An easy and quick One-pot Vegan Pumpkin Chili is loaded with various veggies, beans, and warming spices. This is the kind of dish you want to reach for one more bowl.
Ready in 30 minutes!
It's my version of meatless chili, a savory pumpkin recipe that is made with simple ingredients, is protein-veggie-packed, and bursting with SO much flavor. Trust me, this will surprise you!
If you love chili and pumpkin, you'll love this recipe! And if you looking for more nourishing chili recipes, try this next: Easy Vegan Chili Recipe.
Check out ALL PUMPKIN recipes.
There is a skip-to-recipe button in the top left corner along with a clickable table of contents list (just below) that will quickly take you to the part you are more interested in. Enjoy!
Table Of Contents
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
What can be better than combining all your favorite things in one dutch oven and simmering until the cooking magic happens and flavors open up beautifully?
I can't wait for you to try this flavorful and hearty pumpkin chili.
- Fresh Pumpkin - is the star main ingredient of this recipe! If it's the pumpkin season, you are in luck! I try to use fresh produce whenever possible, rather than canned products. For this particular chili, I'd normally use a pumpkin with a deep orange-colored flesh which tends to be sweeter in flavor. In different regions, the names and types may vary but Muscade de Provence pumpkin is my go-to). As an alternative, butternut squash is always very, very much the best foolproof option for chilis, curries, and soups.
- Garlic and onion - don't skip these aromatics, it's what truly makes this chili special.
- Broth - Either homemade or store-bought, preferably a low sodium one. It is better to add seasonings and salt as you go.
- Seasonings - I used a handful of spices here and hopefully you have all those too! Fresh hot pepper definitely adds some smokiness and heat to the dish but what I would definitely never skip is the chipotle powder. Smoky to perfection with a dark aroma makes this chili incredible!
- Alternatively, a pre-mix package of taco or burrito seasoning should work here as well, however, I haven’t tried this version yet.
- Protein - I used plenty of beans here for protein however for the non-vegan version you can add ground beef, chicken, or shredded chicken/turkey instead. For the meat and poultry, you can either add them raw somewhere in the middle of cooking or use pre-cooked and add it in as your last step. In this case, I’d recommend reducing the amount of the beans in half.
- A trio of beans - I love to use a mix of beans, at least 3 different ones. Bigger beans will not become mushy so easily and chili will look ‘’fresh’’ for longer. I like to use pinto beans, white beans (Cannellini beans) which are large-sized kidney beans, are the preferred choice here. Their ‘’meaty’’ texture and nutty flavor are often best to use in soups, chilis, and some sauces. Other great choices include Great Northern Beans, Navy beans, Garbanzo beans aka chickpeas, Pinto beans, Red Kidney beans. If you have only a little bit of beans, add what you have and rest substitute with green, black or red lentils. These can be cooked separately, except red lentils which will cook very fast and therefore can be added to the pot towards the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.
- Cinnamon -I added just ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon which I'd normally add to chili anyway. Here you can go all in and add pumpkin pie spice for some extra festive flavor. Pumpkin loves all those seasonings! In addition to cinnamon add about ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice.
- Chipotle powder - if you have fresh or dried chipotle peppers, even better! This is a quick version of chili, so I used organic chipotle powder as it adds unbelievable depth of flavor, and smokiness to any chili, stew or any Mexican dish. If you can't find it, cayenne or chili powder are great options but they are simply not the same still.
- More veggie packed! Additional veggie add-ons to consider sweet potatoes, tomatoes, parsnips, corn, mushrooms.
- Add more flavor by using seasoned salt, we like homemade Celery Salt.
In a large heavy bottom dutch oven over medium-high heat add oil and once hot saute onion, bell peppers, celery, carrot, and hot pepper.
Saute for 2-3 minutes and add garlic, saute 1 minute again. Add seasonings and mix a few times until combined and spices are starting to open up.
Add in the remaining ingredients: all beans, broth, tomatoes, puree, mix to combine, and simmer on lower heat for 20 minutes.
The chili should now start to thicken. If too thick, add more broth or warm spring water.
Season for salt and pepper. Right before serving squeeze lime juice all over the chili.
Serve the warm bowl of chili right away with plenty and more toppings.
Have you tried my Crock Pot Chicken Chili yet?
- Make your own pumpkin puree! How to roast pumpkin in the oven. Very easy recipe: Layout the diced pumpkin (about 1-inch cubes) on a baking tray (in one layer) and sprinkle with salt and pepper along with a drizzle of vegetable oil. Bake at 370 F for 30-45 minutes or until soft and slightly golden brown. Once roasted, and cooled, transfer the pumpkin to a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Easy! And don't forget to keep the pumpkin seeds. You can roast them and use in many recipes or enjoy them on their own.
- For a quick fix, use your homemade taco seasoning, or any prepackaged taco or burrito seasoning.
- Thickening the chili - I didn’t use any thickening agents here as this was thick enough to my liking. If you feel you want it thicker, you can make a mix of cornstarch with water as it is the easiest way to thicken any dish. Cornstarch is naturally gluten-free, however, it can be made in manufacturing facilities together with gluten-free products. To be on the safe side, always double-check the label and ingredients. The standard ratio for the slurry is 1:1.
- Spicy - this chili is moderately spicy and suitable for older kids but if not sure I’d recommend adding just ½ of the chili first. You can always add in more later, or for easier cooking consider chili or chipotle powder.
- Rinse and drain the beans - despite the fact that some chefs prefer to use cooking that thick liquid from the can the beans came from, in my opinion, it is not the best idea. It has a lot of starch and is usually full of sodium. Not really healthy, simply rinse and drain the beans before using.
- Leftover beans - Best way to use any leftover beans is to make my Baked Beans Tostada. A quick tip: In case (just in case) you have leftover beans, never store them in the same can that they came from. I know how convenient it is but don't do it. They will be off very quickly and will pick up the taste of the metal, and this for sure, should be avoided for your health. Pop them in a preferable glass, mason jar or any airtight container with a lid and store them in the fridge for up to a week.
- Looking for more gluten-free chili recipes or craving more beans? Try these next: Beans and Cornbread, Beef Enchilada Casserole, Vegetarian Enchiladas, Easy Vegan Chili.
- We love all things pumpkin and these Air Fryer Pumpkin Fries are one of our family's top requested recipes lately.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
It's the type of dish that is loaded with plenty of veggies and protein but still feels hearty without being too heavy. A healthy vegetarian chili you'll want to make again and again.
To Store. Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To Freeze. Although I am not a fan of freezing food, I found this chili freezes beautifully and holds up the great flavor after thawing. True comfort food at its finest! Place the chili in an airtight freezer-safe storage container and freeze for up to 2 months. Don't use glass as the chili will thicken and may rupture the glass when frozen. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
The best way to thicken any chili is to add a cornstarch or flour slurry towards the end of the cooking process. Potato starch and arrowroot are rarer but will also work as thickening agents. These ingredients need to be mixed with water prior until creamy and should have no lumps when added to chili.
Chili is delicious on its own but not as good without the toppings! Think large dollops of sour cream, creme fraiche, yogurt, jalapenos, fresh cilantro, lime, avocado or guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, sweet corn, cotija cheese, tortilla chips. Also, try adding a pinch or two of cocoa powder which helps spices to open more which will result in a richer flavor
Chilis usually thicken as they simmer, and even more, after they have been refrigerated. However, if your chili is extremely runny, you can add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed prior with 2 tablespoons of water and stir it right into the pot, continuously whisking. The thickening should happen in about 5 minutes of simmering on low heat.
The best beans to use in chili will depend on the method of preparation of your chili. For a quick chili, any beans will work, especially the white ones and chickpeas. For more complex chili recipes and slow cooker chili, I’d recommend using dark red kidney beans as they hold up their texture really well during long simmering.
The best way to make your chili less spicy is to add the hot spices gradually. Less is more and you can always add extra later. The chili will soak up the spices as it cooks and become spicier on the next day. If it is way too spicy for you, serve it with a generous dollop of sour cream or yogurt, bowl of rice, or even add a bit of milk or coconut milk to your chili that helps to neutralize the burn..
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I hope you'll enjoy this Vegan Pumpkin Chili recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
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Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- 1 cup yellow onion (diced)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (good quality LINK)
- 1 hot red pepper (serrano, chipotle peppers, habanero or jalapeno, diced fine, seeds removed or sub with chili powder)
- 3 medium garlic cloves (minced)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or any meat/poultry broth)
- 2 cups crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or normal)
- 1 15 oz pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, see notes)
- 1 15 oz can black beans (rinsed)
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans (rinsed)
- 1 15 oz can pinto or white beans (rinsed)
- 1 larger carrot (sliced)
- 1-2 stalks celery (sliced)
- 1 cup mixed tri-color bell peppers (smaller dice)
- Fresh cilantro
- Red onion
- Sour cream or plant based yogurt
- Shredded cheese
- Jalapeno slices
- In a large heavy bottom dutch oven over medium-high heat add oil and once hot saute onion, bell peppers, celery, carrot and hot pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes and add garlic, saute again 1 minute. Add seasonings and mix a few times until combined and spices are starting to open up.
- Add in the remaining ingredients: all beans, broth, tomatoes, puree, mix to combine and simmer on lower heat for 20 minutes. The chili should now start to thicken. If too thick, add more broth or warm spring water. Season for salt and pepper. Right before serving squeeze lime juice all over the chili. Serve warm bowl of chili right away with plenty and more toppings.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)