We are obviously big fans of pumpkin (who isn't)? But in addition to a treasure trove of sweet recipes, we also like to include pumpkins in savory meal options as well. This pumpkin chili is awesome after a day of raking leaves or apple picking, and it's delicious the next day too -- so feel free to prepare it on Sunday to make Monday dinner that much easier. Still, this chili takes only about an hour to prepare, and it will make your kitchen smell so delicious and autumnal. If you have vegan-skeptics in your midst, you can add some ground veggie meat during the simmering stage to give the chili an even heartier texture and taste. Cook up some cornbread to accompany this pumpkin chili or serve over roasted veggies or polenta (or both). Happy healthy and filling fall eating to you and your family!
1. Gather the ingredients.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 2 stalks celery
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 pumpkin (Depending on the size of the pumpkin you may have leftovers. You want about 4 cups of pumpkin when chopped.)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp chili powder (if you don’t like spice, you can add 1 tsp smoked paprika)
- 1/2 of a 15 oz can black beans*
- 1/2 of a 15oz can pinto beans
- 1 15oz can diced chopped tomatoes
- 3 cups water or vegetable broth
- Vegan cheese shreds, such as Daiya (we used pepperjack)
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped red onion
- Chopped scallions
- Avocado slices or guacamole
*If you prefer, you can also use one entire can of either type of beans.
2. Chop the vegetables.
Dice the onion, red pepper, and celery. Mince the garlic. Remove the seeds and peel from the pumpkin then chop into chunks about 1-inch in size. You can chop the pumpkin into smaller pieces as well if you want them to cook faster.
3. Sauté the onions, garlic, peppers, and celery.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, pepper, and celery and sauté for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and lowering heat as necessary to keep from burning.
4. Add the pumpkin and the spices.
Add the pumpkin pieces and the spices to the pan and stir to coat. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring to keep from sticking.
5. Add the beans, tomatoes, and water.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander, then add the beans to the pan along with the can of tomatoes and their juice, and the water or broth. (I used water, and the chili was still very flavorful.)
Bring the chili to a boil, then cover the pan halfway, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 35-45 minutes until the vegetables (especially the pumpkin) get soft. You can continue to cook the chili until your desired consistency; the pumpkin will continue to soften and “melt” into the chili.
7. Top, serve and enjoy.
Spoon the chili into bowls, top with desired toppings, and serve warm. Enjoy! This chili also makes for great leftovers. Just reheat and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.