Pumpkin Vegan Chili is a hearty fall one-pot meal that's easy to make on the stove in 30 minutes. It features two types of beans, sweet corn, smoky tomatoes, and creamy pumpkin puree. It's cozy, comforting, and perfect for crisp evenings.
And nothing says autumn like pumpkin. While it's often associated with sweet treats like pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin balls, it may become your new favorite ingredient when making savory vegan chili.
Most meatless chili recipes are simple to make with beans and legumes. You can stick to one type and make black bean chili. Or you can combine several varieties together like in 3-bean jackfruit chili.
And you can also change up the flavors and textures by adding different vegetables, as in the case of this vegan pumpkin chili. The pumpkin puree not only adds a creamy texture, but also an earthy flavor that complements the pinto and black beans.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's ready to eat in 30 minutes.
- You can make it with mostly pantry staples.
- It's warming, satisfying, and freezes well for meal prep.
- Bell pepper (any color such as green, red, or orange)
- Canned pumpkin (Make sure the label says 100% pumpkin. We don't want pumpkin pie mix in our pumpkin chili!)
- Fire-roasted tomatoes
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
- Corn (canned or frozen)
- Adobo sauce (The sauce that comes in a can of chipotle peppers. Leftover chipotles in adobo sauce can be frozen in a glass storage container for use in other recipes.)
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Salt and pepper
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Making Pumpkin Vegan Chili is almost as easy as emptying some cans of food into a large pot or Dutch oven and throwing in some spices.
First, saute diced onion, garlic, and bell pepper until soft.
Next, stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Allow the chili to cook covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Let the finished chili rest for a few minutes, then serve it with your favorite toppings.
I like to serve chili in large bowls and offer toppings at the table so everyone can choose their own. Some popular options include the following:
- Diced or sliced avocado
- Quartered cherry tomatoes
- Chopped or torn fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Diced red onions or sliced green onions
- Sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño peppers
- Vegan cheddar cheese shreds
- Vegan sour cream
And tortilla chips, corn chips, or vegan gluten-free cornbread are perfect for dunking.
Or serve the chili on baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, on a bed of mashed potatoes, or over home fries or hand cut fries. It's also delicious with rice, quinoa, or pasta.
Storing and freezing
Leftover chili can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. I like to freeze it in individual servings in small glass containers with lids. Be sure to allow a little room at the top since it will slightly expand when frozen.
To reheat, first defrost the frozen container of chili in the refrigerator overnight. Then reheat it in a pot on the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl.
While you may think of jack-o-lanterns when you think of pumpkins, pumpkin puree is made from cooked and mashed winter squash.
If canned pumpkin is unavailable, you can use an equal amount of cooked and pureed winter squash such as acorn or butternut squash.
According to Mayo Clinic's Healthy Lifestyle: Nutrition and healthy eating, "both fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin are packed with nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin A and iron."
More fall recipes
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Pumpkin Vegan Chili
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper , (any color) diced
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree, (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 15 ounces diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with their liquid from the can
- 15 ounces pinto beans, with their liquid from the can (1½ cups)
- 15 ounces black beans, with their liquid from the can (1½ cups)
- 15 ounces corn, drained (or substitute frozen defrosted corn)
- 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotle chiles
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil In a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion until slightly translucent.
- Add the garlic and bell pepper and saute until the bell pepper starts to soften.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Allow the chili to rest covered for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, cubed avocado, chopped tomatoes, diced onions, tortilla chips, etc.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
Do you use the peppers as well as the sauce or just try to scrape enough sauce off the peppers?
I only use the sauce, but you can chop up the peppers and add them too, if you like.
Wonderful chili made in a short time .
Thank you Marie!
I forgot to rate it on my first response
This is fantastic! My sisters and their husbands are not vegan (neither is mine) but they LOVED this and have made it for their families. Thank you so much! I have just switched to a plant based diet for health reasons and this was the first thing that I tried. It really was great to know how good the food is that I will now be eating!!!
I'm so happy everyone enjoyed it, Lonna! Enjoy your plant-based journey.