Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based 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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
Yes, this pumpkin chili is both gluten-free and vegan.
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.
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.
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!Print
Vegan Pumpkin Chili! This spicy and savory stew is perfect for crisp evenings! Black beans and vegetables simmered in a rich pumpkin chili sauce.