Vegan Pumpkin Chili (Easy One Pot Meal)

By Alexandra Caspero on November 8, 2021
A spicy and savory stew that's perfect for crisp evenings!

Vegan Pumpkin Chili! Black beans and vegetables simmered in a rich pumpkin chili sauce make this one an easy one pot dinner meal.

It wouldn’t be Fall without another chili recipe! This pumpkin version is one of my favorites, especially this time of year. I may not be a huge sweet pumpkin fan, but I love savory pumpkin dishes like this vegetarian chili.

A slightly spicy, black bean chili with a hint of pumpkin and nutmeg. It’s hearty, comforting and a must for these chilly nights that we’ve been having lately. Chili for chilly nights! I mean, how perfect is that?

Pumpkin Chili With Black Beans

What you’ll need: 

  • A white or yellow onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Spices like chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 15-ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. You can sub regular tomatoes if you prefer for a less spicy chili
  • Pure pumpkin puree
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Black beans; you can sub pinto beans for 1/2 or all of the beans.

Of course, chili is just a vehicle for whatever toppings your heart desires. I got on a major cornbread kick last week, which actually inspired the need to make pumpkin chili. I love serving this with cornbread croutons or my pumpkin cornbread muffins.  You can top this with your favorite chili toppings, like regular or dairy-free shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado and cilantro.

Bowl Of Pumpkin Chili

How to make this vegetarian pumpkin chili recipe 

This pumpkin chili is the probably the easiest meal on earth. Besides the pepper, onion and garlic, the remaining ingredients come straight outta cans. Open, dump, and simmer. Normally I wouldn’t love a recipe that starts with a can of this and a can of that, but for chili? It’s healthier than it sounds and you’ll be amazed by how delicious this chili tastes using just pantry staples and a handful of aromatics. 

You’ll start by sautéing the onion and bell pepper until softened in a large pot or dutch oven. From there, stir in your spices and garlic and simmer over medium heat for another minute or two until fragrant. 

Open the cans, then add in the tomatoes, pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, water and beans and simmer for at least 30 minutes until thickened. This chili recipe should be heartier than a soup, the chunkier the better in my opinion!

Bowl Of Vegan Pumpkin Chili

What substitutions can I make? 

Butternut squash puree is a great substitution for the pumpkin puree. If you have vegetable broth on hand, you can use that in place of the water and adjust salt seasoning as needed. 

As written this is a vegan chili, but if you cannot imagine chili without meat (ahem, like my Dad) then I’d recommend browning veggie ground beef, like Impossible or Beyond before adding in the canned beans. 

Is this chili gluten-free?

Yes, this pumpkin chili is both gluten-free and vegan. 

Instructions for freezing

Like all good stews, this chili is perfect for making a big batch of and freezing half. You can easily double (or triple) the recipe and freeze leftovers. 

To prep for the freezer, place chili in a freezer-safe, airtight container making sure to keep enough head space that the chili can expand once frozen. Freeze for 3-4 months. 

When ready to serve, remove freezer from the chili and let thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at least 8 hours. Place into a large pot, cover with a lid and simmer over medium-low heat until warmed through.

Pot Of Vegan Pumpkin Chili With Laddle

The benefits of eating more beans

You know I think that the world would be a better place if everyone ate more beans. Not only are they pennies on the dollar compared to meat, they are such a great source of fiber, protein, iron and can help lower LDL cholesterol if eaten on a regular basis. Covered in a spicy pumpkin sauce, I’d say that’s easy as pie.

If there is one nutrition lesson I’d love to impart on everyone, it would be to eat more beans. Or, at the very least, swap out some animal protein in favor of more plant-based protein sources, like beans. 

For every 20g increase consumption of legumes (beans, soyfoods and lentils) consumed each day, there is a decrease risk of premature death by 8%! High legume intake is associated with long-lived food cultures such as the Japanese (soy, tofu, natto, miso), the Swedes (brown beans, peas), and the Mediterranean people (lentils, chickpeas, white beans).

Whatever your preferred legume of choice, I say– let’s all eat more of it! Thankfully, this yummy vegan pumpkin chili makes it easy to do so.

Vegan Pumpkin Chili

More Chili Recipes:

Vegan Indian Dal Chili
Tempeh Chili
Black Bean & Beer Chili
Slow Cooker Butternut Chili with Black Beans
Vegetarian chili with creamy polenta
White Bean Chili 

This recipe was first published in 2015 and updated in 2021. If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Vegan Pumpkin Chili With Black Beans

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Vegan Pumpkin Chili With Black Beans

Vegan Pumpkin Chili

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, chili, main, vegan, glutenfree, vegetarian
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan


Vegan Pumpkin Chili! This spicy and savory stew is perfect for crisp evenings! Black beans and vegetables simmered in a rich pumpkin chili sauce.

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, chili, main, vegan, glutenfree, vegetarian
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, chili, main, vegan, glutenfree, vegetarian
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Medium white onion, chopped
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • scant 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 15 oz can 100% pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt & pepper to taste
  • Your favorite chili toppings, as desired


  1. First, heat the oil in a dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, add the onion and red bell pepper and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then, stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg and garlic cloves and cook another minute or two until the spices are fragrant, stirring often.
  2. Next, add in the fire roasted and diced tomatoes with juice along with the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine.
  3. Then, stir in the black beans, water and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and let simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring often. Note, the longer this cooks, the more flavor develops so feel free to make this one in the afternoon to let simmer for hours.
  4. Finally, serve hot, with your favorite toppings!

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Vegan Pumpkin Chili! This Spicy And Savory Stew Is Perfect For Crisp Evenings! Black Beans And Vegetables Simmered In A Rich Pumpkin Chili Sauce. #Vegan &Amp; #Glutenfree |

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

(43 comments) leave a comment

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    1. Tina
      February 14, 2021 AT 1:26 pm

      Love this recipe. Itโ€™s my go-to whenever I make chilli.

    2. debbie
      November 2, 2020 AT 12:47 pm

      I made this over the weekend and it was delicious!! Since it was a new recipe I did not alter it and am very glad! I must say that I was surprised as there are ingredients in this chili that I would never have tried but together the flavors were amazing!!! I also made the vegan corn bread, it to was delicious and it really complemented the chili! Next, I’m going to try oat milk. I prefer to substitute oat milk in my tea and expresso but it is so expensive.
      Thank you so much, I can’t wait to try your other recipes!!

      1. Alex
        November 2, 2020 AT 12:55 pm

        So glad you liked it! Thanks, Debbie!

    3. Lisa G
      January 11, 2018 AT 2:30 pm

      Does this freeze well?

      1. Alex
        January 12, 2018 AT 8:52 am

        Hi Lisa- yes! Make a double batch- one to enjoy now and one to freeze for later!

    4. Joanna
      March 4, 2016 AT 5:25 pm

      This was freakin’ awesome! I found this recipe on Pinterest, and I made it tonight for me and my parents. I followed it exactly, except I added an extra red bell pepper and 3 small zucchini (that I cut into semi-circle shapes) that I had in my fridge. I served it with my own cornbread recipe. This is a total keeper, thank you bunches!!

    5. Kimberly Wilczak
      November 16, 2015 AT 1:37 pm

      I too would love your “beautiful” cornbread recipe! : )

      1. Kimberly Wilczak
        November 19, 2015 AT 9:51 am

        Thank you Alex ๐Ÿ˜€

    6. Norelkys Gallardo
      October 15, 2015 AT 12:25 pm

      I’d love to have that “beautiful” cornbread recipe to accompany my chilli!!!

    7. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits
      October 12, 2015 AT 10:42 pm

      Seriously, I was totally thinking of making a chili yesterday! I have just about all the ingredients listed here, so I’ll have to add it to my list of recipes to try!

      1. DK
        October 14, 2015 AT 12:01 pm

        Yeah! Hope you do ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Brenda
          October 3, 2017 AT 12:57 pm

          I was wondering if the fire roasted tomatoes are diced or crushed for this recipe? Thanks!

          1. Alex
            October 3, 2017 AT 1:20 pm

            Hi Brenda, they are the diced ones. I’ll clarify that in the ingredients now. Thanks!

            1. Brenda
              October 21, 2017 AT 3:03 pm

              I made this today finally, it is delicious! I like that there is pumpkin in the chili. Thanks so much for the recipe. It’s a keeper. ๐Ÿ™‚

    8. Anne|Craving Something Healthy
      October 12, 2015 AT 10:04 pm

      I love the idea of using pumpkin in chili! Super nutritious and great flavor! Pinned ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Alex @ DelishKnowledge
        November 18, 2015 AT 5:40 am

        Thanks Anne, it’s unexpected but delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Alex @ DelishKnowledge
        November 18, 2015 AT 5:40 am

        Thanks Anne, it’s unexpected but delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. DK
        October 14, 2015 AT 12:02 pm

        Thanks Anne!

    9. Dixya Bhattarai RD
      October 12, 2015 AT 5:41 pm

      this looks so comforting! i have to try this soon.

    10. Amy
      October 12, 2015 AT 2:28 pm

      Looks delicious! I love pumpkin in savory recipes.