Nothing like a cozy bowl of chili on cool autumn nights! And this 30-minute vegan pumpkin chili recipe will not disappoint. A healthy, one pot meal loaded with creamy pumpkin puree, black beans, chickpeas, fresh veggies and spices. Gluten-free, full of nutrients and flavor!
It’s that time of year when pumpkin is added to just about everything sweet and I must say there’s something special about a savory pumpkin recipe too.
The puree adds just enough pumpkin flavor and gives this meatless chili recipe a creamy texture without taking time to seed and cook an actual pumpkin. It’s also excellent in this vegan Thai Pumpkin Curry!
Why You’ll Love this Vegan Chili Recipe
- Loaded with rich, earthy flavor
- Healthy and nutritious
- Budget friendly using pantry staples
- Perfect for meal prep and freezer friendly!
One of my favorite things about colder months is lining up cozy, comfort food recipes and their aroma filling the house. This easy vegan chili is certainly on the list and uses ingredients that are probably already in your fridge, pantry and spice rack.
The full list of ingredients and exact amounts are included in the recipe card.
- Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
- Black Beans
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Onion and Poblano Peppers
- Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Paste
- Vegetable Broth
- White Wine
- Spices – Chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper (optional)
- Fresh Cilantro
Once your ingredients are gathered and prepped, it’s time to fire up the stove!
Sauté Veggies: Onion and peppers kick things off in a Dutch oven or large pot with olive oil heated over medium-high heat. Season with salt and black pepper and cook until they’re softened, about 5 minutes.
Add Garlic and Spices: Lower burner to medium heat. Stir frequently for 1-2 minutes until the garlic begins to caramelize and the spices are toasted and aromatic. This step adds lots of flavor to the chili!
Deglaze: Pour in white wine to deglaze the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned flavorings on the bottom. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, 2-3 minutes.
Add Remaining Ingredients: Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and pumpkin until well combined with the vegetable mixture. Then add the chickpeas, black beans, corn and broth.
Simmer: Give the chili a good stir, drop in bay leaf and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until heated through. So easy!
Pumpkin Chili Tips
- Have your ingredients prepped and ready to go as things get added to the pot fairly quickly.
- Be sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin filling, which is full of sugar.
- If you prefer a thinner chili, add more broth or some water.
- Add maple syrup, honey or agave if you’d like to soften the spice.
- This recipe is even better the next day to allow more time for the flavors to mingle.
You now have a delicious chili ready for your favorite toppings. I’ve included a few dairy options that are obviously optional if you want to stay vegan. Cheers to chili season!
- Avocado – Have it sliced, diced or cubed, or go creamy with your favorite guac.
- Green Onion – Thinly slice for a little bite and pop of color.
- Jalapeño – If you didn’t add them directly into the chili, here’s another chance to kick up the heat!
- Fresh Herbs – Cilantro is our herb of choice when it comes chili and anything Mexican. Parsley and oregano are good substitutes.
- Lime Wedges – The acidity from lime juice brings all the flavors together.
- Pumpkin Seeds – Aka, pepitas, add a bit of healthy crunch.
- Cheese – Make it a vegetarian pumpkin chili by adding crumbled Mexican queso fresco or grated cojita. Cheddar, parmesan and jack cheeses are great options too.
- Mexican Crema or Sour Cream – A splash or dollop of either softens the spice and adds richness.
- Tortilla Chips – Crumble on top or serve on the side if not worried about gluten.
Sides for Vegan Pumpkin Chili
Here are complementary side dish ideas to round out this hearty chili into one great meal.
Salads – Apple Rainbow Slaw, Red Cabbage Slaw & Citrus Salad with Avocado & Goat Cheese
Veggies – Grilled Sweet Potato Fries, Crispy Baked Avocado Fries & Cider Glazed Butternut Squash
Bread – Get dipping with warm tortillas, naan or cornbread!
- Substitute cooked butternut squash or sweet potatoes for the pumpkin.
- Use other beans like kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans or even red lentils.
- Change up the vegetables by adding bell peppers, mushrooms or zucchini.
- For a smoother chili, use crushed tomatoes instead of diced.
- When deglazing the pan, you can use extra broth instead of wine if you prefer.
- Adjust the spice level with more or less cayenne. To accentuate the pumpkin flavor, add some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.
Pumpkin Chili FAQs
Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to up to 5 days. To freeze, ladle chili into resealable freezer bags, and freeze them flat so they take up less real estate for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, and rewarm on the stove over medium-heat or microwave.
Yes to both! Simply stir all ingredients together in your Instant Pot, lock the lid and set for 5 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then carefully do a quick release to relieve the rest. Or, place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low 4 hours.
It is real pumpkin but not the typical sugar pumpkin. Libby’s produces its own proprietary variety that’s a blend of different winter squash. Regular pumpkins are stringy and watery compared to other winter squash that make a richer, sweeter puree.
The blend chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne gives chili its great flavor. You can add more spice with ancho chili powder and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. You can also try bold flavors with espresso, unsweetened cocoa, molasses, peanut butter, turmeric or garam masala.
More Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes!
Pumpkin Vegan Chili
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, not drained
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 15- ounce can pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 15- ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh corn or frozen kernels, thawed
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 1 lime, zest and juice, plus extra wedges for serving
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Sliced avocado or guacamole
- Sliced green onions
- Sliced jalapeños
- Queso fresco or cojita cheese
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- Tortilla chips
- Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and poblano pepper. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté stirring occasionally until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Pour in wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, pumpkin, chickpeas, black beans, corn and broth. Add bay leaf.
- Simmer chili 10-15 minutes until heated through.
- Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot with suggested toppings, as desired. Enjoy!
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Megan D says
This recipe is so quick, cheap, easy, and delicious! Thank you!
Kim Peterson says
Thrilled you enjoyed it! Thank you!
Michelle | Sift & Simmer says
Never thought to use pumpkin in chili -- this looks incredibly healthy and hearty delicious! Yum!
Kim Peterson says
Thanks so much Michelle!!
Ben | Havocinthekitchen says
I'm not a huge fan of spicy things like chili. That's why I'm digging the idea of adding some pumpkin puree for a smoother finish. And combined with other delicious stuff, this comforting yet not too heavy dish is something we all need in January, right? It looks insanely good!
Albert Bevia says
This chili looks bomb good! amazing combination of ingredients that you used, and I specially love the chickpeas and black beans, great recipe 🙂
Kim Peterson says
Thanks so much!! It is really full of flavor!