Warm up with a bowl of this scrumptious Vegan Pumpkin Chili tonight! This unique recipe is super easy to make, loaded with veggies, and full of comforting fall flavors you're sure to love!
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Chilly weather has finally arrived here in Texas, which means I'm craving all things cozy. Call me basic, but that means lots of pumpkin!
Pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin cheesecake ... yum! It's virtually impossible to resist these sweet treats, but this favorite fall veggie works just as well in savory dishes, too. Like this amazing Pumpkin Chili, which has been on repeat in my kitchen all season long.
This easy veggie chili recipe is classic comfort food. It's thick, hearty, and full of warm autumn flavors that are 100% crave worthy. And like all of my vegetarian chili recipes, it's made with healthy ingredients. Which means that it's basically the perfect fall recipe!
Have I made you hungry yet? Keep reading for all the delicious details, then make a batch tonight!
This Pumpkin Veggie Chili uses a combination of basic, yet flavorful ingredients that you can find in almost any grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
- Pumpkin - This recipe uses a can of pumpkin puree, which gives the finished chili a great flavor and texture. Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- Beans - You'll use a combo of pinto and black beans. Feel free to use just one type of bean, if you prefer, or substitute another type, like kidney beans.
- Tomatoes - A can of fire roasted diced tomatoes is an easy way to add instant flavor. Choose an unflavored variety.
- Veggies - This recipe uses a combination of fresh onions, red bell pepper, jalapeño, and sweet potato, plus frozen corn, in addition to the pumpkin.
- Spices + Garlic - You'll use a delicious combination of chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon, plus fresh garlic.
- Broth - I like to make my own using vegetable bouillon or Better Than Bouillon ... that way, I always have some on hand.
- Salt - For the best flavor, I recommend using Kosher Salt.
This meatless chili is vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free, so everyone can enjoy it! (Always double-check labels if you have an allergy.)
You'll Also Need
This recipe makes a big batch, so grab a dutch oven or large soup pot, too. This Calphalon dutch oven is my favorite. You'll also need a sheet pan to roast the sweet potatoes (these sturdy baking sheets are my favorite).
How to Make Pumpkin Chili
Okay, let's get started! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Roast the sweet potatoes. Start by cutting the potatoes into ½-inch cubes. Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle them with oil and sprinkle salt, then toss everything together (clean hands work great for this). Roast the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, then flip them and cook until they're tender and browned on the other side.
- Sauté veggies. While the sweet potatoes roast, cook the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño in a little oil until they're tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic and spices. Next, mix in the fresh garlic and spices, then cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
- Mix in remaining ingredients and simmer chili. Add the beans, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, broth and corn, then simmer the chili until it thickens. Make sure to stir the chili occasionally as it cooks to prevent it from sticking to the pot.
- Stir in the sweet potatoes. Once the chili has thickened, stir in the roasted sweet potatoes. Then, season the chili to taste with salt.
And that's all there is to it ... your cozy, comforting Pumpkin Chili is ready to eat. Wasn't that easy? And the results are so delicious. I predict that you're going to make this tasty recipe every fall from now on!
Want to change things up a bit? Here are some easy substitution ideas:
- Sweet Potato - I love the combination of roasted sweet potato and canned pumpkin puree here. In my opinion, sweet potato has way more flavor than fresh pumpkin, and it really enhances the recipe's overall pumpkin flavor. However, you could replace the sweet potato with fresh pumpkin (or another winter squash, like butternut), and you could also use fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned (you'd need 1 ¾ cup). Make sure to choose a sugar / pie pumpkin if you do, not a jack-o-lantern type pumpkin.
- Beans - Any combination of beans will work for this recipe. Depending on what's in your pantry, try using all black beans, all pinto, or even swap in others, like kidney beans.
- Spices - I used my favorite chili spices (chili powder, cumin, and oregano), along with ground cinnamon here. You could replace the cinnamon with a pumpkin spice mixture if you have it on hand. Other spices, like smoked paprika, would also be tasty.
- Herbs - A couple tablespoons of fresh cilantro stirred in at the end would be an excellent finishing touch.
- Milder Chili - This recipe is fairly mild as written. But if you can't stand even a little kick, then you can easily tone things down by leaving out the jalapeño and by using mild chili powder.
- Hotter Chili - Make this recipe spicier by leaving the seeds in the jalapeño, adding extra jalapeños, using other chiles (like chipotle peppers), choosing a spicy chili powder, or by adding a few dashes of your fave hot sauce. This Secret Aardvark Sauce is my favorite!
My favorite thing about chili just might be the toppings! I garnished my bowl with sour cream and sliced jalapeños. Here are some other delicious ideas:
- Shredded Cheese – Try sharp cheddar or pepper jack. (Choose a nondairy variety if you want to keep things vegan.)
- Chopped Onions – Rinse the onions under cold water after chopping them to take the bite away.
- Sliced Green Onions
- Diced Avocado
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Sliced or Chopped Olives
- Lime Wedges
- Chopped Cilantro
- Corn Chips
- Tortilla Chips
- Hot Sauce – Like I mentioned above, I’m all about this Secret Aardvark Habanero Sauce.
This vegetarian Pumpkin Chili is super thick and hearty. It makes a great meal in a bowl, no sides required!
If you'd like to round out your meal a bit more, I'd recommend serving it with corn bread or muffins, Beer Bread, or Garlic Bread. An easy Chopped Salad, Garden Salad, or even a simple Massaged Kale Salad, would also make a tasty pairing.
This recipe makes about 12 cups of chili (six to eight servings). Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator for about four days. This chili also freezes well and will keep for a couple months in the freezer.
Searching for more veggie chili ideas? Try one of my other recipes next:
- Vegetarian Chili ... My favorite classic recipe. So delish!
- Black Bean Chili
- Crock Pot Spicy 3 Bean Chili
- Vegetarian White Bean Chili
- Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Chili
- Frito Pie ... the perfect way to use up chili leftovers!
Looking for more savory pumpkin recipes? Then, you'll love my Pumpkin Pizza, Easy Pumpkin Curry, Pumpkin Couscous Salad, Pumpkin Lentil Curry, Roasted Pumpkin Salad, Pumpkin Risotto, and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, too! And you can find all of my pumpkin recipes here, including lots of sweet treats.
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cooking oil, divided
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen corn
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine sweet potatoes and 1 tablespoon oil on a baking sheet. Season with salt to taste; mix well.
- Roast sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Flip, then cook until tender and lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat.
- Add onions, red pepper, and jalapeño to oil. Season with salt, then saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Mix garlic and spices (chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon) into veggies. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Add beans, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, broth, and corn to veggies. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a lively simmer. Continue cooking until chili has thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir sweet potatoes into chili, then generously season to taste with salt.
- Serve chili hot with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!