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Vegan Pumpkin Chili

Vegan Pumpkin Chili


This vegan pumpkin chili is the perfect seasonal one-pot nutritious meal! It is spicy, slightly sweet, full of flavor and has the most incredible texture - you would never know it is entirely plant-based. It is loaded with vegetables and plant-based protein to keep you satisfied. The pumpkin adds creaminess and body to the chili that makes it extra amazing. This dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free dish is the ultimate comforting and healthy meal for Halloween dinner.



For the pumpkin chili

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • optional: 2 cups raw walnuts, soaked in advance (see instructions)
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt (or more to taste)
  • 2 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow), stem removed, seeded and diced*
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed, seeded and diced
  • 1 sweet potato, skin removed and diced OR 2 cups cubed uncooked pumpkin (peeled)
  • 1, 14.5 ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1/2 cup split red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1.5 cups homemade pumpkin puree** (or one can pumpkin puree)

Topping Suggestions:


  1. Optional: Soak the walnuts in boiling water for one hour (or regular water for 8 hours or overnight). After soaking is complete, drain, rinse and place the soaked walnuts in a food processor. Process until fine and crumbly (about 15 seconds).  Set aside.
  2. In a 5.5 quart dutch oven, saute onion, garlic, walnuts (if using), spices and salt in olive oil on medium heat until onions are translucent and fragrant (3-5 minutes). Stir in the bell peppers, jalapeño (if using), sweet potato or cubed pumpkin, tomatoes, red lentils, tomato paste, and black beans.
  3. Add vegetable broth and pumpkin puree and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
  4. To ensure it is finished cooking, be sure to taste a spoonful with sweet potato in it to make sure it is tender. Simmer over low heat for an additional ten minutes stirring occasionally. Serve immediately while hot or cover with lid and keep on a low simmer for up to 30 more minutes. Store leftovers once fully cooled in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days. If freezing, be sure to allow 1-2 inches of space at the top of your container to allow for the chili to expand when frozen. Keep frozen for up to two months. To reheat frozen chili, transfer to the refrigerator the night before.


*For more spice, add a poblano pepper in place of one of the bell peppers. If you are sensitive to spice or plan to serve to children I suggest using less chili powder and no poblano pepper or jalapeño pepper.

** For best results use homemade pumpkin puree. Canned will work in a pinch but it will not be as thick, creamy and sweet as the homemade pumpkin puree.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan pumpkin chili