Vegan Pumpkin Chili
Chili is one of those cozy recipes that I can’t wait to make every year when the weather gets colder. Growing up there were so many traditions in my family that revolved around chili. Before trick-or-treating on Halloween, we’d have chili. Saturday Nebraska football games, we’d have chili. Christmas Eve on both my mom’s and dad’s side, we’d have chili. You get the idea. For me chili is more than just a meal. It’s a meal rooted in tradition that bring backs memories of special times with family. As much as food is nourishment for our cells, it is also comfort for the soul. This is a tradition I love and I plan on continuing with my family. I hope you give this chili a go and maybe even love it so much, it becomes part of your family’s tradition.
Tradition aside, this vegan pumpkin chili might just be the best chili I’ve ever made. After sharing the recipe with my email subscribers and on Instagram, I received so many responses from people who felt that same way. So I promise you, it really is delicious!
This chili is vegan but still hearty and filling. The variety of beans and sautéed mushrooms give the chili a meat-y texture and the mushrooms also provide a subtle depth of flavor. This chili also packs in the nutrients. The base of fire-roasted tomatoes and a whole can of pumpkin provide a heavy does of antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A.
The best part about chili is the toppings. I love serving this chili with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds for added crunch, and fresh cilantro and mircogreens for a fresh flavor and extra nutrients. Feel free to get creative with the toppings. A swirl of Greek-style yogurt (I like Kite Hill) would also be delicious!
This chili pairs well with my maple cornbread muffins. The slightly sweet bread is the perfect compliment to the spicy chili. Roasted delicata or buttercup squash, sweet potatoes, or tortilla chips (I like Siete grain-free lime or organic corn) also make for a delicious accompaniment.
Nourished by Nutrition Facts:
Protein - Black beans and kidney or pinto beans are the main protein sources of this chili. 1/6 of the recipe provides 8g protein. This along with 10g of fiber keeps you feeling full and satisfied. If you want to increase the protein, pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds make a great protein-rich topping while adding a little texture.
Antioxidants - This chili is full of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that gives orange fruits and vegetables their vibrant color. In the body beta-carotene converts into vitamin A, which is essential for cell differentiation, immune function, eye development and vision. Other antioxidants found in pumpkin that help fight off free radicals include lutein and zeaxanthin. The tomatoes in this chili are also an excellent source of lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids. These are all antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Pumpkin - This winter squash is packed with nutrients and fiber. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium. Pumpkin is also a decent source of vitamin E, iron, folate. Beta-carotene is the main antioxidant found in pumpkin. This get converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for proper immune function and healthy vision. My recommendation is to get your fix while this popular fall ingredient is still in season!
The spiciness of the chili will depend on the chili powder that you use. I use the Whole Foods 365 brand organic chili powder. This is mildly spicy so I added extra cayenne pepper. I encourage you to taste your chili powder or start without the cayenne and taste before adding. You can always add more spice but you can’t take it out.
Recommend serving with the maple cornbread muffins.
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
A meatless chili that is made mostly from pantry staples. The mushrooms are optional. The chili thickens up the longer it simmers. I recommend blending half the chili with an immersion blender or transferring half to a regular blender then adding it back to the pot for a thicker, less chunky chili.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated using a zester
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 cup finely chopped crimini mushrooms
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced or 2 oz canned green chiles
4 cups vegetable stock
1, 28 oz can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1, 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1, 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1, 15 oz can kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, chili peppers and mushrooms. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and let them cook down until the onions are translucent and mushrooms have softened. 5-7 minutes. Then add the garlic and spices and mix to coat evenly. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, pumpkin, beans and veggie stock. Bring mixture to a boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chili has reduced and thickened up to your liking. The longer it simmers the thicker it will get. Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
For less chunky chili: once heated use and immersion blender to blend have the soup for a less chunky texture. You can also transfer half the soup to a blender. Just make sure your blender can handle warm liquid and the top is slightly vented. Hold the top with a towel and blend. Then pour back into the pot of chili.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container the fridge for up to 5 days.