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Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili – This cozy vegetarian chili recipe is perfect for cold weather and rainy days. You’ll love the flavors! (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian pumpkin chili topped with sour cream, jalapeño, and avocado

PSST! Looking for our original Pumpkin Chili Recipe? Find it here!

Years and years ago when my babies were small, I started making pumpkin chili. I fell in love at first bite with the velvety, hearty texture and the cozy blend of spices and seasonings. Now, every year, we make it several times throughout the fall and winter. (It’s one of my favorite Halloween dinners!)

Since I first posted our original Pumpkin Chili recipe, hundreds and hundreds of you have pinned, made, and shared it, entering it in cook-offs (and winning!), and bringing it to potlucks, parties, new moms, family trips, and more.

One request that’s come in year after year is for a vegetarian version. Well, this is the year! Today I’m sharing our Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili recipe, tested and perfected. I kept my favorite elements–gorgeous flavor & hearty texture–and made it meatless, adding a trio of beans that adds both color and flavor to this yummy dish.

And best of all–this vegetarian chili recipe is still SUPER easy to make!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started…

Close up view of a pot of Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO OUR VEGAN PUMPKIN CHILI:

need a soup pot? we LOVE this affordable Dutch oven. It’s much less expensive than most, looks pretty, and works well for big batches of soup, stew, and chili, making sauces, tackling baking projects, and more!

  • Onion + Bell Peppers. Most of my chili recipes include onion and bell peppers, and this vegetarian pumpkin chili is no different. The smoky, savory notes are a perfect building block for our other favors.
  • Our Yummy Chili Seasoning. My chili seasoning is a blend of chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, and salt. It’s flavorful without being too spicy, though if you like yours with some kick, feel free to use 1.5-2x the spices!
  • A Trio of Beans. To give our Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili a hearty flavor and texture without the meat, I use a trio of colorful beans–black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans. I love the color they add to this yummy chili!
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. Always fire-roasted, if you can! I love the extra layer of flavor and smokiness. Muir Glen is my favorite brand!
  • Pumpkin Puree. The (totally un)secret ingredient! Pumpkin puree adds thickness and a serious dose of nutrients to this vegetarian chili recipe. It won’t taste strongly of pumpkin (and certainly doesn’t taste like pumpkin spice!), but adds a little something extra to the chili that I love.
  • Veggie Broth or Water. Then, to round out your Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili, you’ll add some veggie broth or water. This helps the spices, tomatoes, and pumpkin meld together to give every bite delicious flavor. Imagine Organic makes my favorite veggie broth.
  • Cilantro to Finish it Off. Last, but not least, cilantro! I love the pop of color and brightness it adds to this vegetarian chili.
Front view of a bowl of vegetarian pumpkin chili topped with sour cream, jalapeño, and avocado
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian pumpkin chili topped with sour cream, jalapeño, and avocado

MAKE IT A MEAL! HERE’S WHAT TO SERVE WITH VEGETARIAN PUMPKIN CHILI:

  1. Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins. My favorite side dish for vegetarian pumpkin chili is our Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins. The double-dose of pumpkin is SO COZY! Serve them with your favorite honey butter or cinnamon honey butter for an extra treat!
  2. Maple Cornbread. Our Maple Cornbread is another great side dish for chili! The subtle sweetness of the maple is great with vegetarian pumpkin chili.
  3. A Simple Side Salad. One of my favorite side dishes for vegetarian pumpkin chili is a simple green salad. The light, fresh flavor and crunch can be a great pairing with chili! Try our Pear and Pomegranate Salad, or try our Wild Rice and Kale Salad (made vegetarian!) for some fall and winter inspired flavors.
  4. Fresh Fruit Like Apples or Pears. My kids always appreciate having fresh fruit with dinner (it’s so much easier for them than veggies!), so some apple slices or pear slices can be a great option. They can taste cool and refreshing next to the warm, hearty pumpkin chili.
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian pumpkin chili topped with sour cream, jalapeño, and avocado

FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST VEGAN PUMPKIN CHILI

let’s talk garnishes first! Try topping this vegetarian pumpkin chili with shredded cheese (or vegan cheese), sour cream or plain yogurt (dairy-free, as needed), cilantro, jalapeño slices, or sliced avocado.

IS THIS CHILI SPICY? My goal was family-friendly chili that could work for kids and spice-averse adults, but still have plenty of flavor for people who like a more flavorful chili. In my opinion, this vegetarian pumpkin chili is in the mild range.

PREFER MORE KICK? No worries! You can add some extra zing to your chili by using 1.5-2x the spices. Or, mince 1/2-1 jalapeño and add it along with the onion and bell pepper. Even just increasing the chipotle chili powder to 1/2 tsp. will add heat!

WANT A MEATY VERSION? Try this version instead!

CAN I FREEZE VEGETARIAN PUMPKIN CHILI? Absolutely. This chili freezes like a dream! I like transferring cooled chili to freezer-safe bags, pressing out the extra air and laying them flat on a cutting board or plate to freeze. They’re easier to store once frozen, and will thaw faster when you’re ready to enjoy the leftovers!

CAN I MAKE VEGETARIAN PUMPKIN CHILI IN A SLOW COOKER? I haven’t tried it in the slow cooker, but I think you can! Try following instructions similar to these.

Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian pumpkin chili topped with sour cream, jalapeño, and avocado

Love A Good Chili Recipe? You Might Love…

SHOP OUR FAVORITE TOOLS + INGREDIENTS FOR PUMPKIN CHILI:

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Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian pumpkin chili topped with sour cream, jalapeño, and avocado

Vegan Pumpkin Chili


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 55 minutes
  • Yield: About 10 cups chili 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili – This cozy vegetarian chili recipe is perfect for cold weather and rainy days. You’ll love the flavors! (Gluten-Free, Vegan) 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 Green bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/22 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 24 Tbsp. minced cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and bell peppers and cook 5-7 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, and salt. Cook 1-2 minutes more, or until fragrant.
  4. Add pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and pumpkin puree.
  5. Add broth or water and stir until everything is well combined and the pumpkin is smoothed out.
  6. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  7. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook on low 20-30 minutes, or until the flavors have melded together and the chili is thickened somewhat. (Leaving the lid off will thicken the chili more, if you prefer your chili on the thicker side.)
  8. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings as needed. (If your tomatoes are acidic, you may appreciate adding 1/2-1 tsp. brown sugar to cut the acidity. If it’s feeling a bit flat, you can add 1 tsp. cider vinegar to brighten the flavor)
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: vegetarian pumpkin chili, vegan pumpkin chili, vegetarian chili, vegetarian chili recipe,

2 Comments

  1. I made the recipe and loved it. I think I will be adding pumpkin to my chili from now on. It adds a smooth creaminess to the texture and was very tasty, not like pumpkin ( more like a secret ingredient). Thanks for creating and sharing Emily! 🌺

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