I totally love and want you to love as much. This is a fun spin on a more traditional chili recipes and black bean chili and is a perfect dish for fall but delicious enough for any time of year!
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
It doesn’t taste like pumpkin but rather the rich and filling chili that has great umami flavor and lots of spice depending on how many peppers you add (I add a lot because I like it spicy!). It's a nice break from the sweets to have a savory pumpkin recipe. Pumpkin is a vegetable, after all!
This one-pot chili is packed full of hidden veggies, tons of flavorful spices, and tons of protein thanks to beans. Even meat eaters will enjoy this hearty chili recipe.
Plus, this recipe is naturally gluten free and depending on the toppings can be vegan as well.
It goes great with my vegan pumpkin clover rolls, vegan dinner rolls, or gluten free chickpea biscuits.
Why You’ll Love Pumpkin Chili
- Perfect for getting in some fresh veggies during the cold months
- Uses lots of pantry staples - nothing weird!
- Comes together in one pot
- Make as spicy as you like, or not spicy at all
- Super nutritious and packed with protein and antioxidant rich foods
Here is a quick rundown of what you’ll need for vegetarian pumpkin chili:
- Pumpkin: The main ingredient! Use 100% pure pumpkin puree in this recipe. If you happen to have homemade pumpkin puree, use an equal amount but slightly less broth in the recipe.
- Onion, Garlic, Green Bell Peppers: This trio creates a delicious base for the rest of the ingredients. If you want to change it up and use a red bell pepper, go ahead!
- Spices: This recipe uses your traditional chili spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika. But, it also uses cinnamon which pairs beautifully with pumpkin and really adds a touch of sweetness to the recipe.
- Tomatoes: You can use diced or petite diced here. Just don’t drain and rinse the tomatoes, you want the juice!
- Sweet Potatoes + Corn: Adding these adds more texture and flavor. I always add corn to my chili because I love it. The sweet potato pairs well with the pumpkin and is another veggie to help round out this meal.
- Beans: Use your favorite beans to make this recipe. Dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, and pinto beans are great ones that I usually have on hand. For a low histamine option, go for black beans which don’t cause a histamine spike. Just remember to drain and rinse the beans no matter which kind you use.
- Vegetable broth: Use your favorite vegetable broth or water to make this dish.
- Jalapeño: Add this or not, depending on your spicy tolerance level. If you don't like spicy food at all, you can omit this!
The best thing about this chili is that it gets put into one pot and left to simmer for 45 minutes. It basically makes itself!
This is just the quick rundown of how to make this chili. For the full recipe, complete with ingredient measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Chop up the onions, garlic, and green peppers. You can sauté them in a little olive oil for 2-3 minutes if you like. However, this isn’t a required step.
Next, add all the remaining ingredients to a large pot on the stove. Cook over medium heat with the lid on for about 25 minutes, and then with the lid off for the remaining 20 to help the chili thicken.
Want to mix things up? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Out of tomatoes? Use a few tablespoons of tomato paste mixed with the vegetable stock.
- Swap out the sweet potatoes for chopped butternut squash.
- Use chipotle peppers in addition to the bell peppers.
- Drizzle a spoonful of maple syrup on top to add a whole new depth of flavor!
How to Cook in a Slow Cooker
It’s pretty similar to how to cook this on the stovetop.
Place all the ingredients into your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. That’s it!
I'm not sure how to make this in an instant pot as I don't have that equipment. If you make it in an instant pot let me know!
What to Serve with Pumpkin Chili
There are a few different things you can serve with chili.
First, you can serve this with just some toppings. Second, you can try serving over cooked noodles like spaghetti noodles for a Cincinatti inspired chili, or over rice.
Favorite toppings: Sour cream, avocado slices, hot sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeño slices, chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, crackers, tortilla chips, or tortillas.
How to Store
Pumpkin chili is great for meal prep because you can not only keep it in the fridge for days, but you can also freeze it for months!
Fridge: Store any cooled leftover chili in a sealed airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freezer: Store the cooked and cooled chili in freezer safe containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then heat in a large pot for 20-30 minutes over low heat until warmed through.
More Meatless Dinner Ideas
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- Large pot
- cutting board
- mixing spoon
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ onion diced
- 1 green pepper diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups broth
- 28 oz chopped tomatoes in juice
- 15 oz beans red or black, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup sweet potato diced
- ½ cup frozen corn
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the diced onions and green peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Place the lid on and cook for 25 minutes on medium heat, giving it a stir once in a while. Remove the lid and cook for the remaining 20 to allow the chili to thicken.
- Serve with additional toppings. Enjoy!
- How to Store
- Fridge: Store any cooled leftover chili in a sealed airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Store the cooked and cooled chili in freezer safe containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then heat in a large pot for 20-30 minutes over low heat until warmed through.
- How to Cook in a Slow Cooker
- Place all the ingredients into your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. That’s it!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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