Pumpkin Chili

By Rachel Tiemeyer
September 14, 2021

Want a super nutritious, flavorful recipe that can feed a crowd, won’t break the bank, or doesn’t take much time? This Pumpkin Chili recipe gets the job done. Even better, it only takes 20 minutes to make AND is a great make-ahead freezer meal!

chili in a bowl with a spoon

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My kids liked this recipe more than the beef chili I make. It was super delicious and very healthy!

Trish

Why Readers Love This Chili Recipe

Here are some of the reasons our readers have loved this recipe for years:

1. It makes a HUGE amount.

This is a great recipe for a group of people. Not only does it make a ton, but the ingredients are not expensive! Have some tortilla chips and shredded cheese out to serve it with and your crew will be a happy one!

2. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian.

Talk about healthy! This veggie-packed soup will be on the regular rotation, especially if you’re looking for tasty recipes but have dietary restrictions. Here are 30+ More Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes, if you need more ideas.

3. It’s freezer-friendly.

We are big fans of freezer meals. Not only have we written two freezer meal cookbooks, put together our popular 1 Hour Freezer Prep Sessions, and shared a round-up of amazing freezer meals, but we also provide freezing and thawing instructions on any recipe that can be prepped ahead for later. More details on how to freeze chili are below.

4. It’s delicious.

Most importantly, perhaps, is that it passed the taste test with my carnivorous “foodie” husband who declared, “This is really good!”

pumpkin chili in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon

What’s in Pumpkin Chili?

This is not a hard recipe at all. Don’t be dissuaded by the long list of ingredients. You probably have most of these in your pantry and the variety really does add so much depth of flavor to the chili.

Keep in mind that it’s easy to adjust this recipe to what you have on hand. Add the kinds of beans you like or already have. Leave out the carrots if you don’t have any. It’s up to you.

The only thing I would suggest not tweaking much are the seasonings. That’s where the chili flavor resides.

ingredients for vegetarian chili in small bowls on a counter

Here is what you’ll need to make Pumpkin Chili…

  • Avocado oil or olive oil
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Garlic cloves
  • Tomato paste
  • Seasonings: Red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper
  • Vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Chickpeas

Video Tutorial: How to Make Pumpkin Chili

Here is a short overview of how to make this one-pot wonder. We also have step-by-step pictures below.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Saute the Onions & Carrots

Because this meal doesn’t cook very long on the stove, you do need to saute some of the veggies before you get cooking. Otherwise they’d be crunchy! Plus, sautéing the vegetables also builds a lot of flavor from the very beginning. After veggies are tender, you’ll add in the garlic, tomato paste, & red pepper flakes.

sautéd carrots and onions in a dutch oven

Step 2: Stir in Remaining Ingredients

Stir in the broth, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper.

black beans, pinto beans, pumpkin, and chicken broth in a dutch oven

Step 3: Cook It!

Bring to a boil, stirring almost constantly, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid scorching the bottom.

a large pot of vegetarian chili after being cooked

What to Serve with Pumpkin Chili

Anything that goes with a classic chili recipe will be delicious with this one, as well.

Topping Ideas:

  • Diced avocado
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Crushed corn tortilla chips
  • Thinly sliced green onions

Side Dish Ideas:

3 bowls of chili with toppings like tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro, lime wedges, and cheese

How to Freeze Pumpkin Chili

Freezing soups is one of my favorite ways to save my future self time. Chili is no different. Here is how to make it a freezer meal!

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-2. Freeze the uncooked chili in large freezer bag(s) or container(s). Alternatively, you can fully cook and cool the soup and then freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw completely. Follow Steps 3-4. If the soup was fully cooked, then all you need to do is thaw it and warm it up on the stovetop or in the microwave.

a freezer bag filled with pumpkin chili

Enjoy!

Print

Pumpkin Chili

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 servings 1x
  • Category: Chili
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Want a super nutritious, flavorful recipe that can feed a crowd, won’t break the bank, or doesn’t take much time? Your family will enjoy this healthy vegetarian chili.


Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, with their juices (regular petite diced tomatoes will work, too
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • Optional toppings: diced avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt,* shredded cheddar cheese,* crushed corn tortilla chips, thinly sliced green onions

*Omit if making this dairy-free


Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Once the oil is shimmery, add in the onions and carrots and saute until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper as they cook. Add in the garlic, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes and saute another 30-60 seconds. 
  2. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring almost constantly, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid scorching the bottom.
  4. Taste and adjust salt and pepper amounts. Serve topped with your favorite chili toppings.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-2. Freeze the uncooked chili in large freezer bag(s) or container(s). Alternatively, you can fully cook and cool the soup and then freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw completely. Follow Steps 3-4. If the soup was fully cooked, then all you need to do is thaw it and warm it up on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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19 replies
    • Rachel says:

      Hey Nikki. This will work great in the IP. Just saute the onions, carrots, and garlic in the oil until soft (about 3-4 minutes). Stir in everything else. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes with a quick release.

      Reply
  1. Kristi says:

    Hi there! I’ve made this on the stove and it was delicious!! 🙂 Do you know if it could also be prepared in a slow-cooker?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Gayle says:

    It’s really yummy! Took longer to cook with the lentils, carrots and onion to be tender. I cooked on high then simmered still a very good recipe. I also cut back on Chili powder as I am bring some to my Dad. I added some Salsa in my bowl with avocado tasty combo. Thanks for a easy hearty recipe perfect for Winter or Fall!

    Reply
  3. Lauren R. says:

    Thinking about making this for a family gathering this weekend! My husband loves just a hint of jalepeno, so I was thinking about swapping that for the red pepper flakes to keep the spiciness down. What do you think?

    Reply
  4. Janet says:

    This looks so good, healthy and easy to make! Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it this fall, I’m sure my boys will love it.

    Reply